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come as close to that mythological no maintenance garden as you can get.
They are a no-nonsense, run-my-mower-over-them type of plant. Of
course, with proper care they can provide a visual treat for 6 to 8 weeks in
early to mid-summer. Even though each flower is only
open for a day (thus the name),
each plant will set 20 to 30 buds with some of the newer diploids and
tetraploids doing even better. Different varieties bloom at
different time; so, by planting the right mix, you can extend the
daylily bloom from early -June to the end of July.
Then there are the ever-bloomers - Stella de Oro
being the most ubiquitous - with new varieties being developed. Happy Returns
and Rosy Returns are two that are gaining in popularity. Even though
these have the long flowering allure, don't neglect the standard
daylilies. What they offer in form, beauty, fragrance, and variety
far exceeds anything offered by the ever-bloomers.
Some varieties are
referred to as re-bloomers
- see below for some
Most daylilies of our are wintered-over in gallon pots and have a very
extensive root system. Visit the
section for a list of available plants.
have long been known as one of the easiest perennials to grow in your sunny garden. Though true to some extent, the better the care you provide, the
better your daylilies will perform.
Daylilies grow best when
planted in full sun to very light shade. In areas that receive less than 6 hours of
sun during the day, your daylilies will probably produce fewer and smaller
blooms, and the foliage may not be as robust.
Daylilies grow in a fairly wide PH
range but best results will be obtained if your soil is either neutral or
slightly acid. Though content in most soil types, your best bet, especially
if you have either a very sandy or hard clay soil, is to add organic matter when
you prepare the soil for planting. Be sure the place you want to plant has good
to plant daylilies
Daylilies are pretty
forgiving. Potted daylilies can be planted any time throughout the growing
season if provided with adequate water. Early spring and late summer (September)
are good times for transplanting. If you need to transplant during mid summer,
cut the foliage back to about 2 inches when planting. This will help the plant
compensate for water loss while it's re-establishing itself.
to plant daylilies
You should prepare the soil by
digging to a depth of at least a foot. The soil should be loose and any
amendments should be well mixed in at this time. Place a shovel of compost in
the bottom of the hole and cover with a few inches of soil. This encourages the
roots to grow deeper. If the roots are pot bound, gently loosen the roots
and spread them out in the hole as much as possible. Plant the daylily so that the crown is about
one inch deep in the soil.
Although a single plant
can be used as an accent in your garden, groupings of 3 to 5 plants or more make a
bolder statement. Spring bulbs compliment nicely with daylilies providing early
color while the daylily will be growing vigorously when the bulb foliage begins
Caring for daylilies
Probably the most
important ingredient in beautiful daylilies is water. While daylilies can
withstand drought because of their fleshy roots, it is amazing the
difference when they get all the water they need. So provide some water if
the season is dry but give the soil a chance to drain well before you water
Healthy soil is important
for healthy daylilies. Proper feeding will result in more and larger blooms and
the plants will be more vigorous. Any well balance fertilizer that's not to
heavy in nitrogen will work well; although, in my option, compost and organic matter is adequate. Of course, it always pays to do a soil test.
Daylilies will benefit
from mulching. Mulch helps maintain a more consistent soil temperature and also
help retain moisture. It is always a good idea to keep mulch back from the
Pests that will sometime
infect daylilies include aphids, spider mites, thrips, slugs, and snails.
However, healthy plants usually do not require chemical assistance. Daylilies
are a relatively disease free plant.
are considered re-bloomers, in that, yes, they re-bloom. I've had limited
success with these and certainly you shouldn't expect anything like an
ever-bloomer. Removing those old scapes is essential for these and I've found that if you cut the plant to the ground after the first
flowering, you'll increase the chances of getting a new flush of
flowers. But, be forewarned, this will be nothing like the first time
- but then that's true for lots of things.
Daylilies multiply by
sending up new fans right next to the old fans. If your daylilies have formed a
large clump and the blooms are smaller or fewer in number than previous years, you probably need to divide your daylilies.
In early spring or late summer, dig
up the entire clump and shake off the dirt. A garden fork works well for this.
Separate the plants by either pulling them apart or cutting into smaller clumps
with a knife. Don't be timid. It would be hard to do any permanent
You'll soon have a surplus
of daylilies; give them to your friends and neighbors. Use your excess
plants to fill in odd corners you don't want to mow, use them to control erosion
or naturalize an area with a mixture of all your varieties. Be forewarned
that deer also love daylilies - eating them rather than looking at them.
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