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Daylilies

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by morningstar on October 03, 2004 03:03 AM
Just dug up one bunch of completely overgrown daylilies. Questions: How do you separate the bulbs and can I store them until I have a plan for them next fall?

Thanks
by TomR on October 03, 2004 05:27 PM
Just break them apart and I would plant them NOW unless you have a place to keep them at a temp between 35 and 40 degrees until spring.

Tom

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My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
by morningstar on October 03, 2004 05:37 PM
Break the big clumps apart, or break the little bulbs off to make new plants. I can store them in my basement until spring. I really don't have a place to plant them yet. Too much land and no flowerbed plans yet. That is a winter project. Too busy maintaining in the summer and fall.

Thanks
by AllGreenThumbs on October 04, 2004 05:07 PM
Morningstar, Can I share my experience with you? I wanted to jump in on this topic since I've gone through it myself before. Years ago, I moved to a new location in early November with only a month's notice and literally hundreds of daylilies and other perennials to move (I live in Ohio). The ground was not frozen yet of course, but I was very concerned that there would not be enough time before the first hard frost for these plants to get their roots re-established and I had literally no time to get new beds dug in my new landscaping. My experience as a landscaper told me that if I did not get them into the GROUND somewhere, I was going to lose most, if not all of them. First I watered them well the night before the transplanting. The next day, I cut back the foilage to about 4-6", then dug them up, and divided them, putting them back in a bucket of water until I had enough to make the trip to my new home an hour away. I think I had about 8 half buckets of water full of plants each trip and probably made six trips a day for a few days. [Smile] Anyway, once at the new site, I simply dug a trench by slicing into the soil about a foot deep and prying it back enough to slip the plants in side by side. I had purchased a couple of bags of top soil to use if I needed it (which I did) to make sure the plants were well covered and replaced the original sod and stomped it in good and watered. I even left the grass (or weeds) in the replaced soil. For some crazy reason, I had counted all my plants before I had transplanted them to this trench because I wanted to know how many I would lose with this emergency method of transplanting this late in the year uder such dire circumstances of lousy Ohio clay soil. I did not have a chance at all to water the plants after that (my mother was terminally ill and died) but was thrilled the next spring to see that EVERY single plant had survived. With Spring's arrival, I was able to design and install new beds where I wanted them and move my 'trenched in' transplants to some decent soil. I believe the key to the success of a transplant like this was keeping the plants in the same environment as they would have been in their old home; in the ground where Mother Nature does her thing of keeping the roots dark and moist and cold when they should be. There are very few plants that will survive dry storage, mostly bulbs (which daylilies are NOT) and rhizomes like Iris. If you notice a tulip BULB, you will notice it has a papery outer skin which protects it naturally in dry storage. Rhizomes like Iris have a very tough outer skin as well. Daylily roots have neither and are therefore not considered a true bulb although it kinda resembles one and many people call it that. Because it really has no protection for itself, their roots will dry up irreversibly in dry storage for the winter and you would probably lose most if not all of them. Daylily roots need Mother Nature's simulation in order to grow and bloom the next year. Darkness, cold and moisture. Since that big move and transplant I went through way back then, I have had the occasion once again to have to move my daylilies to a new home and I tried to keep a few through a dry storage method. I trimmed back the foilage, washed off the roots and dried them and even dusted them with a fungicide and stored them in an old refridgerator in the garage. I lost EVERY one! Becki

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Ohio Zone 5
by morningstar on October 05, 2004 01:03 PM
I too am in Ohio. The property we bought has billions of daylilies! They are all over the place! I will try the trenching method, just have to figure out where I wouldn't mind daylilies next year. Did you transplant the trenched lilies in the spring or the fall after your move?? Also,

you are right, they really arent a bulb. How do you divide the huge clumps into smaller clumps?

Dawn

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