Daylilies forum: Daylilies in Florida

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Name: Dan
Florida (Zone 9b)
Avid gardener. Grow many Orchids a
Nov 13, 2013 3:40 PM CST
Am in central Florida. I seem to have a lot of trouble growing Daylilies. I bought a lot of "semi evergreen" varieties but over 2/3 years they just seem to deteriorate. Any help. Dan

Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Nov 13, 2013 4:55 PM CST
Evergreen daylilies would probably be your best choice.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Ferns Daylilies Irises Cat Lover
Nov 13, 2013 4:59 PM CST
Welcome to ATP, Dan.

We have a very active Daylily Forum right here:
Several of its members live in Florida and they might be able to offer you some advice.
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Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Daylilies Dog Lover Irises Region: United States of America
Region: Wisconsin
Nov 13, 2013 6:39 PM CST
There are actually quite a few daylily growers in Florida. I suspect your problem is the variety. Just like there are some that I can't grow up here - no matter if they are evergreen, semi evergreen or dormant.

I suspect some of the posters that live in Florida will chime in soon - they can help you better ~Jan
Name: Michele
Cantonment, FL zone 8b
Seller of Garden Stuff Region: United States of America Pollen collector Dragonflies I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida
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Nov 13, 2013 7:01 PM CST
I have not met a daylily I couldn't grow here but then I'm in zone 8b. I know Florange (Arlene) is in Ponce Inlet, FL which is I believe zone 9b also and she can only grow Evergreens; from what I understand is that anything else does poorly and dwindles away. maybe she will see this and respond.
Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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Region: United States of America Dog Lover Daylilies Container Gardener Plant and/or Seed Trader
Nov 13, 2013 7:39 PM CST
tink3472 said:I have not met a daylily I couldn't grow here

That sound you hear is Mother Nature saying "Challenge accepted!"

Name: Becky
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Butterflies Seed Starter Container Gardener
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds Ponds
Nov 13, 2013 8:55 PM CST
Well, I have a variety of NOID daylilies. Currently I have about 150-200 growing in my yard. What I see happen is that some grow well here and some don't and disappear after the 2nd year. All mine are grown from seed (which I have received from generous folks who shared with me from their own gardens around the country). I do my own hand-pollinating of the ones that survive and make more that way. I think some cultivars of daylilies are bred for northern places that have cold winters. But I would imagine that the majority of daylilies will grow in the south without too much of a problem. I am further south on the east coast of central FL.

Dan - What kind of soil medium are you growing them in? Michele grows hers in a very good mix. (Much better than what I grow mine in!) I amend any place I plant daylilies with pine fines, compost, and some good topsoil. I also mulch with pine fines. Michele shared with us her use of Alfalfa pellets to feed the earthworms and her plants. I have since tried that and have already seen results! I highly recommend you try Michele's method. They also need to be watered regularly during the growing season. Another possibility ... the crowns may be buried too deep. If so, they won't bloom and may perish eventually because of that. A lot of factors that could be causing your dilemma.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.
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Name: Jan Matherly
Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a)
Region: Florida Container Gardener Dog Lover
Nov 13, 2013 8:59 PM CST
I have several seeds that I have from my varieties that I grew up north, so I'm excited to see if I can get them to go here. I'm on the west coast, central part of the state of FL.

I always found them to be an easy plant up north. I never had to do anything they just grew for me. But then my soil was made up of good topsoil, mixed with shredded leaf humus and horse manure.

Down here I can get rabbit manure, and pine bark fines, with good top soil so will see how they do in containers. I want to be able to take them with me next year without having to dig them up. I love the smaller red and stella dora daylilies.

Idon't understand why my pictures are upload sideways? can anyone tell me how to fix it, as they are fine and upright on my computer.

Thumb of 2013-11-14/meadowyck/3538aa

Blessings to you,
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Nov 14, 2013 7:12 PM CST
I'm on the east coast of Central Florida, actually on the barrier island. I've tried growing daylilies in beach sand but that didn't work. So went to the Kinnebrews 5-6 yr ago and John showed my husband how to build boxes. I now have 6 boxes of varying sizes. My daylilies now grow in a nonsoil mixture of peat, pinebark and perlite with significant applications of fertilizers administered from Nov. to February, in the coolest months of the year. My garden ONLY grows evergreens. Hybridizers who don't show parentage are a crapshoot for me as well as hybridizers to provide parentage that may or may not be related to the plant I want to buy. I've been around way, way too long. Basically, I rely on seeing plants grown in my own area--it's still a very active hybridizing region, so that works. Also I purchase fairly new cultivars on the Lily Auction at discounted prices so that if they don't grow, I'm not out a lot of money.

If you live in the middle of the state--Orlando, Ocala--you have less stringent requirements than I. You can grow all evergreens and may be able to grow some semi-evergreens, not all. You get colder than I do and I don't freeze. That's the key difference. Head up to Gainesville and points north, they can grow all all evergreens, most semi's and some dormants. Here I have serious envy issues , but the key is picking the appropriate cultivars for your location.

In Oct/Nov I usually move, divide, and toss whatever doesn't fit my fancy. I'm always open to giving plants away and appreciate postage in return. I never, ever sell plants. Of course rust visits on a regular basis, as do aphids. That's the way it is if one wants to live in a warm climate.

I love my daylilies and tropicals!

Hope you get a handle on growing what you want. In hot areas, daylilies that have dormancy in them will get smaller and smaller and disappear in 2-3 years. Please, if you have questions about cultivars, just ask on this forum or send me a tree mail. We are here to help each other in our chosen addiction!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Region: Australia Orchids Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals
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Nov 15, 2013 3:19 AM CST
Welcome Dan. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Hurray!
My cats only want food.
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Nov 15, 2013 8:33 AM CST
Kaskel hybridized and registered 75 daylilies between 1988 and 2005 in zone 10, near Miami, Florida. Of those, three are dormants, five are semi-evergreens and 67 are evergreens. All are tetraploids.

All of those daylilies should grow in zones 8, 9 or 10 in Florida, at least as far as the winter conditions affect growth and flowering.

Dormant means not growing. It does not mean without leaves. A daylily can have green leaves but be dormant at the same time (just like evergreen trees in winter in cold climates). Deciduous means without leaves (in winter typically).

There are two ways a daylily can be dormant. One way the daylily would absolutely require some days of cold weather to be able to grow again and in the other way the daylily would not require any cold weather to grow again.

If you grow daylilies in zones 8, 9 or 10 and you have cultivars that have dwindled each year after being planted I need your help. I'm looking for daylilies that absolutely require some days of cold weather to be able to grow again (for tests). I'm in zone 4 and so far I have not found any.

In my conditions basically all daylilies are dormant during the winter. If I dig up some fans after they become dormant in the fall and bring them inside into warm temperatures, with plenty of light so far they have all started to grow again - they did not need cold temperatures to grow.

If you can, please help by posting the names of cultivars that dwindled, old or new, diploid or tetraploid, doesn't matter.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Nov 18, 2013 7:52 PM CST
Maurice, I call my location "the epicenter of evergreen". I live a block from the beach, on an island and officially somewhere between 9a/9b. I think 9a is appropriate but we haven't had a freeze in 10 years. I've learned the hard way to research parents before I buy a cultivar. Often that doesn't help when the target cultivar and it's parents are all described as SEV. Interestingly, some cultivars are labeled "EV" even when 1 parent is dormant. That is the kiss of death in my garden. I have a short list of daylilies that have dwindled ... there are more on my "Lost and Tossed" list. Failure to thrive isn't unusual here.

These daylilies have dwindled to nothing:

Guilded Knight
Ring the Bells of Heaven
Royal Celebration
Texas Big Red
Winter Tapestry
Name: Maurice
Grey County, Ontario (Zone 4b)
Nov 19, 2013 12:56 PM CST
Thank you, Arlene.

Stout found that evergreen was dominant to dormant in diploids meaning that when a dormant (from a long line of dormants with no evergreens) is crossed with an evergreen (from a long line of evergreens with no dormants) the seedlings will be evergreen (although they will carry the ability to produce dormant as well as evergreen seedlings when they are used in crosses). Making assumptions and simplifications, in diploids an evergreen could be EE or Ee but a dormant could only be ee. In tetraploids the equivalent would be EEEE, EEEe, EEee, and Eeee that might all be evergreen and dormants would be eeee. I'm not going to try to guess what semi-evergreens might be. And it is quite likely that the situation is not at all as simple as one gene with two alternatives (more likely several genes, etc). But even with the simplest scenario there could be evergreens that respond differently depending on how much dormancy they have present and not completely inactive.
Name: Arlene
Ponce Inlet, FL (Zone 9a)
Tropicals Daylilies Bromeliad Region: Florida Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Nov 19, 2013 5:22 PM CST
Thank you so much, Maurice. Your assessment makes sense! Your last sentence echoes my own assessment that has come from years of experience in this location. That's the reason I purchase daylilies from resellers and the auction--prices are significantly lower and the pocketbook doesn't get dinged as hard when a daylily decides it doesn't like it's new home. In the past I focused my purchases on major hybridizers who live in my same county, assuming that their daylilies will thrive here. However, I forgot to recognize that they aren't creating plants that will grow here--they are aiming their introductions at existing customers "up north", which is where growers originated. Over a number of years, success with my purchases has been hit and miss. In the past couple of years, I've successfully included numerous smaller hybridizers who are in FL or in the very deep south and who take the time to label their products as EV, SEV or DOR. A tip of the hat to those who do this. A lot fewer of the plants I buy are whining and shriveling and that's good news!!!

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