Dividing and potting day lilies

sheipatAugust 29, 2013

We purchased a property which used to be a day lily farm, and are now faced with digging up, dividing, and potting thousands of them to give away, sell, etc. This is not a business for us, but we want to do it properly! What I'm not sure of (among other things) is what type of medium to use in the pots - all I know is the medium should drain well, and that 1 gallon pots should be about the right size. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Your in the nursery business, like it or not! Check with a local propagating nursery on sources for bulk potting mix. You want to buy it by the yard. Day lilies our very tolerant of anything you do, so don't worry about making mistakes. Hopefully your stock is well labeled, as you will be selling them with no blooms in sight. With 50,000 cultivars you will need pictures of yours, to be able to sell them. Good luck. Al

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Thanks calistoga - Unfortunately NOTHING is labeled and NOTHING is organized by type, color, etc. We started doing a video log, row by row, when they were blooming in July, but we have 140 rows about 60 feet long so it was an arduous task! I know that some of them are hybrids created by the former owner, but I don't know which ones, and their son (who sold us the property) never came by when they were blooming to point them out. This is going to be interesting, to say the least. thanks for the suggestion re: contacting a local propagater. I will start digging around (pun intended!)

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 11:18AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Lots of things pop into mind while reading this thread. Have you considered the legal requirements of nursery certification for selling the plants? Do you really think there is much value in the plants, since they are not identified? Have you considered your costs in time and money to get the plants ready for sale? I also wonder why you are going to the trouble of potting everything instead of distributing bare-root plants. I'm not sure what you have is worth the trouble, but, if you still want to proceed....

A good and fairly inexpensive temporary medium (would work fine for a year) would be bulk composted bark fines (similar to Nature's Helper, except by the scoop, ton, etc.) I have a bunch of daylilies that have been in such a medium for longer than I will admit. One gallon pots are pretty small for daylilies, but may be OK for short-term use with adequate watering/attention.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 9:42PM
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Hi Brandon7...as I mentioned, we have no intention of going into the daylily business and didn't purchase the property for that purpose. But I assume the plants have some value, and since we plan to remove about 75 percent of them, we may see if we can get a few bucks for them down the road. But my purpose in finding the right way to pot them is not to prepare them for sale, but simply to get them out of the ground and keep them alive until we find new homes for them with friends, via trades, or whatever. I don't know anything about bare-rooting plants - sounds tricky! I had heard about bark fines and will have to see if I can find it in bulk in my area. Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2013 at 10:00PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"But I assume the plants have some value, and since we plan to remove about 75 percent of them, we may see if we can get a few bucks for them down the road."

Which would mean that you ARE "going into the daylily business" (at least legally speaking), but maybe you'll be OK if no one says anything.

"I don't know anything about bare-rooting plants - sounds tricky!"

Not tricky with daylilies. If you buy daylilies from a mail-order source, they'll almost certainly be sent bare-root. Also, local daylily clubs, selling daylilies at local sales, almost always sell bare-root plants. I've even seen the poorly-rated nurseries storing them, bare-root, with wood shavings in plastic bags for loooooong periods of time. Even then, they seem to live most of the time.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 10:43PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

If you know the color or variety of any of them, why not pot them up in suitable size pots and donate to the next Garden club sale which are usually held in the Spring time? If you do not have the disposable pots, maybe place a "Wanted" message on Free Cycle or Craig's list or buy online or ask at a local garden club for Freebie pots. Local landscapers sometimes keep the pots, what do you have to lose by asking?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 3:24AM
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