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Old 06-10-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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I have about 20 Day Lilly plants that were planted 6 years ago when our house was new. They were doing great (very full, lots of flowers) up until last Summer. Many of the individual plants weren't as dark green as before, maybe half the size they used to be, and not many flowers. This year, it's looking like the same thing. I checked the soil and they're getting plenty of water. Do they just need fertilizer? Would regular Miracle Grow work?
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
I have about 20 Day Lilly plants that were planted 6 years ago when our house was new. They were doing great (very full, lots of flowers) up until last Summer. Many of the individual plants weren't as dark green as before, maybe half the size they used to be, and not many flowers. This year, it's looking like the same thing. I checked the soil and they're getting plenty of water. Do they just need fertilizer? Would regular Miracle Grow work?
Hi denverian,

Try compost. Miracle Grow is pretty much like garden candy with no lasting nutrition. You will become addicted to it since you will need to apply it continuously because it will leech out from the soil with rain while also ruining the soil as an organic source of nitrogen.


Definition of Miracle-Gro®
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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they probably want dividing and a good feeding, given how long theyve been in the same location,
theres lots of vids on youtube on how to divide day lilly
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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I don't want to get into the organic versus the other fertilizer issues and fertilizer may not be what will help. I'm not sure why Miracle is the first thing novice gardeners want to add when a plant is not happy but it is a common theme, you are not alone.

Often Daylilies can grow for years in the same place without any issues. Some will gradually become crowded and need some dividing or they seem to become less vigorous. This may be the case with daylilies in the same place for 6 years. There are also a few diseases that they can have that may decrease vitality.

Without a good picture it is hard to make a diagnosis, but even with one we may still get it wrong. Is anything else in the area declining, growing rapidly or otherwise different that might account for the change? Daylilies like to have moisture but not sit in water so if they are suddenly either drier or wetter than before they will look less happy. For example: a tree has roots that now stretch to the daylily area and it may be sucking moisture out from under them. Has the soil been gradually compacted with foot traffic and mowing of the lawn? If the soil has never been loosened and had compost added the roots may actually be having a hard time pulling in nutrients and water.

If you haven't fed them any fertilizer or mulched them now would be a good time to put down a layer of compost and top it with mulch. Carefully loosen soil around the base of the lilies beforehand, you don't want to break roots. If this does not seem to make much difference you may want to look into a balanced fertilizer ( where all three numbers given are the same or close like 10-10-10) although a few daylily experts advocate higher nitrogen content and lower phosphorus so a 10-5-5 or 20-10-10 would work. The best way to detrmine what is missing before fertilizing is to contact a cooperative extension office in your county and ask about getting a soil test done. You send samples through them to a lab which will give you a report on what is high and low and what you need to add to make it better.

Hope this gives you some ideas to revitalize your daylilies.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:29 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
31,687 posts, read 38,637,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
they probably want dividing and a good feeding, given how long theyve been in the same location,
theres lots of vids on youtube on how to divide day lilly


This.

Don't be cowardly when dividing them up, they may hang together pretty tight. James Underwood Crockett used to say just cut them apart with a shovel. Trim about 2/3 of the foliage off (that's mostly to get it out of your way) and replant with proper spacing. You now have more tubers to colonize a new area or give away, whichever you want.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:31 PM
 
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Daylilies are heavy fast growing feeders. As others have suggested above a granular triple 15 fertilizer working into the ground around the plants should help. Sounds like your soil is played out. Also a good humus top layer around all your plants worked into the ground will also reinvigorated the ground over the long term. Consistent dead heading as soon as the blooms start to shrivel helps. Your Daylilies could also be suffering from blight or rust, pictures could help as stated above.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Reston
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I think the other folks are right about dividing. Dividing daylilies is illustrated nicely on the U.S. Arboretum website (they say divide every 4-5 years depending on the variety)-

Dividing Daylilies * * * *
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:28 PM
 
Location: NW Indiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky★ View Post
I think the other folks are right about dividing. Dividing daylilies is illustrated nicely on the U.S. Arboretum website (they say divide every 4-5 years depending on the variety)-

Dividing Daylilies * * * *
Great link, Lucky! I've never divided my daylilies, and many of them are 15+ years old! All but one variety still perform like champs, but now I know that I need to divide not only the one cultivar that's not doing well, but all of them. Next summer I should have quite a show in my garden!
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Old 06-11-2011, 05:46 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
31,687 posts, read 38,637,379 times
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The first year after division (I divide mine Aug/Sept) you may not have a whole lot of flowering, some varieties do some don't, but years 2-5/6 you will. Then you'll have to divide them again.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Reston
560 posts, read 1,058,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ8 View Post
Great link, Lucky! I've never divided my daylilies, and many of them are 15+ years old! All but one variety still perform like champs, but now I know that I need to divide not only the one cultivar that's not doing well, but all of them. Next summer I should have quite a show in my garden!

That's a good point that some can go for a long time without dividing. If there is a rapid decline, then also check for problems like rust (like bulldogdad said)-
 
Daylily rust
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