Our Daylily Catalog
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General Questions About Daylily Care and Culture
do I plant?
You can plant daylilies any time of the growing season,
in our area about May 1st through September 15th. The most important
consideration is giving the plants 3-4 weeks to establish before a hard
freeze. Many people choose to transplant during the spring or early
fall, allowing the plants ample time to establish themselves before
the next blooming season. Generally spring plantings are best because
the plants have just begun to grow, the weather is cool and moist and
they will have plenty of time to establish before winter. Daylilies
are able to withstand being planted during the heat of summer as well
however they will take some time to recover and may not bloom that season.
Keep in mind that as daylilies are perennials you are planting for next
year and the years to come and so will get more blooms with each successive
much sun does a daylily need?
The amount of bloom is proportional to the amount of
sun. In other words, the more sun the more blooms; but daylilies will
grow in any light condition. A half day of afternoon sun is almost as
good as a full day of sun. When choosing a location for them, consider
how much of the day they would have direct sunlight. The midday and
early afternoon sun is the strongest, but morning sun is usually adequate
for a good show.
kind of soil is best for daylilies?
Almost any soil will grow daylilies, but the better
the soil the better the performance. Soil should be friable and humus
rich with a balanced pH. Use compost for soil amendments and lightly
fertilize occasionally, at least every spring.
How do I plant a Daylily?
Dig a hole large enough to accommodate
the root mass, usually about 6-8" deep. Once the hole is prepared, place
the daylily upright, without cramming it into the space. Holding it
so the crown (top of the roots) is about one inch below the surface
of the ground, loosely push soil over the roots until the hole is nearly
full. Press the soil down around the roots, without covering any green
of the plant. Leave a slight depression, or water reservoir, around
the plant, about 1/2" deep.
planting a daylily ,
it is advantageous to the
plant to spread the roots
out in the hole, as shown at left.
On the right you see
a newly planted daylily
with a slight depression
for water retention
Do daylilies need to be watered?
Dr. Darrow used to say that water is the best fertilizer for daylilies.
While, you can't beat compost for nutrient and soil value, consider giving
daylilies water on a regular basis to enhance their growth and aid in a
longer season of bloom. We frequently use a soaker hose on newly planted
daylilies. Soaker hoses are a nice gentle way of watering plants efficiently.
I need to weed my daylilies?
consuming' and 'tiresome' is words often used to describe weeding. But
far better than chemical herbicide weed killers, hand weeding directly
leads to improved health of your garden. By churning in the organic matter
decaying at the top layer, nutrients are added to the soil. By removing
the 'weeds' by hand, wildflowers and legumes can be selectively left to
enhance the beauty and health of the soil. And of course mulching helps
reduce the need for weeding and helps conserve water.
How do I mulch my Daylilies?
We are strong advocates of mulch. Besides helping to
keep weeds in check, mulch aids in soil moisture retention and displays
the plants nicely. We mulch with a composted manure layer, and then
add a top layer of hay or sawdust. The compost acts as a fertilizing
soil amendment, working its way down to the roots of the plants.
Mulch as needed up to 3" deep, anytime during the growing season. Be
sure not to bury the crowns of the plants with mulch. Leave a 2" mulch-free
depression around the base of each plant for breathing room.
What is your opinion about different kinds of Mulches?
Its best to avoid peat moss as top mulch because it can form a layer,
which can act as a water shedding mat.
Grass clippings are great! Mostly weed seed free they will also provide
a little nutrients as well
Hay and Straw:
Hay and straw are good mulches and are widely available. Ideally, seed-free
straw should be used.
Coco mulch and Shredded bark:
Coco mulch and shredded bark are decorative, but will not easily break
down, and so are less beneficial to the soil. These mulches are better
for permanent plantings. Also they can be quite expensive unless bought
Raked leaves are fine but don't have much in the way of nutrients.
Avoid wood chips and sawdust that may be mixed into the soil as they
deplete the soil of nitrogen and will cause problems.
I need to fertilize my Daylilies?
One of the great things about Daylilies is they are
not heavy feeders. In others words they don't need a lot of fertilizer.
However fertilizing your plants to supply nutrients that they are in
short supply of will only help them to grow better. The fertilizer requirements
of each soil are different, so ideally you should have your soil tested
to determine the nutrients required. We feel safe recommending the inclusion
of good compost into the planting hole and a dose of 10-10-10 or such
several weeks after planting. Remember over fertilizing can result in
large amounts of leaf growth with little or no bloom and sometimes muddying
of the reds. Err on the side of moderation when fertilizing any plant.
If I move my daylilies
will they bloom?
clump of daylilies can be moved early in the spring and will usually
bloom that year almost as if nothing had happened. Daylilies can also
be moved while in bloom if treated with care and watered in well
Jasper plants a daylily in full bloom
do I do when the leaves have turned brown in the fall?
Nothing. We leave the foliage until spring, when it
easily comes away with a rake. The foliage acts as natural winter mulch,
protecting the new shoots during the late winter freezing and thawing.
If you prefer to remove the dead foliage, mulch with straw or other
light material . Heavy mulch should be removed in early spring.
I need to groom or clean up the foliage of my daylilies?
In general you will find that there are yellow parts
to leaves and spent flowering stems (scapes). Any part of the plant
that is yellow or brown can be removed if desired. Any green part of
the leaves should be left even if one half is yellow. However it is
not necessary to ever remove any part of a daylily. And yellow leaves
do not mean a plant is unhealthy.
Generally there is dead foliage at the base of the plant that can be
removed if desired.
During this time if desired spent scopes can be removed to clean up
the appearance of a garden particularly if it is a formal display garden.
Leaves should be left on the plants until they are all yellow or brown
even a small amount of green on a leaf is providing some nutrients to
Dead brown foliage can be cleaned up from around the clumps. Removal
of this material is not necessary. We always leave the dead leaves around
the base of the plants, we figure it acts as a bit of mulch to help
protect the plant and keep a few weeds from growing. However for a number
of years we did clean up our foliage in the late fall and encountered
NO problems from doing this
|How do you keep
the deer from eating your flowers?
Border Collies at our Daylily Festival
Border Collies have been trained to keep the deer out of our fields. When
they were young we would walk the perimeter of the fields and teach the
dogs not to stray (not an easy feat). Now they keep the deer out all day
and night. They also don't run off, stay out of garden beds and play Frisbee
with visitors in the summer.
If you dont have dogs there are some commercial sprays
on the market that may help to prevent deer damage. Remember though, you
may have to reapply the spray after rain or overhead watering.
Fortunately deer damage is mostly aggravating to homeowners
but will not kill the daylilies
Will I have problems with any pests on my Daylilies?
Japanese Beetles, Rose Chafers, Spotted Lily Beetles
and other common garden pests do not bother daylilies
Here are some of the pests you might encounter when growing Daylilies
Insects: Daylilies are amazingly insect pest resistant. There are some
instances of aphid or spider mite infestations. These are usually rare
and are more unsightly than life threatening. Aphids can be controlled
with a pesticide (Pyrethrum or other botanical is fine) and Spider Mites
are easily eliminated with water sprayed on the leaves and crown. Usually
a week of regular spraying is sufficient. Thrips can cause some blooms
to be misshapen but are relatively rare and not very persistent.
Diseases: Some daylilies are susceptible to leaf streak, a minor leaf
disease that causes a little more yellowing on the leaf than you would
normally expect. However, some ordinary leaf streak is found on virtually
all daylilies. Keeping daylilies well watered and fertilized will minimize
any negative appearance of leaf streak.
Examples of leaf streak:
Leaf Streak Information
A new disease has appeared on daylilies, known as rust. It is unsightly
but will not kill a daylily. There is some evidence that cold New England
winters will kill the rust. We do not have rust here at Olallie, and
no rust has been reported in Vermont as of this writing. For more information
on rust go to
I plant my Daylilies with other plants?
Daylilies are good competitors and will grow well with
other perennials without being over whelmed. Keep in mind though that
many daylilies can grow to be quite large clumps and can crowd out smaller
less tenacious plants.
Daylilies good for planting in locations where nothing else will grow?
Mostly Yes. But remember these are plants not
super plants! Daylilies are very salt tolerant and so will grow well near
the seashore or on the roadside of salted roads. Daylilies also will tolerate
very wet conditions and are also considered to be excellent drought resistant
plants. Being that they die down to the ground each winter they will grow
where woody plants would be damaged by ice or snow removal.
DON'T expect daylilies to grow: Under the deep shade of pine trees, in
a desert of sand, in a swamp which has standing water most of the year,
in the trunk of your car or anywhere it is pretty much impossible to grow
Daylilies be invasive?
There is one somewhat invasive daylily. Below is a comment
from a customer.
Q:"A few years ago, I bought a house that had nice borders of daylilies
planted in the back yard. Since my arrival, they have aggressively spread
everywhere--the neighbor's yard, between patio stones, into my vegetable
patch, you name it. I've tried digging them up but they just keep coming.
Any ideas on how to control this invasion?"
A: What you describe as an invasive daylily could only
be the "Roadside Orange" daylily, a species named Hemerocallis fulva.
It has a spreading stoloniferous habit that makes it so ubiquitous.
Any running root left with a crown has the potential to grow a new plant.
All other daylilies have a clumping habit and do not travel. As for
removal, digging them up is one way, but it means work. We are organic
growers and do not use herbicide, but a systemic spray like Round-up
would probably do the trick. If you want to keep some of them (like
in the borders you had) use barriers in the ground that would prevent
spreading out into others areas. We think they belong away from the
garden, better for along the road. They are well suited to erosion control.
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