Daylily Tubers

dragonfly183(z8 AR)September 20, 2012

I always thought it was common knowledge that you could grow a daylily from one of the small tubers attached to the crown but apparently its not. This is something I have been doing over a LONG time now. I mean literally over a decade. If I see a daylily I will ask if I can take a single tuber from the plant. I plant that tuber and it always grows into a new daylily plant. Its never failed me. I have actually had people arguing about this lately insisting that tubers won't grow by themselves. I've got 7 of them out by the shed that I got from a vacant house while we were visiting Ohio last year. Half of them even bloomed this year.Yet lately I have had big arguments with people insisting this won't work. Apparently I'm going to have to document it.

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Daylilies do NOT have tubers - but do have roots that 'thicken-up' with retained nutrients and moisture similar to a tuber.(Highly dependent upon the specific cultivar - some do so more than others.) I know of NO instance whereby a piece of root (aka 'Root-cuttings' ie Oriental Poppies, etc.) of a daylily has developed into a full blooming plant. A piece of root WITH a portion of the crown still intact might survive and develop into a complete plant (Probably depends on the suitability of the original parent plant.)

However, if the piece of 'root' is actually an underground developing new crown/fan (Shoot) then that 'root' could sometimes develop into a complete plant if separated from it's parent plant.. This is especially common with so called 'Ditch Daylilies' and related cultivars such as Kwanso & Apricot Beauty & similar.

You might want to GOOGLE the 'AHS Daylilies' website to find a dictionary of commonly used terminology and links to daylily growing information.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:50AM
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dragonfly183(z8 AR)

I am referring to the little roots that hand at the bottom of the daylily plants. They are slightly elongated with a bulge at the bottom and I have always seen them referred to as tubers. If you pull ones of these off and put it in dirt it grows. I've done with with hundreds of different hybrid daylilies.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:47PM
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I'll have to try that. I've always heard and read that new plants won't grow from the roots unless a piece of crown is attached. So I'll just try it and see!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:47AM
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Nancy zone 6

I'm surprised that some of those tubers don't grow when I divide my daylilies. I often leave lots of them in the soil, but none have ever grown. But then, I can't grow dahlias from a single tuber either & I've been told they will.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:19AM
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Judging by the fact that I have been trying to evict them for 25 years, I think Fulva and Kwanzo can regrow from a root HAIR! Otherwise, I have never had one grow from a root without crown. I've been able to salvage crowns that have started to rot, but that is as good as it gets. (Scrape out rotted area with a clean knife or spoon-I find a spoon removes the least of the healthy tissue, then replant) Doesn't ALWAYS work, but I have saved most of them this way.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:51AM
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silverkelt(Z5b/Southern Maine)

It will have to have part of the crown attached to regrow, otherwise its just a root. If you are seperating the tubular growth and getting a portion of the crown , especially on the wilder cultivators, they will regrow..fulva will regrow with a microscopic amount.

But sorry, its impossible to seperate the root competely from the crown and have regrowth, Ive left hundreds of root fibers in the ground in the past years, Ive yet to see a daylily grow from just a root.

There is fat "tuberous" like roots used for nutrient storage, its nothing more then that.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Some of the species plants, such as the fulvas, are rhizomatous. A modified stem that does resemble a root grows just below the soil surface and forms bracts or nodes, which will grow into new plants, even when separated from the parent plants for some time. I suspect these are the tubers dragonfly is referring to. The modern hybrids don't have this ability, although there are some that produce stolons, which also are modified stems, not true roots. To my knowledge, no one has ever been successful growing a new plant from a true daylily root.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 5:46PM
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I tend to agree with the majority, but, then again, everything is impossible until somebody succeeds in doing it. Let us know if you have success with any daylilies other than fulva and ditch lily. I'm interested.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:43PM
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I never seem to be able to evict a complete daylily. Sometimes, even after a year is skipped, one will reappear in the place I dug it out of. And I have never grown Kwanzo or ditch lilies in my yard.

I don't know where they come from, but it has happened several times. Just tossing this in.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2012 at 7:20PM
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Crown rot is especially bad in the Texas gulf coast. 2011 was an especially rough year with lots of plants lost. One of the best display gardens lost over 100 plants. So we get to test lots of plants for crown rot by default. You quickly learn when a plant does disappear not to disturb the root system, because when temps cool down, there is often a survivor that rises from the dead. If temps continue to cool, you will often have a fan or two by next year. Many plants take two or even three years to totally rot. There is apparently a small amount of crown that does not perish, and forms the surviving fan/s. It only takes one cell with favorable growth conditions.
During the bloom season, I cull seedlings with a big serrated knife. I simply cut around the fans being careful to leave only roots. In over 10 years I have never seen the roots generate a new plant. I have seen claims before of growing plants from roots and I have tried myself to grow new plants from roots using growth stimulators without success. Only rhizomes, stolons and crown have that ability naturally, and this has been the case in every claim I have pursued. It is very easy to mistake a rhizome or stolon for a root.
I would guess that one could tissue culture root tissue and get something, but usually the tissue used that produces the best duplicate of the mother plant is tissue close to the flower. This method of course produces thousands of plants. Maybe not all of them exactly duplicate the mother plant, but close enough for the bulk market. Ed

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 1:39PM
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