White lines on fragrant lily leaves

Asked July 7, 2019, 10:07 AM EDT

I bought this fragrant Lily from Lowe’s a couple weeks ago and potted it with new Stay Green moisture control soil. I also added some soil moist beads like I usually do when I use miracle grow moisture control soil, just a small sprinkle Midway in the pot and mixed it in. I usually water it every day like the rest of my plants and it drains out the bottom and does not sit in water. It is on my east facing deck so gets morning sun through mid afternoon. I have noticed brown leaf tips and yellow leaves, and today I noticed it has white lines on every leaf. The yellow leaves I took off today seems to have a brown line starting towards the bottom, and the ones with brown tips do not have that. What might cause that and can it get onto my other plants? Thank you!

Wayne County Michigan

4 Responses


Do you have the plant tag for the lily you purchased? It would help to know exactly what type lily has the problem. Look for the common name and the scientific name—- it will probably be something like Hemerocallis or Lilium. ( or just include a picture of the plant tag, or a picture of the flower),

The white lines are some type of leafminer larvae inside the leaf. Once I know the plant you have, I can find out more for you. I will watch for your reply.

Thanks for using our service..

I forgot to give you information on the yellowing leaves. This could be from getting leaves wet when watering, the soil staying too wet, or insect damage. If you separate the upper layer from the lower layer on a damaged yellowing leaf do you see a tiny worm?

Here is a link to treatment for leaf streaking fungi-


Keep the yellowing/ browning leaves clipped off and discarded. Diseases of daylily won’t spread to other kinds of plants, but can spread to other daylilies. Clean your garden clippers after working on this plant.

As far as I recall and from my Google, I believe they are this.

Happy Returns

The flowers look exactly like the picture. Except for the part where it says tall stems on the flowers, these are really short now but I think they used to be taller.

Nothing bloomed this morning so the picture would just be three spent blooms and I don’t think that would help. I read the information that you sent and wondered if my issues are caused by all the rain we have had. The leaves are totally wet every day from the dew when I get up. Well that’s sort of like watering from the top, isn’t it?

I was thinking I should get some fungicide based on what you wrote, but I will wait for another response before I do.

Thank you for helping me make my poor Lily feel better.


Thank you, Linda, for the additional info. That does help.

There are many common garden flowers called “lily” —-one is the garden lily- scientific name “Lilium”, and another is the daylily with the scientific name “Hemerocallis.” They are completely different plants with different pests, etc. The common name ‘daylily’ is used to differentiate between it and other flowers called lilies.

And, yes, morning dew is like watering from above. What helps plants that are wetted by rain or dew is good air circulation and sunlight, which dries the leaves as quickly as possible and reduces disease issues.

Your daylily is crowded in the pot with other flowers. A daylily wants a little more room and is often planted in the ground in big groups. Plants with a restricted root zone will be smaller and this is why your flowers are on such short stems now. Daylillies are perennial and if you plant it in the ground it is likely to come back every year and bloom for you.

Go ahead and treat the leaves as the article I gave you suggests. This may help while we have humid, wet weather. You can clip off the brown ends of leaves to make the plant look better.

I have asked the MSU Extension about the tiny white lines. This may be a new insect pest here in Michigan. We may ask you to send samples to the MSU Diagnostic lab— I will let you know what they say.

Here is a nice article with some growing information, should you need it.


Thank you and enjoy your daylily