Why are my mid season bloomers so early!!!
Many of the hemerocallis here at Strictly are … shall I say ‘confused’? Many of our ‘mid season and late bloomers’ are way ahead in the production of blooms compared to the ‘early season bloomers’. No, they are not senile and they are not having a blonde moment (unlike me), there is a reason for this confusion. It’s not just due to the peculiar weather pattern we’ve had this year with the hot spell in February, they’re actually stuck in a time warp!
The bloom season designations are submitted by the hybridizer to the Hemerocallis Society during the registration process. Registrations include all the statistics relative to that cultivar such as height, bloom time, dormancy, etc. The statistics are based on where that plant was grown when registered and that is why we often see variations here in the UK compared with those stats. Something grown and registered in, for example, South Carolina USA may perform very differently in UK conditions. Hybridizers make every effort to assure these stats are correct although sometimes a bit of liberty is taken.
The very first step in the hemerocallis getting ready to bloom is the formation of a scape bud on the crown (where the roots and foliage meet) below the soil surface. This bud, when conditions are correct will produce a scape that will subsequently bloom. The timing is genetically programmed although there is some room to wiggle from one year to another.
So why are these later bloomers blooming sooner than the early bloomers which should bloom first? (Try saying that 3 times real fast!) Here is the answer. Occasionally, reblooming hemerocallis and later season bloomers will have scape buds that get ‘caught out’ too late in the previous season. These scape buds go dormant until spring when the ‘left over’ buds will continue developing as soon as the weather is conducive.
Voilà there is bloom!