Monday, April 9, 2018

Daylily Cultivars for Commercial Growers - Part 3

Daylily Cultivars for Home Gardeners and Commercial Growers

Emphasizing zones 4-7 
(With Some Suggestions for Zones 8-10)

Part 3

Brian Reeder

In this installment I will make a list of suggested daylily cultivars for growers, both home gardeners and commercial growers and sellers. The majority of these will be registered as ‘dormant’, though there will be both registered semi-evergreen and evergreen cultivars listed, as well. These will all be plants that I have grown and that have flourished for me. In the interest of full disclosure, I sell many of these cultivars, though not all. I am not making these posts or this listing to generate sells. I do not keep a large quantity of most of these and could not provide large quantities of most of these for large commercial growers. I could at most provide a few clumps of some of these, no more than ten clumps of the few I have in the greatest number. Most I might only have a clump or two to sell from. If you are interested, you can inquire, but the list is designed to give you some suggestions for cultivars to keep an eye out for from your large suppliers, as well as a list to ask your suppliers to offer for sale. 

For those that I sell, or have sold in the past, I have prepared in-depth information pages. These pages remain online even when I sell out of a variety. My goal is not be a big commercial seller and for most of the cultivars I am selling from other hybridizers, I will gradually sell out of my stock completely as my space is limited and I will need that space for my own introductions over time. My goal with the cultivars by other hybridizers that I list for sale is to prepare information pages that offer a lot of detail and that those pages remain intact and online long after I no longer carry that cultivar providing information for gardeners, growers and hobbyists for years to come.

Again, I do not sell everything in this list, and only four of my own introductions are on the list. Some of these cultivars I no longer grow. Many of these are easily accessible. At the end of this installment I will provide a list of vendors that I know you can access many of these cultivars through, in addition to my own listings. Each cultivar below will have a link, either to my information page, to another seller/source and/or to an information page about that cultivar, depending on what is available online. 

My goal with this series of articles has been to popularize what I consider to be great daylily cultivars that can be very useful for home gardeners and commercial growers and sellers. The daylily is no longer a simple subject, but for all its complexities, useful information of this nature can be hard to find. I hope to create name recognition of great daylily cultivars amongst home and commercial growers. I feel if home growers begin requesting certain daylilies by name, commercial growers will be motivated to grow them. Conversely, if commercial growers are growing and offering great daylilies, more people will be motivated to purchase and grow them. The daylily has much to offer gardeners and commercial growers, provided they work with daylilies that are suitable for their needs. Great popularity for these and other great, reliable varieties is a win-win for everyone, but especially so for the daylily itself.

Alien DNA - A wonderful, modern unusual form by Robert Selman of Blue Ridge Daylilies. I grow this one, but don't offer it at this time. Contact Bob for stock. It is one of the best tetraploid unusual forms I have grown for cold climates, showing moderately late emergence of foliage in spring, with good rust and thrip resistance.

Alien DNA

Ancient Elf - Click on the name for the information page - Highly recommended for many garden environments. Adaptable and vigorous! Excellent rust resistance.

Ancient Elf

Autumn Minaret - Click on the name for the information page - A classic Stout cultivar with many applications in the background of any garden.
Autumn Minaret

Beaucoup Bouquet - A marvelous red tetraploid by Nate Bremer of Solaris Farms that I grow but don't offer at this time. It is a very vigorous, northern hardy plant with a gorgeous, late-season clear red flower.
Beaucoup Bouquet

Beautiful Edgings - Click on the name for the information page- A classic cream yellow flower with pink edges to the petals. An excellent growing plant that performs well in a wide range of zones.

Beautiful Edgings

Buttered Popcorn - Click the name to see the information page - This is a classic golden-yellow tetraploid that is an excellent performer in many settings.

Buttered Popcorn

Charlie Pierce Memorial - Click the name for the information page - This is a beautiful eyed pink cultivar that is useful in both cooler and warmer climate settings.

Charlie Pierce Memorial

Chicago Apache - Click the name to see the information page - A classic late season red tetraploid, excellent in cold climate settings, but less suitable in warm-winter climates.

Chicago Apache

Chomping at the Bit - A wonderful relief sculpted throat on a yellow tetraploid flower. This introduction from John and Annette Rice of Thoroughbred Daylilies is the best plant for northern climate gardens of all the relief sculptural types I have grown. I grown this one, but do not offer it at this time.

Chomping At The Bit

Divertissment - Click on the name for the information page - An older Spider-style flower that is an excellent plant, flower and scape. Grows well in a wide range of environments. One of the best plants under a spider flower I know of, often showing rebloom.


Early and Often - A wonderful small reblooming cultivar by Mike Huben, much like Stella De Oro, but with a light melon-cream flower. Excellent rebloomer and hardy in many environments and fast increase. I do not offer this one, but it can be found through Harmon Hill Farms.

Early and Often

Frans Hals - Click on the name for the information page - The classic bicolor daylily, and you can never go wrong with it in cool winter gardens! It is best in zones 4-8. 

Frans Hals

Gardener S. Smiley - A little-known cultivar by Linda Michaels of Daredevil Daylilies that is an excellent garden plant with a beautiful flower. The foliage is beautiful and the plant is very hardy and puts on quite a show. It should be quite hardy in many different environments. I grow this cultivar, but do not offer it at this time.

Gardner S. Smiley

Hemerocallis fulva Korean - Click on the name for the information page - This is a form of the species H. fulva that is a much more attractive flower than the ubiquitous ditch lily, H. fulva 'Europa'. This one is useful for naturalizing, erosion control and large containers. Be warned, it can be invasive, so it need a large area or a container.

H. fulva 'Korean'

Hush Little Baby - Click the name for the information page - A classic dark pink that has held up over time and is still an exciting garden flower that does well in a wide range of environments.

Hush Little Baby

Insider Trading - Click the name for the information page - This is an excellent red tetraploid that is a vigorous grower. While it is an evergreen, it is hardy in cold-winter settings, and flourishes in warm-winter gardens. Strong rust resistance makes it very attractive for use in southern gardens, while good frost tolerance and lovely foliage makes it very useful in the north as well!

Insider Trading

Janice Brown - A classic pink with a deep green throat. Widely available, it is an excellent garden flower, a strong grower and hardy in many climates. I grow this one, but do not offer it at this time. I recommend it highly! It also shows quite high rust and thrip resistance. For use in both northern and southern gardens.

Janice Brown

Kanai Sensei - Click on the name for the information page - A seedling of Early and Often and another of Mike Huben's excellent small rebloomers that have light, bright flowers in colors other than yellow. This one is an interesting cream flower with a chartreuse tinge to the whole flower. Excellent, fast increase, very hardy and with excellent rust resistance.

Kanai Sensei

Kindly Light - Click on the name for the information page - The classic canary yellow spider daylily. A strong performer in many environments with strong rust resistance.

Kindly Light

Linda - Click on the name for the information page - Another Stout introduction that remains of great garden value. Excellent performer with lots of flowers and strong rust resistance.


Little Grapette - Click on the name for the information page - An excellent small purple that does well in many environments. A great performer and beautiful display.

Little Grapette

Mama’s Cherry Pie - Click the name for the information page - A lovely red flower with white edge on a vigorous plant with fat increase. Hardy in northern climates, but can be susceptible to frost in colder climates. Best in warm-winter zones, 8-10. Very rust resistant.

Mama's Cherry Pie

Mardi Gras Parade - Click on the name for the information page - An excellent small cultivar with very high rust resistance and strong thrip resistance. 

Mardi Gras Parade

Nanuq - Click on the name for the information page - An excellent cold-hardy near white that shows very strong rust resistance and excellent increase.


Notify Ground Crew - Click on the name for the information page - An extreme interesting tall yellow tetraploid. Fast increase, cold hardy and moderately high rust resistance.

Notify Ground Crew

Pacific Rainbow - click on the name for the information page - A lovely, cold hardy pink with patterned eye. A strong grower that produces many flowers for a long display. Fast increase and moderate rust resistance with excellent frost tolerance and thrip resistance.

Pacific Rainbow

Pack Hunter - Click on the name for the information page - A wonderful late-flowering cultivar, tall with many flowers and an excellent plant. Cold hardy and vigorous. Strong rust and thrip resistance.

Pack Hunter

Redneck Red - Click on the name for the information page - A wonderful tall red that is very cold hardy with a beautiful plant and large flowers. Strong rust resistance and moderately high thrip resistance.

Redneck Red

Rosy Complexion - A wonderful bright, dark pink with a paler pink watermarked eye. This introduction from John and Annette Rice of Thoroughbred Daylilies is very cold hardy with moderately high thrip and rust resistance. I grow this one, but do not offer it at this time.

Rosy Complexion

Siloam Mama - Click on the name for the information page - A wonderful bright yellow with a very flat flower. Cold hardy and vigorous, the foliage is very attractive.

Siloam Mama

So Lovely - Click on the name for the information page - A lovely old pale yellow/near-white by Lenington that is very vigorous and hardy. It flourishes in many environments, both cold and warm-winter climates. Strong rust resistance.

So Lovely

Solaris Symmetry - Click on the name for the information page - This is one of the best daylilies I have ever grown. It should be widely grown. Cold hardy and suitable for any cold-winter environment, it may not do as well in the deep south. The flower is lovely, the foliage is beautiful and the plant shows fast increase. Strong frost resistance and tolerance as well as strong thrip resistance.

Solaris Symmetry

Spider Man - A wonderful red unusual form that shows frost susceptibility but has excellent frost tolerance, rust resistance and thrip resistance. Even though it is an early flowering type and can show considerable frost damage, it always puts on a wonderful show, with a very nicely formed clump and flower display. Cold hardy and fast increasing. I grow this one, but don't offer it at this time. It is available through many of the vendors listed below.

Spider Man

Spider Miracle - Click on the name for the information page - A classic curling, cascade unusual form in a chartreuse-yellow tone. A vigorous plant with strong rust resistance and strong cold hardiness, this one makes a stall statement in the garden.

Spider Miracle

Substantial Evidence - Click on the name for the information page - This amazing modern flat flower is a strong grower, cold hardy and vigorous. Amazing in person and a worthy plant for commercial and garden applications.

Substantial Evidence

Substantial Glow - Click on the name for the information page - This is one of my small reblooming introductions that shows a cold hardy, very vigorous plant and high rust resistance with a flat, bright orange flower that glows from across the garden.

Substantial Glow

Substantial Heart - Click on the name for the information page - One of my small reblooming introductions. This deep red flower is a vigorous, cold hardy plant with very rain and sun-fast flowers. It also shows excellent rust and thrip resistance.

Substantial Heart

Substantial Returns - Click on the name for the information page - Substantial Returns is one of my introductions that is a small rebloomer with lovely, flat, melon-colored flowers, strong rebloom and a vigorous plants that are cold hardy. Strong rust and good thrip resistance.

Substantial Returns

Substantial Substance - Click on the name for the information page - Substantial Substance is one of my introductions that is a small rebloomer with bright canary-yellow flowers that are flat and have incredibly thick substance. The flowers hold up incredibly well in sun and rain and the plant is attractive and vigorous. High rust and thrip resistance.

Substantial Substance

Trade-last - Click on the name for the information page - A wonderful, round and ruffled light pink. Vigorous and cold hardy, able to thrive in many environments. Excellent rust resistance.


Volcan Fuego - Click the name for the information page - A wonderful tall, branched golden orange unusual form, late blooming, vigorous and cold hardy. Very rust and thrip resistant.

Volcan Fuego

Whooperee - A wonderful red with a bright green throat. An evergreen with great frost tolerance, and excellent rust and thrip resistance. Cold hardy for northern gardens, but flourishes in the south due to evergreen foliage. I grow this one, but do not offer it at this time. It is available through Amador Flower Farm.


Women Seeking Men - A marvelous pink from Curt Hanson. The plant is cold hardy and does well in warm-winter environments as well. The plant is large with very nice branching and a large dark pink flower with slightly lighter pink eye/watermark. A vigorous plant that is very impressive. I grow this one but do not offer it at this time. Widely available.

Women Seeking Men

Zelazny - Click on the name for the information page - A lovely purple spider type that is a fast grower, cold hardy and shows excellent rust resistance.



My website is: Sun Dragon Daylilies


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Daylily Cultivars for Commercial Growers - Part 2

Daylily Cultivars for Home Gardeners and Commercial Growers

Emphasizing zones 4-7 
(With Some Suggestions for Zones 8-10)

Part 2

Brian Reeder

The wide range of variations in foliage behavior, hardiness and disease and pest resistance can make selecting appropriate daylilies difficult for both home gardeners and commercial growers and sellers. In the previous installment I discussed plant behaviors and pest resistance, and the traits that can make for a more successful growing experience in both cold-winter and warm-winter areas. In this installment I will list some of the traits that are most valuable to home gardeners and commercial growers.

In addition to the plant behavior traits and disease and pest resistance traits I discussed in the previous article, there are some other traits that make for a good garden specimen and commercial subject. I won’t go into great detail about any of these traits, as each could have an article of its own written about it, but I will touch on each.

1. Balance Between a Beautiful Flower and a Beautiful Plant - Some cultivars have beautiful flowers, but unattractive plants that show various problems with the foliage. Conversely, some cultivars show beautiful plants, but have flowers that show various problems. The best possible subjects for the home garden and for commercial use is a cultivar that combines an attractive plant with attractive flowers, a plant that is easy to grow and hardy in the environment and that shows good increase. 

2. Attractive Foliage - Daylily foliage is variable. The tone of green can range from yellowish-green to medium green to dark green. All shades can be attractive, provided the foliage is healthy without being easily damaged and or heavily impacted by disease or pests. Foliage behavior is a part of the consideration. For instance, cultivars that are freeze susceptible and show low freeze tolerance will often be damaged by late freezes and can then become infected by diseases such as leaf streak or show damage in the form of yellowing and browning. Healthy foliage with the proper level of freeze resistance/tolerance for the environment in which they are grown will make for a more attractive plant and a better experience.

3. Fast Increase (without requiring frequent division) - Fast increase of fans is important for commercial growers. However, fast increase is not infrequently found with a growth trait that requires plants to be divided every two to four years or the plants become crowded, die-out in the middle of the clump and scape production is decreased. Not all plants with fast increase do this though. While it might not be important to growers, and even some gardeners might want to divide their plants every few years, some gardeners will not want to be forced to divide plants so frequently. In my experience, plants that do not require frequent division but do have fast increase can form very large, impressive mature clumps that can be quite awe-inspiring in the garden. Since most commercial growers may not be aware of the difference between these two types of fast-increasing plants due to their growing practices, I wanted to mention it here.

4. Scapes, Branching, Bud Count and Rebloom - Good scapes are essential to a good flower display. Scapes can be as short as 10” or as tall as 6’. Short scapes on a plant with short foliage can be very useful in containers or the fronts of gardens, but short scapes on plants with tall foliage, so that the blooms are down in the foliage, are unattractive and make for a poor display. Medium and tall scapes all have their own place in the garden and can be planted for effects in the garden depending on height. The most important trait of scapes is that they are strong, capable of holding up the open flowers and not falling over or laying on the ground. 

Scape to fan ratio is important also. Some plants will have twenty fans, but only five scapes. Others will have a scape per fan, or nearly some. Some exceptional plants may have two scapes on some fans. More on this under rebloom.

Branching on scapes can vary from none to 6 or more. For the short rebloomers, you don’t necessarily need lots of branching, but for tall types without rebloom, branching is important. I prefer 3-4 branches as a minimum on most types, except for the small reblooming types or where the scapes hold the flowers just above the foliage. The taller the scape, the more branches I like to see though, and I like them spread out up and down the scape to fill the height with flowers, if possible.

Bud counts can range from very few per scape to a tremendous number. Again, the small rebloomers don’t need as many buds, and rebloomers in general may not need as many. Cultivars with very large flowers may have fewer buds also. All in all, the more buds the longer the display and the more profuse the plant will generally look.

Rebloom is when a plant puts up more than one round of flower scapes. These are best known from the ubiquitous Stella De Oro, but some other daylilies rebloom also. A great any daylilies will rebloom in the deep south or if heavily watered and fertilized, but not many are reliable outside the deep south, or in the far north, or under regular garden care. I see many daylilies listed in catalogs as ‘rebloomers’, but my experience is that few of those are, except perhaps in Florida, where almost everything reblooms.

There are a couple of different types of rebloom. Some daylilies produce ‘instant rebloom’ where new scapes begin to emerge from a fan with a mature scape that is flowering, so that as the first scape stops flowering, the instant rebloom scape starts flowering. A few plants may show a couple rounds of instant rebloom. Other daylilies show a late summer/early fall rebloom, which occurs a significant time after the initial scapes have finished blooming. Some few daylilies show instant rebloom and late season rebloom. My ideal shows both and reliably reblooms every year without a lot of supplemental care. Such daylilies are the exception, not the rule, especially in cold-winter climates. Daylilies that frequently rebloom well in northern climates are also early flowering, starting in May in my garden, which means they may frequently show problems on the first round of scapes due to late freeze damage and/or thrips. Later rounds of scapes escape these issues in my garden.

5. Flower Traits - A pretty flower is nice, but not all flowers have equally good traits. Some show severe thrip susceptibility. Others melt in the sun or are destroyed by rain. Some don’t open well on cool mornings, while others are damaged by high heat. Finding daylily flowers that perform well in a wide range of conditions is not easy. In my experience, you learn to compromise to some extent. For me, I like strong texture that holds up well in rain and sun and heat. The selections I will be listing in this series are examples that open well in most instances, and hold up well under most stressors, in my garden, but I know of no daylilies that are perfect under every potential problem. With that said though, I do know of many daylilies that have poor flowering traits regularly and they are not listed herein.

6. Environmental Extremes - These typically include drought and flood, but might also include traits such as extreme heat (in terms of both plant and flower performance) or extreme cold (in terms of exceptional resistance to deep freeze). 

I often see daylilies touted as ‘drought resistant’. Generally speaking, they are not. There are no species of daylilies that come from deserts. A tiny handful can deal with drought well, while many collapse and go into dormancy in drought conditions. Almost none show no effects from drought. What many daylilies are is drought tolerant, in the sense that they will tolerate drought without dying. Resistance and tolerance are not the same thing, and I always cringe when I hear daylilies called ‘drought resistant’, because I know what they can look like under severe drought conditions, but I do know that the majority of them survive drought, and so show tolerance to it.

Most daylilies relish water and can take a lot of standing water. Some daylilies though have susceptibility to crown rot and hot, wet weather can trigger it. This tends to be a problem in the warm, humid south. I have almost never seen crown rot here, even in very hot, wet conditions, but I have made an effort to avoid cultivars that are know to be very prone to crown rot. Some daylilies though are exceptionally tolerant to flooding. All daylilies like at least 1” of water each week, though they can survive with much less and many can and will tolerate much more.

Extreme heat can cause daylily flowers to melt, and many colored daylilies loose their color, while dark colored ones turn to mush. In my experience, the best colors for high heat conditions, those that hold up the best and aren’t just a slimy melted mess by 10:00 am on extremely hot days are the palest colors - near white, palest cream and pale yellow. Even pale pinks and lavenders show more stress than those closest to white.

Those daylilies that handle extreme cold the very best tend to be the “hardest dormants” (to use daylily-speak). These would be senescent foliage that forms a resting bud at or under the ground level and then do not emerge and start growing again fairly late in the spring and then show some resistance and/or tolerance to freezes. These are the daylilies that do best in my hardest winters and they are the ones I am told regularly do the very best in the far north in zones 3-4. 

Knowing that some daylilies can deal with certain extremes, but that in general they do not like most extremes, is valuable to understanding the daylily and what will work the best in your area. If you are gardening or growing in an extreme environment, there may not be many daylilies that will flourish for you, but if your environment doesn’t tend to display extremes most of the time, then many daylilies will work for you, provided you make wise cultivar choices given the extremes you may regularly encounter in your garden or growing fields.

Selecting daylilies that show lovely plants with beautiful flowers, balance, and the ability to make a nice, reliable display are all important considerations for an attractive and pleasing home garden, or for reliable and consistent sales with satisfied, repeat customers. Always remember that not all daylilies are created equally, and so some research can go a long way to having a good experience.