Leafing through the various daylily catalogs I see prices ranging from a few dollars to several hundreds of dollars. Does the cost reflect the superiority of the plant as far as vigor, bloom cycle, etc or is it simply because of it's beauty or collectable qualities? I look at some of the $250 listed ones and think even though they are beautiful does it really justify the cost? I feel like I'm getting an inferior product when I look to the $7~$10 range. Am I?
Usually the newer ones that have just been released on the market are higher priced. I really don't think it indicates that it is more superior than the less expensive ones, although many of the newer ones do have nicer branching and bud count. Limited supply can also cause a higher price.
I dont think they are superior at all, unless you are breeding. Someone might have bigger teeth, or a pattern that hasnt been seen, etc. One reason they are so expensive is because they only have so many fans. Its not like you can speed them up. Im always leary of an older plant that is still expensive, Im figuring it increases slowly. One thing with some of the older ones is they are a bit short, but that goes for the newer ones too, just check the stats. I dont think, for a great garden plant, you can beat tried and true. I also like that you can usually get clumps of those so your a good year or two ahead of the df. I dont buy sf., just me. Its not cheap either to take a plant from seed to intro, so that has to be figured in as well. Some of the new intros every year have an oldie mixed in for a parent, maybe an Ed Brown, something like that. I started buying a pricier plant here and there when I realized it was much easier to plant one, than a box full ;-)
Gardenglory, that's one way to justify it. LOL! It is all about the pocketbook and the likes and dislikes. It doesn't hurt to have a few midrange price plants mixed in. If the higher priced one are in the budget, by all means go for it. My opinion.
got an email this morning, probably others did too. Carypeterson (seller id) is having to dog and sell all his plants in the next two weeks. He is donating proceeds, three fan clumps are starting at a buck. Most have bids, but still lots of good deals.
I am fairly new to DLs and know nothing about breeding, etc. I just strictly buy DLs because I think they are beautiful and I love them in my garden (well, and I might have developed a slight addiction), but due to my gardening budget having to come behindhelping provide for a kid in med school, and two in college... it is limited! Therefore, because I haven't been gardening for a long time, I tend to buy the DLs on sale or at lower prices. I recently bought 20 at 5 dollars each - some very beautiful ones. If I was breeding, it might not have worked, but since I am just buying for my enjoyment, I would rather have 20 to look at blooming than buying one $ 100 one. Also, in my case, I am pretty sure I would successfully KILL any plant that I paid 100 for! :) I 'splurged' two years ago and paid 30 dollars for a DL on the lily auction that I really, really wanted. It died the first winter and I never saw a single bloom from it. :( I just decided until I have my gardens full, that I would spend less per DL or try to work out trades or whatever other than buying more expensive ones.
I just think it depends on your budget, and where you are in your gardens! I have friends who would have to almost dig up a plant to have room for a new one - so at that point, they can afford to spend more for just one special plant.
Yes, I agree with you Gen. I have been growing daylilies for about 18 years and in that time I think I have only bought 3 daylilies that were $l00. One of them my hubby bought for me as an anniversary gift. But now with the economy the way it is, I am more frugal with my money. I wait a couple years for the price to come down.
Also, when is the last time you ever posted a picture of big gorgeous fan/s, like from maryott. If you wait a few years, it gives them time to put on weight, and be tested.
I will admit to paying that for one this year. It isnt even an intro. I havent stopped wanting it, so hopefully that means I really DO want it. Its also the first time I have bought a daylily in October, to be delivered in the spring. Usually what I like in October is long overshadowed by what I see in the following five months while waiting for delivery. I never buy SF's tho, unless I know its a seller that puts SF but sends more.
I paid $150 for a daylily once. I've had it 3 years now, and the darn thing has never amounted to much. I got the tiniest little fan, too, not blooming size at all. I won't pay that much for one again. However, this year I bought two expensive ones. One was MEMORIAL TO STEVE by Richard Norris ( http://www.ashwooddaylilies.com/introductions%202008-09.htm MTS is the third one down on the listing). It's listed for $100, but was $200 just a few years ago, when it was first introduced. I got it on eBay for $60, and was really pleased with it. It bloomed nicely for me, and can't wait to see how it looks next year. Another one I got for $70 called TED'S TRIBUTE TO LINDA by Petite ( http://www.petitdaylilies.com/pd_store/teds_tribute_to_linda.html ). I think that one is listed at $300. It sold at an auction for around $7,500, the most any daylily has ever sold for at auction. It bloomed for me, too, but much shorter than registered. Being it's first year in my gardens, I didn't expect anything spectacular. I'm hoping it will prove to be hardy for me, as it's a southern bred one and semievergreen. Keeping my fingers crossed. MTS should be quite hardy, as it was bred in OH.
Here are those daylilies in my garden this past July. The first 2 are of TTTL, and the last 2 are MTS. If they look this good this year, imagine how nice they'll look next year and the third year.
As for paying a lot of money for daylilies, it's fine for those who can afford it. I think many are way overpriced, though I know some are in short supply, and it can take up to 5 years to introduce a new daylily from the time you start growing it from seed.
I mainly wanted MTS for it's bud count first then it's looks second. LOL! Got Substantial Evidence as a gift last fall. It didn't bloom this season. I will definitely do some dibbing and dabbing with that one.
Yes, Mike, MTS isn't the prettiest daylily I've ever seen, but I love the budcount, and it has superior plant habits. Great for a breeding plant, especially for northern daylilies that give a higher bud count. Those southern daylilies with high budcounts won't have nearly as many buds here in the north.
The price of new intros (like that of new Rx drugs) goes to support developing them. It is more than growing a pretty flower, you need good branching and a decent bud count.
Let's say that you start with 3000 seedlings. You have to grow them for a year (or more if you are farther north and they do not bloom the first year), then pick out the ones that look interesting enough to keep. They get moved to the evaluation beds. You have to see what the flower and plant habits are for the next several years, and how fast it increases. How many of those 3000 do you think make the cut?
Once you have decided it is a keeper it must be divided (and you hope that it does not die when you do that) and you wait to see how fast it recovers from that and increases again. This can take years. All this time you have bills to pay: fertilizer, insecticides, mulch (you name it for the garden). Then you have to sell it at a price that lets you recoup a bit of your costs before other people start to sell it.
I understand all that goes into the process and why the prices are high. But I also think some of them are way overpriced. I don't know of any other perennial that commands such high prices. New iris intros don't sell for nearly as much money as daylily intros. Do they take a lot less time to hybridize and evaluate than daylilies?
I think I would agree on that, too. I would not pay over $100, and even that price is awfully steep. As I mentioned before, does it really take much more time to hybridize and evaluate irises than it does for daylilies? If not, then why are new iris intros sold for so much cheaper? Both iris and daylily hybridizers are running a business. If they need to make money, then they should be selling other cultivars to suppliment their incomes. I've noticed some hybridizers only sell their own intros. Of course they would have to charge more money.
Irises have to be divided every three years or so. They increase very fast. It comes down to supply and demand. Look at the LA. When two or more people want a plant it can get out of control. You just have to stick with your limit for that plant. Sooner or later the price will come down and you will be able to get a better deal. In regards to the Iris, Rebloomnut will be able to fill in the blanks on the hybridizing part more eloquently. LOL!
So getting back to the original post and from everyone that has responded gives me impression that the high cost of varieties is mostly aesthetic (collectability, new intros, etc) than in the plants characteristics as far as hardiness, productivity of blooms and fan reproduction. Am I right?