To say I love daylilies is an understatement. Okay, I think I’ve said that before, so maybe it’s true about flowers in general. Anyway, daylilies are one of the easiest, low-maintenance perennials to grow. They can be ignored and they’ll be fine, but you’ll be rewarded with outstanding blooms, if you give them lots of love, including good growing conditions. I have a bunch of daylily goodies to share with you, so let’s get started with some great Tips for Growing Daylilies.
A Little Education About Daylilies (Hemerocallis)
We are NOT talking about hemerocallis vulva (a/k/a orange ditch lilies) here. Sometimes when gardeners hear “daylilies” they immediately tune out, because they are thinking all daylilies are invasive and ugly like the common orange ditch lily. Sorry, if you have ditch lilies and love them, I don’t mean to offend you. From a daylily collector’s perspective, I’m here to tell you all daylilies are NOT the same. There are so many wonderful varieties of daylilies that it’s easy to get addicted. Ask me how I know.
Daylilies are NOT grown from bulbs and are not related to the lilies grown from bulbs (lilium) at all. The roots of a daylily plant are fibrous, clumping, fleshy masses that store water.
Each individual flower on a daylily plant blooms for just a day, thus the name daylily.
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I have quite a collection of daylilies (over 75 different varieties) and my favorites are the rebloomers. A reblooming daylily will start with it’s first big wave of blooms. When those blooms are finished, it will take a rest and send up more blooms a few weeks later. In my Zone 4b gardens, I don’t always get rebloom, but I find that lots of rebloomers are constant bloomers.
Any of the “returns” series fall into that constant bloomer category. Happy Returns is probably the most popular in this category. There’s also Rosy Returns, Red Hot Returns, Fragrant Returns, When My Sweetheart Returns, Passionate Returns, Stephanie Returns, etc., etc. This sweet little Passionate Returns is one of my favorites this year. Stella d’ Oro daylily is a very popular reblooming daylily as well.
Tips for Growing Daylilies – Where to Plant
Daylilies aren’t too picky about soil; although, they grow best in fertile, well-drained soil. Also, daylilies do best in full sun, but will also be okay in partial sun. Remember daylilies (and most other perennials) can be moved to a different location in your gardens if they aren’t doing well in the area you have them planted.
Tips for Growing Daylilies – Care & Maintenance
Watering & Mulching for Daylilies
During their first growing season, daylilies should be watered during dry weather; and for several weeks after they are planted. This will help them get established more quickly. Rather than watering every day, water twice a week if it doesn’t rain, but water deeply, making sure the water soaks down into the root zone. Mulching around daylilies will help keep the soil moist and help to control weeds.
Each daylily flower lasts just one day. To keep the plants looking their best, snap off the spent flowers, but be careful not to disturb nearby buds. In the before and after picture of a Fairy Tale Pink Daylily, you can see the difference between seed pods and new buds. Unless you have the patience to start daylilies from seed, you will also want to clip any seed pods. By clipping the spent flowers and the seed pods, the daylily will put it’s energy into making new flowers. Once the scapes no long have any new buds left, cut them back to the base of the plant to keep the plants looking tidy.
As you are deadheading, go ahead and remove any yellow leaves. Just a side note here about the foliage of daylilies. Some daylily varieties are more prone to yellowing foliage that others. I’ve noticed in my gardens that if we have an exceptionally hot and dry summer, some of my daylilies foliage looks awful and some are fine. I haven’t been able to find an explanation of this other than there’s nothing wrong with your daylily, it’s just the nature of some varieties. If you have a daylily with yellowing foliage, just clip the foliage as much as you need to. It will not hurt the plant.
It isn’t necessary to fertilize daylilies and I didn’t fertilize at my last home because the soil was awesome. At my current home, I fertilize my daylilies in the spring with a slow release fertilizer. I simply sprinkle Osmocote around the base of the plant and work it into the soil a bit, before applying a fresh layer of mulch. I believe adding this fertilizer has made a huge difference in my daylilies and the number of blooms on each plant.
How to Extend the Blooming Season, or Get Your Daylilies to Bloom Longer
As a recap of the above information, to get the most blooms from your daylilies, or to get your daylilies to bloom longer:
- Be sure your daylily plants get enough water. If you haven’t had enough rain, water your daylilies.
- Fertilize your daylilies with a slow release fertilizer in the spring.
- Deadhead your daylilies.
- Look for reblooming varieties of daylilies.
- Plant a variety of daylilies that are early bloomers, mid-season bloomers and late season bloomers.
Buying Daylilies Online
I’ll buy daylilies from any place they catch my eye, but my favorite place to purchase daylilies is online. If you really want to add some different varieties to your collection, shop online. Some of my favorite online daylily sellers are Oakes Daylilies and Smokey’s Gardens. I’ve had awesome results and received great customer service from both companies. Do you have a favorite online daylily source, please leave a comment and let us know.
A few things to remember when ordering online. Daylilies are usually sold by fans and they are shipped bare root with only 3 or 4 inches of leaves and stem. They come with planting and growing instructions, and I would recommend following those instructions.
Are you a collector of daylilies like me? In order to keep track of all the daylilies I have, I created a Plant Inventory sheet that I keep in my Garden Journal. If you’re interested in getting a copy, I’ve included it in my library of Free Gardening Printables.
This photo of Inherited Wealth was taken in the evening just as the sun was shining it’s last few rays.
Lavender Rainbow is really thriving this year. It’s one of the many daylilies I moved from my former home.
Here’s a Pin to save to one of your Gardening Boards on Pinterest for future reference.
There are additional Pins at the bottom of the post. Thanks for pinning!
Heavenly Angel Ice is a new addition this year and my first ever spider daylily.
Tips for Growing Daylilies – Transplanting & Dividing Daylilies
Daylilies will grow for many years just fine without being divided. After about 4 or 5 years when the plants are getting quite large, you may want to consider dividing your daylily. Sometimes if the plants get to overgrown, they will bloom less. The best time to divide daylilies is in early spring when they are first emerging from the ground, or in late summer after their bloom cycle is complete. The easiest way to divide daylilies is to dig up the entire plant and then cut or pull the clump apart into manageable clumps. Before replanting, cut the foliage back to a height of 5 or 6″. If you need help dividing and transplanting your daylilies, check out Tips for Transplanting Perennials.
Like most other perennials, it takes daylilies a year or two to get established and take off, but once they do, they’ll bloom reliably for many years and just keep getting bigger and better with each passing year. That’s it for the Tips for Growing Daylilies, but I do have some more pretties I’d like to share with you.
Daylily Eye Candy (a/k/a Daylily Photo Gallery)
In the daylily images below, the name of the daylily is in the caption below the picture.
Pure and Simple is one of the first daylilies to bloom in my gardens.
One of my favorites, because my sister sent it to me, Wild Horses.
This daylily, First Lady Barbara, was a freebie from Oakes. I’ll take free!
More garden inspiration, here are some other posts you’ll enjoy:
Are Deer Chomping off your Daylily buds?
Dealing with Garden Pests
Having problems in your gardens, here are a few posts that will help:
Thanks a bunch for stopping by Gingham Gardens today. I hope you’ve enjoyed Tips for Growing Daylilies, along with some beautiful Daylily Eye Candy. The pictures I’m sharing with you today are a mere fraction of the daylilies in my gardens, so I’m sure I’ll be sharing more in the future.
The American Hemerocallis Society has a wealth of information on their website, if you’d like to learn more about daylilies, pay a visit when you’ve finished up here.
Do you have daylilies in your gardens? What are your favorites? Please leave a comment and let me know, or feel free to email a picture.
p.s. Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.
p.p.s. You can pin these pictures by hovering in the upper left-hand corner. Pin away! There’s a big pin at the bottom of the page too. Thanks a bunch!
A few of my favorite gardening things:
Pins to Save to Pinterest: