My Colorado Kids

Faculty comes back to work tomorrow (except me – because the boss gets to work all summer ūüėČ ) Still, I had 40 cultivators in bloom today.¬† Last year at this time, I was having surgery in a week, in-process with interviewing for this job . . . and I had only a handful of daylilies.¬† There were none left to bloom.¬† And, mid-August, the blog dropped into nothingness until poinsettia time.¬† ¬†It is Jugust in my yard – my poinsettias look like it’s June and my daylilies think it is July . . . and faculty come back to work tomorrow.

Anyway – I still have 5ish that have scapes and have not bloomed yet and a lot with buds left – this blog season is not close to being over yet.¬† So, what to talk about today?¬† Well, I was going to talk about my daylilies with Colorado names.¬† A couple are in bloom today – but let’s look at the summer.

Cripple Creek is a golden Ned Roberts spider that I assume is named for the gold rush town of Cripple Creek in Colorado.  Ned, the hybridizer, lived fairly near Cripple Creek, CO.

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Cripple Creek – 2019

I believe Echo Canyon is named for a canyon near the Royal Gorge.  Ned Roberts lived closeby in Colorado Springs.

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Echo Canyon – 2019

Glen Eyrie IS a place in Colorado Springs Рno doubt about it!  It is an old castle and new conference center.  Another Ned Roberts spider.

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Glen Eyrie 2019

Hesperus is the name of a sacred (to the Navajo) mountain in the San Juan Mountain Range near my home.  I have no idea if the cultivator was named after the mountain, but I like the theory enough that I bought the daylily.

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Hesperus – 2019

Mount Echo Sunrise РI am guessing this is named after Echo Mountain that is the tallest mountain visible from Denver.  It is a guess because it is another Ned Roberts daylily.

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Mount Echo Sunrise – 2019

Rocky Mountain Pals was named for the folks at the University Cancer Center in Denver Рthere Ned Roberts went for treatment later in his life.  At least that is the story I was told.

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Rocky Mountain Pals – 2019

The Colorado Kid is named after the movie Рbut when I saw the name early in my place name and blue daylily addiction, she had to be mine.  She is the mascot of this blog!

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The Colorado Kid – 2019

 

Five Months Until Christmas!!!

The rain is pouring outside as the thunder crashes.  It was hot today and I had over 70 blooms, again. For some reason, the 7/25 hit me as 5 months until Christmas.  The daylilies will lie still under the ground and snow; under layers of leaf mulch.  I will be inside bored and playing with orchids and poinsettias as the daylilies rest before the next season.  I thought I would share my two Christmas named daylilies from today as a reminder that the seasons change so quickly.

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Santa Fe Christmas 7/25

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Santa’s Pants 7/25

I got called in early to work, so my daylily photos had to wait until after work Рlate afternoon.  Some were a little weathered, but all were fully open (which is a challenge before work).  I had 3 new kids today Рand I forgot to take a photo of Navajo Grey Hills.  I saw it but got distracted by all the others so had to blow up a photo of it in the background (see top photo).  Tired and out of sync.

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Navajo Grey Hills – 7/25

Today’s Premiers include Classy Lady – she was one that was either a bonus or an add on to a lily auction order.¬† I like her shape and color – she is a consistent bloomer.

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Classy Lady 7/25

Tiger Kitten gave us her first purr for the season.¬† I am fairly sure she was a bonus.¬† Seriously, I paid nothing for many of my daylilies.¬† Others were only a few dollars online.¬† Nurse’s Stethoscope was my most expensive at about $100.¬† But, I helped to name her so it was a treat.¬† (She suffered a set back with the cold spring but finally has a scape.)

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Tiger Kitten 7/25

The last Premier is Bella Boo.¬† I got Bella Boo and Platinum Pink Palet Whispers for $10 for 2 deal at a local nursery a couple years ago.¬† I stuck them in the same pot.¬† I think this might be Bella’s first bloom ever in my yard.

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Bella Boo 7/25

My flowers are so beautiful at peak.  I love the huge spiders the most.  Tomorrow, we will see what blooms after the downpour.   PS РSpeaking of Christmas and poinsettias, the cold spring has my plants looking like they should in mid-June.  Sort of wondering if they will come back enough before fall.

White Roses and Orange Spice

I was happy with 5 poinsettias. I really was. I was thrilled that they all bloomed this year, again. Big success with added artificial light. Oh, I kinda wanted a fall colored one, but that would be all.

Then, I spied the Valentine poinsettia rhe day after Thanksgiving (see last post). Next, I found a cute Christmas pot out in the Christmas, so got a small plain white one.

But, it doesn’t stop there. I went to the city and visited the nursery for a plant for a friend, and, there was orange spice. I had one this color year before last and it did not make it to spring. So, I had to try a larger one.

Ok, I’m done. Well, until I get to the grocery store and find one “white winter rose” poinsettia. This is an off white version of my valentine poinsettia. So, I just couldn’t leave it there. Lol. I’m up to 10. Seriously, why? Because they are colorful and kinda fun to grow.

Hopefully, some of my amaryllis will spike soon. I have half dozen orchids in spike and my paph, Stella Scope, bloomed this week.

It’s Poinsettia Time

Almost Christmas. Thank goodness because my poinsettias started blooming in early October! I didn’t plan it that way. My new bloom closet just worked super well. I think the purple LEDs trigger blooms quickly.

So, yesterday I was visiting the town of Ouray, CO and came across this unusual poinsettia for my collection. The shopkeeper called it a pin cushion poinsettia, but my Google search said valentine poinsettia. Either way, it looks like roses from a short distance.

I now have 7 poinsettias, all in bloom. Two survived for 2 years, three were additions last year, and this year, I added 2 more. They get big, so this many won’t fit in the bloom closet at once. I’ll have to stagger the bloom force dates or set up a different space. Poinsettias get big – a benefit in blooming splendor but not space in the house.

I want to show you my other six blooms. I should preface this by telling you that traditional plain red blooms don’t speak to my creativity and curiosity, so I’m on the lookout for unusual colors and shapes.

My oldest ones are survivors from 2 years ago when I went on a poinsettia shopping spree. I had 14. Two survived. I added boosted lights all around my windows last winter and wow, what a difference. These two are different shapes and sizes. Both pink. I don’t know names (like I do with daylilies). Here they are:

Last year’s additions included one with variegated leaves and red blooms (I’m not happy with the cat for nibbling off a few leaves):

And, one with green leaves and variegated blooms (this was my only Christmas gift last year):

I added this pink/white one last Thanksgiving:

And, this year, I added another orange one. My first rebloom success was an orange one, but it didn’t survive the second winter:

So – What’s my trick with rebloom? Well, let’s start with bloom season and go through those steps.

The bloom season starts late fall (unless you put them under timed lights earlier) and runs through early spring. I like reblooming mine because I like watching the blooms get bigger every week until they are nursery sized.

The big, colorful blooms last several months. However, usually by February they start dropping bottom leaves. When they start to look straggly (or when I’m tired of the Christmas look) they go back into the bloom/grow light closet. This seems to give them the needed energy to make it through to late spring. I’ve had them begin the spring growth cycle under the lights. That’s good, because prior to the light, warm area, I lost 90% of my plants late winter/early spring.

I live in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Our winters are cold and my windows get cold at night. This is great for getting orchids to rebloom but deadly for poinsettias. So, mine are all several feet from the windows with boosted light of some sort. I repot if needed in April.

Then comes May. Mid-May sometime, my poinsettias move outside. I have one on my drip system and the rest outside where the sprinklers hit them every day. They often have a colored brack (bloom) or two left, but not many bottom leaves. I slowly cut back the branches to 6 inches. Once I see new leaves forming, I cut more.

It’s amazing how resilient these plants are – mine were in a fairly sunny spot and we had single digit humidity with windstorms. They were just glad for the warmth, I think. Our temps still drop under 50 some, but at this point, I don’t get wilting like I do on short, cold winter days.

Once the new leaves start coming quickly (mid-June), I begin pruning and shaping for the next year. They are in growth phase, so the more you clip the more they branch. More branches mean more blooms. I usually get busy with my daylilies at this point, but I do try to remember to fertilize every couple weeks.

I brought mine in last August this year and put them in my bloom closet. The closet has 2 overhead purple LED fixtures. I think I paid less than $50 a piece for these on Amazon. Those are surrounded by light fixtures with a mix of white LED plant lights and plain CFUs (curly lightbulbs). I set my timer to come on at 8 AM and off at 6 PM. I have blackout curtains that stay closed all the time until all the plants start to bloom.

I like this set-it-and-forget-it arrangement a lot – it’s a keeper. But I set an alarm in my phone to remember to water twice a week. I forgot once this year and lost some bottom leaves. The big thing is total darkness more than 12 hours a day. I add a second black out curtain and this is a basement room, so all other lights are out at the same time.

And, the bloom cycle begins, again.

I’m nervous about next summer, as we are still in exceptional drought. I don’t know about water restrictions but I do know these guys need daily water when it’s hot and dry.

As for the daylilies, I’m worried about drought damage. I had health issues late summer/early fall, so didn’t keep up with my watering schedule. I need to start winter watering today so the plants go into spring at their best. I’m wondering if I’ll loose some. My evergreens come into the porch today (not heated), too. I didn’t mean to drop the blog so quickly, but health took priority and I had no blooms after August this year.

I’ll be back with my amaryllis and orchid blooms off and on this winter.

The Ugly Daylily!

Here comes winter.¬† And, time to focus on my indoor bloomers.¬† I am taken back by still having buds on my Santa’s Pants daylily.¬† Especially when my poinsettia is in bloom.¬† For fun, I plucked off the bloom late in the day and placed it¬†in the poinsettia.

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I have increased the sun to the poinsettia since that time, and the pink is really darkening up.  This was dapple pink last year. This is my second time to rebloom a poinsettia Рand I did better this year.  Boy, you gotta want that bloom.  I have been covering with black trash bags and putting under my desk (that now has a curtain to block the light underneath).  This one bloomed quickly and easily.  My smaller one lingers in deciding to bloom.

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Oh, and I got 3 new amaryllis bulbs to start.  Mine are still in hibernation and set to come out in about a week and a half.  I am guessing I will have blooms through January.  Of all my winter bloomers, the amaryllis remind me most of daylilies.  The bid stalk and the huge bright blooms.

And, a new poinsettia Рorange is what I wanted most to replace.  I think a purple if I see one, too.  Maybe a variegated one. That is it though.

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A new Thanksgiving cactus, too.¬† I’m about done planting up my house now.¬† It is on to creating grow light areas in a couple new places to boost the light.

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Out of the frying pan, into the fire

Daylilies for 2017 ordered. Unless Solstice, my cat, killed the potted ones that she dug up. So, I wait for spring.

My Amaryllis are done. The bulk of my poinsettias are hibernating, at least to some degree. I have over a dozen and figured I’d loose a few by spring. ¬†So far, all still have green stems.

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They have been spending warm days on my fiber glass back porch. It’s on the south side, so makes a good ggreenhouse. ¬†My evergreen daylilies are out there. Man, I hope Mesa Verde, Canyon Colors, and Wild Horses are resilient. Not happy with my beloved Solstice a out this. For now, we wait for growth.

I’ll update when the new growth comes. I’ll be putting the poinsettia pots in with the daylilies. ¬†Can’t wait.

 

Fall Blooms and Roots

Time flies . . . it has been a couple of weeks since I posted.  A lot has happened. I am less than two weeks away from my doctorate.  And, I believe I have a full-time job in my future. A couple cultivators are still in bloom, and I have new roots in the ground.  Perhaps returning to school is like planting new roots.  You give them water, soil, sunshine, and fertilizer.  Then, in time they bloom.  Blooms are like jobs Рthe reward for the TLC given to the roots.

Today’s blooms were Heirloom Heaven:

 

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Heirloom Heaven – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

And, Red Hot Returns (with less thrip damage than before):

 

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Red Hot Returns – Photo by Colorado Kid Daylilies – C. Hartt

 

As promised, here are the Painted Petroglyph roots from a couple weeks ago next to the photo from a few days ago:

Progress toward that 2017 bloom.  Like submitting an assignment . . .  it takes time.

Fall is here and my attention is turning to my winter indoor blooms.  My amaryllis bulbs and poinsettia need to go dark soon.  I got a new mum, Thanksgiving cactus, and designer begonia.  My Gerber Daisy is in bloom, as is my azalea. Oh, and those geraniums.  They tend to be my winter bloomers.   I will probably blog about those some over the winter.

I’m also working on my fall daylily fertilizing program. ¬†My re-bloomers ran out of steam this year, so that is a sign that they need more nutrients. ¬† I have added some great Ned Roberts roots to¬†my Southwest daylily patch – Glen Eyrie, Adios Albuquerque, Twirling Pinata, and Truchas Sunrise. ¬†I got extra fans (as bonuses) of Echo Canyon and Desert Icicle that will thicken up my existing plants. ¬†My Navajo Rodeo roots are booming this time. ¬†And, I think I am already getting my spring daylily order planned. ¬†That paycheck will be great to feed my daylily habit.