"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. " ~Lindley Karstens

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Daylily Disappointment and Other Things in April Garden

Ever since I learned that we also can grow Day Lily (Hemerocallis ) in South Florida, Day Lily has been on the top of my wish list.

Unfortunately, I have not found any good sources for it locally.  Last June, I found one (Day Lily 'Stella') for sale at HomeDepot and immediately bought it.  It only lasted about three weeks, and disappeared completely after finishing blooming.  I think it might not be the right foliage type for South Florida.  There are three foliage types for Day Lily: Dormant, semi-evergreen, evergreen.  For south regions, Evergreen is the one that will thrive.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw two types of Day Lilies for sale at Lowes.  I asked the store staff and was told that they are "Evergreen".  Imagine how excited I was when I brought these two home!

Daylily (Hemerocallis ) 'Black Eyed Stella'

Daylily (Hemerocallis ) 'Fooled Me' 

They were labeled as Daylily 'Black Eyed Stella'  and Daylily 'Fooled Me'.  After I came home, I did more reading on these two daylilies, and only found they both are dormant foliage type!!!  I also looked back the Day Lily 'Stella'  picture I took last year, and found it is identical to 'Black Eyed Stella'.  How disappointing!  I bought them expecting they will bloom for me year after year, not just for short a couple of weeks!  I returned them immediately.  

My mission to search for right Daylilies shall continue...

On the bright side, my garden has been happily singing the spring song.  It is May already, and I found I have missed posting some beautiful April bloomings.  Here are some of them.

First Matchstick bromeliad bloomed...  Looks so beautiful in the early morning sun.

Aechmea gamosepala
MatchStick Bromeliad
Opening more...

Aechmea gamosepala
MatchStick Bromeliad

Other Neoregelia Bromeliads in the garden are also blooming.  Their flowers are hidden in the center of the leaves.  The blooming usually means it is the time for the mother plant to produce the babies, or pups.  Yay!

April is the month for Jasmine and Gardenia.  The fragrance made the garden walk even more pleasant.

Arabian Jasmine
(Jasminum Sambac 'Maid of Orleans')

I also like to bring them indoor to enjoy more...

Needle flowers or Augusta rivalis has set out so many buds, and looks like May will be their peak time.

Neomarica Caerulea 'Regina' has been flowering on and off since early March.

Neomarica Caerulea 'Regina'
 (Giant Apostle's Iris)
The warm weather also brought early blooming of frangipani (Plumeria).  I checked last year's record, and it did not flower until last September.

Last year's Caladium bulbs have been emerging from the ground one by one, adding different colors into the shady corner.  

What May will bring for the garden?


  1. Sorry about your daylily disappointment. I'm glad you returned them instead of just keeping them. I don't know anything about daylilies so can't help with any sources for good Florida growers. Wish I could.

    Your bromeliads are doing well and will be filling up your area with new babies soon. Love that matchstick bloom!

    I'm hoping my plumeria will bloom this year. Last year it never did. But, this year it has more leaves and looks healthier so I'm hoping for flowers.

    I have to admit to being a bit jealous of your gardenia blooms. They look so pretty and I can just imagine how good they smell. I don't know why, but I just never have luck with growing gardenias.

    April was good to your garden, I'm sure May will be even better!

  2. Hi Ami...I'm sorry to hear about your daylily woes. I've only found 2 kinds that will thrive for me. I'd be happy to send you some seeds when they set. I did replant one from my aunt's garden last spring...a dormant variety...that did return this spring, but it has been my experience that the dormant varieties don't do well. Time will tell on this one.

    You've got so many lovely scented white blooms in your garden right now. I love fragrance in the garden. And, that plumeria...how nice that it's blooming early for you. You'll be able to enjoy it all summer long. My neighbor just gave me a nice big one...in a pot...and I'm eager for it to bloom. We have one in the ground but the poor thing freezes back every winter.

    Good luck with your daylily hunt, and let me know if you'd like seeds from mine.

  3. Ami,
    The few daylilies I have growing have been in my garden for many, many years and I have NO idea what they are. I DID buy a few bare root types a few years ago that do return each year also after moving them around a few places looking for the 'just right' morning sun for them. There's a lady that lives in my area who grows them like an expert. I will look up her name for you and get back to you. She sells them right out of her garden so you know they do well in FL.

    Your pretty blooms are making a lovely April/May garden and I know what you mean how nice the fragrance is in the garden in spring.

  4. Daylily season started last week in my garden with a little yellow that could be Stella. It was mislabeled as a pink daylily. Not! Today I have two blossoms on others that are much prettier.

    Here's what I learned about choosing daylilies. We in the deep south need to buy daylilies hybridized by southern growers. Stella pretty much grows anywhere which means it will survive but not thrive in south Florida the way some of the Florida developed daylilies might. A search will bring up some Florida daylily farms and some daylily groups who can make recommendations. I start with a double fan and then decide whether I want a bunch more, usually of old, tried and true daylilies which are inexpensive.

    We can talk more about this if you like. Visit my Dotty Plants blog and I'll write about my daylily experiences soon.

  5. I had a beautiful array of day lilies last year. They all died back to the ground over the winter, but in due time, they all put out leaves again this spring. However, the actual blooms are disappointing this year.
    April was good to your garden - I love your bromeliads and gardenia is one of my favorite flowers - the scent is wonderful!

  6. NanaK: I think last winter has set every thing late on schedule. I think you will have better chance to see your plumeria blooming.

    My Gardenia is in a big container. Although mine does flowers, I don't think it is in the healthiest condistion. I often saw those white little bugs on it, and I had to use the water hose spray them off. In my opinion, it is not one of easiest plants to grow. It is its scent that made me wanting to keep it. Good luck with yours!

  7. Susan: Thanks for your generous offer of Daylily seeds! Yes, I would like to have some to try. I know maybe I need wait for a while to see it blooms, but I have enough patience :))

    How lucky that you got a big plumeria plant from neighbour. I think you should be able to see its flowers soon. I had mine from a cutting last year, and once it grew roots, oh, boy this thing really grew so fast!

  8. Meems: I would love to get the name of that lady who sells daylily right out of her garden. I wish I could find somebody like her locally, but with no luck! Thanks!!!

  9. Nell Jean: I definitely will check back your Dotty Plant blog to see your post about daylily. There are so many varieties of Daylily, and I am sure there are some of them I should be able to plant. I love to learn more about this plants, and hope someday I can also have my own patch of daylily flowering in the spring! Thanks!

  10. Jayne: Yes, I remember I saw your daylilies on your blog. I think they are beautiful. But garden surprises are one of the reason that keep we gardeners excited, right?

  11. Ami, your garden is really lovely! How exciting to have all of those broms ready for bloom...and then pups! Too bad about your daylily disappointment. BUT your post educated me - I had no idea about the 3 different types of daylilies. This explains a lot of my own disappointment. I've had one bloom so far this year, although the flower stem is dwarfed for some reason. Thank you for the information..I'll do some research before purchasing daylilies. And, Ami, your gardenia blooms are nothing less than stunning! So elegant! Your presentation is just as breathtaking, and fragrant, I'm sure!

  12. Hi Ami,

    I'm glad to see you planting the daylily. They seem to be an under appreciated plant.

    I too had the same problem with local home center nurseries near Jupiter, FL.

    After doing some research to find a popular, seemingly quality mail order company.

    I selected Oakes Daylilies (http://www.oakesdaylilies.com/). They are a family owned company near Knoxville, TN, with a forever guaranteed. Plants are freshly dug to order and shipped within 48 hours.

    So, for the first time I planted daylilies this spring, about 12 varieties, 3 bunches of each.

    So far, 36 plants are doing well! I can update you later, if you wish.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog.


  13. My mom has several gardenia plants outside and has only seen one flower. Any suggestions? We live in Ft. Lauderdale Fl

  14. My goodness, Central Florida is evergreen daylily Mecca! Look up ladybug Daylilies, and Nicole's Daylilies, or even Pete Harry Daylilies, and order quality Daylilies.


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