Daylilies are one of the easiest perennials to grow. They are extremely hardy and forgiving plants. Few pests bother them. Large well developed clumps are weed and drought resistant and can live untended for decades.
Why grow daylilies?
They are forgiving growers, even in the most adverse conditions, multiplying without much care.
Dollar for dollar, daylilies are your best initial perennial plant investment.
If you've ever visited an old abandoned New England homestead cellar hole, you'll see daylilies. 150 years after planting, daylilies are still growing on the site.
We will send large divisions, to ensure quick establishment and best bloom. Plants will be state inspected, labelled and ready to be planted in your garden.
If I move my daylilies will they bloom?
A clump of daylilies can be moved early in the spring and will still bloom that year almost as if nothing had happened.
When do I plant?
Transplant daylilies any time of the growing season. Many people choose to transplant during the spring or early fall, allowing the plants ample time to establish themselves before the next blooming season. Daylilies are able to withstand being divided during the heat of summer.
What do I do if I can't get my bare root plants in the ground right away?
If you have just received them, unpack them and air them out immediately. Store plants in a cool and moist location, but not soaking. It is possible to store them out of the ground for up to two weeks, but bloom for that season may be lost.
I don't have a permanent garden plan designed. Can I temporarily plant daylilies and then move them?
Yes, daylilies can be moved at any time during the growing season. Consider planting them at the edge of your vegetable garden for a season or two. The extra fertilizer and water will help them quickly attain larger clump size. Move the clump intact later to a less optimum site and it will be ready to perform.
How much sun does a daylily need?
The amount of sun is proportional to the amount of bloom. In other words, the more sun the more blooms; but daylilies will grow in any light condition. 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.
What 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 ammendments and fertilize occasionally.
How deep do they need to be?
Plant about 6-8" deep, depending on the root mass. Once the hole is prepared, place the daylily upright, without cramming it into the space. Loosley push soil over the roots until the hole is nearly full. Press the soil down around the roots, without covering the green of the crown. Leave a slight depression, or water reservoir, around the plant, about 1/2" deep.
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. Except in extreme soggy situations, extra water means more blooms and a longer season of bloom.
I have some old daylilies that need dividing. How do I do it?
The easiest way we've found is to dig up the clump, shake off a the soil, lay the clump on its side and gently pry off pieces using a weeding fork.
Remember, daylilies are not just a purchase, they are an investment. Extremely long-lived, you can count on them growing and increasing for decades to come.
Planning a season of blooms
Would you like to spread your blooming season out even longer? Plant in the warmer areas on your property, along south sides of buildings. Daylilies in these areas will bloom earlier, gaining an extra mini season. To achieve a season of blooms, choose daylilies that begin to bloom about 2 weeks apart, from early June, mid June, late June, early July and so on.
The color, width and curve of a plant's foliage will define and enhance a garden's look. The light green strap-like leaves of H. minor bow gracefully, honoring the sweet faces of Johnny Jump Ups.
Daylily flowers come in many shapes: round, star shaped, spider-like, flat, fluted, trumpet, recurved, and more. Try an interesting shape as a focal point in a garden bed.
For gardens of limited size,try planting mini and dwarf daylilies in containers. Make sure they have drainage holes, and can adequately keep in the moisture. Your favorite piece of pottery could become a home for a tiny garden. Line it with a plastic nursery pot, add a little compost to the potting soil for nutrients, top off with bark or coco mulch, and don't forget to water!
Do you have a marginal site, very dry, very wet, lots of ice and snow from the roof or sand and salt from the road? Daylilies are very salt tolerant
Daylilies are one of the few plants that just might do well in those adverse conditions.
Besides helping to keep weeds in check, mulch aids in soil moisture retention. We mulch with a composted-manure mixture layer, and then add a top layer of hay. The compost acts as a fertilizing soil ammendment, working its way down to the roots of the plants.
- avoid peat moss, it acts as a water shedding mat.
- grass clippings, hay and straw are good mulches and are widely available. Ideally, seed-free straw should be used.
- 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.
- be sure not to bury the crowns of the plants with mulch. Leave a 2-3" depression around the base of each plant for breathing room.
- mulch as needed, anytime during the growing season.
- a thick layer of mulch will help deter weed growth, but it won't stop it, so don't forget to weed.
Benefits of Hand Weeding
'Time consuming' and 'tiresome' are words often used to describe handweeding. 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. Its good excercise too!
Plant in groups of three or more for the best effect. Combine reds with lemon yellow. Its dynamite!
Deer generally don't eat daylilies, unless they're desperate. Sometimes, they will eat the buds, but not the leaves. In fact, there are very few pests that do bother daylilies! People often ask us how we keep the deer out of our fields. It's easy with our four Border Collies. They have learned to keep the deer away, go around the garden beds and, especially, play with the visitors.
Plant a long stem cutting garden of annual flowers around a circle of tall daylilies. If the daylilies are left uncut, they will provide the backdrop of full color, enabling you to cut the annuals regularly.
Tetraploid vs Diploid
Many people think that Tetraploid (Wikipedia) daylilies are better than diploids. However , tets frequently lack the natural wild charm that the thinner scapes and finer foliage dips have. Think of tets as more of a sculpture or centerpiece, to stand out ,while dips blend and complement.
Join the American Hemerocallis Society, write to
Pat Mercer P.O. Box 10 Dexter, Georgia 31019
$25.00 per year, including 4 quarterly Journals