Florida cultivars brought to northern zones
Lanny Morry here in Manotick, Ont.
Canada, AHS region 4, zone 4b. We have
imported three or four hundred Florida daylilies to our garden over the past
decade including a sizable number from Pat and Grace Stamile when they were
the proprietors of Floyd Cove nursery. I can assure you none of their
cultivars were greenhouse grown, but grown outdoors on their extensive
property. In fact, none of the other Florida growers uses greenhouses for
growing on cultivars for sale either, though some have small greenhouses
where they maintain plants they are using strictly to hybridize with. But
these are not used for growing on plants for sale to the public.
It is very typical for a new plant to require some settling in. We have
found the best time to bring Florida plants north is to do so in the early
spring. Fall delivery of plants in our zone 4b garden is almost certainly a
death sentence, or a crippling setback the plant may take years to recover
from. So we stick now exclusively with spring delivered plant. We often
bring them up in late March and pot them up because it is too early to put
them into the garden, and we keep them in an unheated cold frame greenhouse
we have till late May or early June when they can safely be transplanted
again into the garden. Most flower in year one, but not all do. Those that
fail to do so in year one usually flower in year two. But very very often
plants that flowered in year one, especially if you touch pollen to them and
set pods, may then take the next year off and really work at establishing
themselves in their new environment, and this means they will not bloom,
even though they increase and are obviously healthy.
The very good news is by the year after that, the plants have typically
established themselves well enough in our environment that both reliable
bloom and increase are a certainty from that point forward. It is way too
early to take a southern belle in one year, have one or two dances (seasons)
with her and then decide she doesn't seem to be happy with you so you decide
to move her on. By digging the plant up just as it is finally establishing
itself you are risking putting a plant that has already survived this
non-blooming/need to re-establish cycle once, onto a second cycle at
whatever new home you ship it out to.
Patience is a virtue and most daylilies, by year three will have established
themselves sufficiently that their bloom that year and forwards will be your
reward for your patience.