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Flower Bed Design and Daylilies

Flower Bed Design and Daylilies

Posted - Apr. 23, 2004 at 8:27 p.m.



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Larry Sagers Horticultural Specialist Utah State University Extension Service Thanksgiving Point Office © All Rights Reserved

The Utah Hemerocallis Society is holding its meeting on April 28, 2004. They will be giving special recognition to Mel and Zaida Wallace for their years of time and effort in the daylily world.

The family is putting together a presentation in their honor and everyone is invited, Sugarhouse Garden Center at 7:00 p.m. with a daylily sale at 6:00.

Join me for the Flower Bed Design Class at Thanksgiving Gardens. The class starts Tuesday May 4, 2004 and goes for four consecutive Tuesdays. Call 801-768- 7443 for more information or log onto thanksgivingpoint.com and click on the education link.

We are also doing an Advanced Landscape Design class at that evening. If you have not seen the beautiful tulips, this next week is an ideal week to see them. The gardens are open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Monday thru Saturday. The Chinese have long cultivated daylilies, both for their beauty and as food. The tubers are edible and used in salads or soups. A typical plant produces 50 or more flowers during its blossoming season. Each blossom lasts only a day, accounting for the plant=s common as well as its botanical name of Hemerocallis, meaning Abeauty for a day.@

Daylilies are perennials with tuberous, fleshy roots and arching, sword-shaped leaves. The lily-like flowers open in branched clusters at ends of generally leafless stems that stand well above foliage. The stems are 1 to 6-feet tall with 3 to 8-inch flowers. Daylily blooms are categorized as miniatures (less than 3 inches across), small (3 to 42 inches), and large (more than 42 inches).

Flower shapes are pinched, rounded, or ornamental, and these may or may not have ruffles on the edges. Some flowers are single, and others are double. Daylilies come in many different colors and every shade, tone, and tint possible, except pure white and true blue. The tetraploids are genetic variations with thick petals and deep colors.

The blooming season lasts 3 to 4 weeks and varies with the cultivar. It is divided into early (late May and June), middle (July), and late (August into September), although overlapping seasons occurs.

Water daylilies as needed and fertilize them occasionally. Remove the flower stalks after their blossoms are spent to improve their appearance. Most varieties can be left alone although some of the more vigorous ones bloom better if divided every few years.

Early feeding by aphids sometimes causes small warty bumps that appear on the backs of flower buds or on the fans and leaves. The most common symptom is a yellowing of the new foliage giving the appearance of nitrogen deficiency.

Control is difficult as the aphids are usually protected and cannot be controlled with a contact insecticide like insecticidal soap. For this reason, a systemic insecticide is usually required.

Thrips are very small insects about the size and shape of an exclamation mark. They are likely to damage the flowers as they feed on small, developing buds causing distorted buds or streaking of the colored tissue. Control is difficult and also requires the use of a systemic insecticide.

Slugs and snails are also very fond of daylilies. They feed on tender young tissue causing ragged edges and holes. Sanitation, hand picking and baits are also effective. Grasshoppers also damage daylilies in areas where they feed heavily.

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