This is the post excerpt.
Several years ago we moved into a new home on 18 acres of land in the country in north central Florida. We are high and dry at 80 feet above sea level. Heavy storms leave little water standing. A wooded area all around us, peaceful and quiet with Oak trees and some pines. The trees and vegetation have been here untouched for thousands maybe millions of years. So, you would think that the soil must be fertile and our daylilies that we brought with us from the other house would do well here. Wrong. We discovered that when we raked away the surface leaves what we found was nothing but pure sand. The soil was so sandy that any decayed plant matter did not remain on the surface but disappeared to the depths below. This turned out to be a big disappointment. Any rich soil and plant nutrients or fertilizer we applied to our daylilies only disappeared. Our beautiful daylilies were suffering and trying to tell us something. We did everything we could for them the first year. It was a bad year. We lost some. We tried but could not bring them back. We had never experienced this soil condition before. We were determined to do this. We badly wanted to have our daylily garden again with bright smiling colorful faces each morning during the spring and early summer. We were so relieved when our experiment worked. We planted all of our daylilies in 5 Gallon plastic nursery pots with the soil they needed, a mix of our own. Now everyone is happy and doing well.
A common garden pest that loves our Daylilies and invades our garden every year is the Aphid. A nasty juice sucking insect that shows up often here in the warm climate of Florida. Look for them in the new growth area of the plants. They like to cluster on the underside of the leaves and in the center of the plants. They come in many colors. They can be white, yellow, orange, brown, black, gray or green. Aphids are very small soft-bodied pear shaped and very slow moving insects and appear as if they are dead. If ignored and left to their destructive ways you will find distorted and yellowing leaves that will eventually fall off. We have found the best way to get rid the garden of these insects is to spray the plants with Insecticidal soap or Neem oil. Another way that seems to work well is to spray them with 5 Tablespoons of liquid Dawn (unscented) dish soap mixed in a quart of water. Dawn is a choice for homemade insecticidal soaps according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension website. A few days later they appear to still be there but they are most likely all dead and are just stuck on the leaves. They can be washed off with a hard rain or a water hose.
In the Spring during blooming season in my garden of Hemerocallis Daylilies I spend a lot of time among the beautiful smiling faces that greet me in the fresh early morning. I set up my camera on a tripod, select the correct lens and settings and begin to take the best photos I can to record the beauty, as they only last for one day. When the sun goes down my attention turns to the night sky where my other interest begins to come into focus. I reset my camera settings for long exposure and wide open lens to gather in as much light as possible. Here in Florida we do have a lot of clear nights and starry skies. Some of my photos of the night sky were taken with standard camera lens and some were taken with a small telescope. The camera is mounted on a sturdy tripod with a clock drive to follow the stars across the sky. Some photos are wide views of the sky showing the constellations. Other photos are of stars, nebula, galaxies, comets and meteors or whatever is on display that night. If you see them be sure to comment and tell me what you think.
Our little Daylily garden on our 20 acres of heavily wooded forest borders the State Park here in Northeast Florida. Away from all the city lights, it gets really dark at night. Sometimes late at night if I go outside I can hear strange sounds coming from the dense woods just beyond the range of my flashlight. Sounds that I never hear in the daylight. I don’t know what kind of creature makes these sounds but my young daughter won’t venture far beyond the back door after dark. Of course the park has a five foot wire fence along it’s perimeter as I have seen on a nice sunny day while venturing through the woods to check out the back of our property line. I noticed that the wire fence was pulled down in places as if something large and heavy had tried to climb over it. I meant to mention that to the Park Ranger. I also noticed several paths traversing through our property. Something has been through here and it looks like its been often. Recently I have been puzzled about the condition of some of our daylilies. A number of them are missing some of their healthy green foliage, like they were hit by a weed eater or string trimmer. I wasn’t too worried about it because they will grow back. What kind of creatures do you think could be wandering through our yard when no one was watching? Knocking over flower pots and munching on fresh green leaves and flower buds too. A few pictures will tell many words. Yep! You’re right. You guessed it. DEER. More than one too. Three to five young females along with their mother stumbled onto our Daylily garden and they were not about to leave. We took a few pictures, enjoyed their visit before our presence frightened them away. I know they will be back when no one is watching, early one morning. We tried to discourage them from eating our lovely daylilies by spraying some Deer repellant around. But it stinks so bad that even I don’t want to be in the garden. Don’t know if it works yet. What if they like it? Then what? chomp chomp
When a rust like residue is seen on your daylily foliage is not from nearby rusty nails. This rusty yellow orange substance is actually a fungus that appears mostly on the under side of the leaves and looks like many small dots or pustules. If you are not sure what you are seeing just wipe the leaf with a clean white tissue and if you get streaks of yellow orange you have rust. Technically it is a fungus called Puccinia hemerocallidis. This Daylily rust is not likely to kill your Daylilies but it can make them look really bad. We have not noticed any bud or bloom damage from this Rust Fungus. There are some fungicides available to treat your plants. If you chose not to use fungicides you should remove the affected foliage and the brown dead leaves but keep them far away as even the dead leaves can spread the rust from the blowing wind. For Daylilies grown in the warm southern climate this rust problem can be severe. In the northern climate the prolonged cold will either kill the rust fungus or cause it to go dormant. For more detailed information see https://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/daylily_rust.html
Some daylilies, due to their variety or the light or weather conditions in which they are grown, develop very tall stems and have difficulty holding up their heavy head of blooms and buds. When we find this happening we get out the plant support props which we purchased earlier at Lowe’s, Home Depot or the local garden store. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing a daylily with bent over stems or a beautiful bloom facing the ground when it should be facing the sky. These support post have proven very useful on windy days and will keep tall blooming plants from being whipped around.
Three ways to increase the size of your daylily garden.
Watch for new fans to emerge next to the parent plant. Separate them carefully and relocate them to their own place in the garden.
Let the bees, butterflies and Humming Birds do their job. Save and store the seeds after pollination for replanting later. Mother Nature will surprise you and give you different colors from the seeds. You can even cross-pollinate different blooms from different daylilies your self and experiment for new colors.
Watch for proliferations of young new plants or fans forming on the stems where buds have formed and bloomed but have died and fallen off. When you see the roots emerging cut off the stem below the young fan or proliferation and put them into moist soil.
Note: Not all daylilies will produce proliferations.
Either way it is a lot of fun and you may learn something new.
This is for my daughter Rachel who has shown an interest in daylilies and eagerly awaits the challenge and willing to learn something new and rewarding.
This year 2018 started out well. In the month of May just as expected our daylilies were full of swollen buds in every direction we looked. The mornings were pleasant and the sun was warm. With the daylilies blooming everywhere in the early morning I was setting up my camera and tripod each day to begin taking the photographs that I enjoyed so much every year. Then it started to rain. It is now the end of July and still it rains every day. The temperature stays around 85 to 95 degrees with the humidity at 90 to 97 percent. With the real feel temperature at 103 to 104 degrees. I have lived in Florida all my life and have never seen weather like this before. The daylily blooms are lovely but the foliage is suffering from fungus causing much black spot and rust. The plants are not very pretty this year. You can say “the fungus is among us” and be correct. I am happy to say that the photographs have turned out nice and will be posted as year 2018 pictures. I haven’t decided yet to post all of the pictures or just the new varieties as it depends on the space available on the web site. I hope you enjoy them as much as Theresa and I do.
While waiting for the daylilies to bloom in the Spring there is always something interesting to take pictures of. Keep your camera close and ready.