Patty W. zone 5a IllinoisJuly 6, 2012

Many of you from southern areas have so much more experience with this drought and high heat. I can't afford to water much longer. If a daylily should lose all its leaves to drought can they come back again. How much water do they need to survive. I'm not worried about anything looking good at this point just surviving. Pat

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Anxious to hear the answer to this myself. We started watering and our well gave us problems so most of my daylilies are on their own. We have been hand watering a few favorite ones but at this point I just want them to survive.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:07AM
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blue23rose(6b IN)

Same here. I think I may have lost Terms Of Endearment because there is only one itty bitty bit of green left on it. My husband has been watering everything (bless his heart), but as you said, I am just hoping for survival at this point. All those brown leaves are so sad looking though:(

Since my daughter and I split TOE when we bought it, I know I can get a fan or two from her. She only lives about 10 miles away but have had enough rain to sustain her flowers. Go figure!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:18AM
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This is a good question! We've been having a bit of drought here to, no real rainfall since spring. I had one daylily that lost most of its leaves but it came back. I also had seedlings that disappeared. I just kept watering and eventually it came back. I don't know about mature daylilies but will be watching to find out the answers. Marg

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:24AM
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All I can offer is what happens here. when it becomes exceptionally dry, I will give them an inch a week.

If a plant looks particularly hard hit, I may give extra water to it. I learned that the quickest way for me to lose a plant here is to over water, and encourage crown rot.

Yes, I have generally have plants that go dormant in heat then in spring, put up beautiful new green leaves, but it isn't a guarantee.

The mature daylilies are more likely to survive in my experience. Whatever you do, don't fertilize.

I am hoping that Debra will answer this for you or Floota.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 9:35AM
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shive(6b TN)

Take a breath everyone. Daylilies WILL go dormant in a drought. The dormants, and semievergreens and evergreens that have dormancy in their genetic backgrounds will leaf back out when temps cool and you get a bit of rain. Mine did this in a previous drought for two years in a row. They went dormant in the heat of summer and leafed back out in October. The following spring they were fine.

However, if the true evergreens loose all their foliage, it's probable that you have lost them forever. So the evergreens are ones it's most important to keep watering.

You simply cannot stop a dormant from shedding it's leaves. I've tried to prevent Shores of Time from doing this, but no amount of watering could prevent it. It was full of pods and rebloom scapes too, which I had to cut off to alleviate stress on the plant. I was disappointed, but I know I will see SOT bloom again next year.

Hope this info helps!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 12:46PM
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Thanks Debra, I am going over my list now and will try to get the evergreens watered first. I have a lot of dormants and am glad to hear they will be OK. Thanks again. Judy

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Patty W. zone 5a Illinois

Thank you Debra, this is so good to hear, I shall concentrate on water lovin perennials and newly planted daylilies. Water bill last month was 270$ and I only gave water to newly planted or transplanted plants. This month will be double that soooo I'm done watering. Thanks again. Pat

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Several years ago I had around 300 daylily seedlings planted in front of a board fence that stretched along a country road for a thousand feet, more or less. Due to lack of rainfall and too much distance from a water source, I watched helplessly as they "died," one by one. I did try watering them a few times by pulling my 33-gallon commercial sprayer behind our riding mower, but that didn't work out well. To my amazement the following spring all but a few (1-3) came right back. They were not in a bed, but just stuck in a hole in the ground in front of each wood post 8' apart, and surrounded by native vegetation.

So, here's hoping those of you who are going through a drought will find that next spring your daylilies will bounce right back. And yes, crown rot is a serious concern. I suspect that heat + water = steam = crown rot! I learned that lesson the hard way last summer.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 8:27PM
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Hello everyone
I live in Ga. 8A. We are experiencing drought conditions and very high temps. How often is enough to water daylillies for survivial I don't expect to see anymore flowers this summer but I am concerned about so many brown leaves, also about when to water would the evening be better to avoid them cooking from the high heat during the day? I would also appreciate some ideas for companion plants for next year that can take over in July and August when I have so many bear spots. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 10:08PM
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Patty W. zone 5a Illinois

Hi ruby4, if I lived were you do I love to have the airy looking salvias. Seems they'ed be nice with daylilies or thread leaf coreopsis. Something light and airy since daylilies are chunky looking. Guara whirling butterflies is another one. We have very cold wet winters and most don't return the following year. Thou I still grow some as annuals and hope for seedlings. A lot of these flower well into fall. Pat

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 10:41PM
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shive(6b TN)

Ruby - The soil is still very hot in the evening, and watering them then can promote crown rot and other fungal diseases. Horticultural experts recommend watering them very early - before sunrise or shortly thereafter. On these days when temps are in the 100s, I try to be out watering by 5:30 a.m. I'm a sleepyhead and don't always make it out there that early. But I do try to have all my watering done by 8-8:30 a.m.

As for companion plants, I have Bright Eyes and David phlox, several types of balloon flowers, veronica, perovskia and Becky Shasta daisies. If well watered, these keep going until September, and sometimes beyond. I usually add some annuals at the end of June. Pentas and coreopsis are very heat tolerant and things colorful until frost in late October or November.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 10:53PM
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I have to get up at 6 am to get to work on time, So if I need to water, the only option I have is at night. I just do a section at a time, so they might get watered every three to four days in rotation for a short span of time. I have to keep an eye on the water bill too. So far only found one plant with a fan with crown rot. The rest of the plant was fine. But like everyone else, dead leaves everywhere. The sedum here are a bit short, but otherwise haven't seemed to mind the weather too much. They can get big and overpowering in ideal weather conditions though.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2012 at 11:31PM
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It has been so hot in St. Louis for so long that my dl's are not blooming. The problem is that is was so warm early they all started a month ahead. My only work horse is Strawberry Candy and Ruby Stella. nothing else will bloom in this weather. Even my tiger lillies did a minimal showing. I have been watering but after reading this I will concentrate on hostas, rose bushes and hydrangea.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 7:25AM
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shive(6b TN)

Lisa - You're going to be getting cooler temps starting this week. When daytime temps are in the 80s, there should be no problem watering at night. For temperatures in the high 90s and 100s, watering in the mornings is optimum. A great way to water is using soaker hoses. I have them in two of my beds. They are so easy to do early in the morning. I just run out and turn them on, and then I go back in and get ready for work. Before leaving for work, you could turn them off.

Val - The plants you mentioned need watering more than the daylilies. Daylilies are tough and can survive without water for long periods because of the thick roots that store moisture. I've lost far more hostas, roses and hydrangeas in drought than daylilies.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 8:46AM
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sunny_daze_gardener(5 MI)

Thank you for all the info. I can't even remember the last time it rained here. With temperatures at 100* and higher, everything is having a hard time. I spent the day in the main daylily area, I dug little moats around the plants, watered them heavily, especially the evergreens and spread straw to help hold the moisture in. I feel so bad for the farmers, the corn and beans are turning brown in the fields and there isn't any rain in the 7 day forcast.

Nancy VB

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:47PM
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shive(6b TN)

Nancy - I really feel for the farmers throughout the country. These plants are our hobby, but their crops are their livelihood. At least most of our farmers here in Tennessee got a little rain last night and this afternoon.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 10:17PM
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Debra, your generosity with your answers to everyone's concerns and questions is just overwhelming and so very much appreciated. I've learned so much on this Forum and you are one of the primary reasons for coming here. Thank you so much again.
Pat/SE Michigan

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:21PM
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shive(6b TN)

Pat - Thanks for your sweet comments. When I first started gardening with perennials, and especially daylilies, I got so much help and advice on Garden Web. Just passing it on.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:58PM
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Last summer we had extreme heat and drought for over 3 months. I purchased and planted daylilies in the ground in late March.
Shores of Time completely died back and I thought it was gone. They all survived and all but 2 bloomed great this year.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2012 at 9:58AM
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