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daylilyDaylilies

View Available Daylilies

 Daylilies 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. daylily
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 tips.  Most daylilies of our are wintered-over in gallon pots and have a very extensive root system.  Visit the Daylily section for a list of available plants.

Growing Daylilies

Daylilies 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.

Where to plant

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 drainage.

When 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.

Where 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 to fade. 

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 again.

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 crown.

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.

Re-blooming daylilies

Some daylilies 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.  

Dividing Daylilies

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 damage.

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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