Questions about Propagating Daylilies

I have some older daylilies that need dividing. How do you divide a daylily?

The easiest way we've found is to dig up the clump by digging 8-12" from the crown all the way around and lifting it out.If the clump is very large and heavy you may want to just roll it out of its hole. Shake off the soil. Lay the clump on its side and gently pry off pieces using a weeding fork. David Stevens Rolls a large daylily clump out of the ground in preparation for dividing. Once the soil is off, the daylily clump is pried apart. Dividing A Daylily Step by Step

 Can I Raise Daylilies from Seed?

Raising daylilies from seed is relatively easy. Remember though that anything you raise from seed will be different than the parent sometimes much different, you can get an orange daylily from a pink parent or only slightly different a light yellow from a yellow.

After crossing a daylily you should get seed pods forming, green squat pods. When the pods begin to turn brown and crack collect the seeds, they should be black not brown or white. Now you have two choices. My way: I put the seeds in a paper envelope and store the seeds in a cool dry place until late winter. Next I put the seeds in between wet paper towels in an aluminum pie plate place inside a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3-4 weeks. Then I plant the seeds in flats or pots and grow them in my greenhouse to plant out later.


From such tiny seedlings, great plants can grow!                        

Newly sprouted daylilies seedlings, fine hair roots have grown, but the seed coat is still attached.


My Grandfather's way: My grandfather lived in Maryland. He planted his seeds in rows directly in the ground in the fall. However he fumigated the soil first to kill all weeds. If you plant in the ground weeds may grow faster than the daylilies. Lastly remember that it may take 2-3 years for the daylilies to bloom. But there is nothing more exciting than seeing your seedling bloom for the first time!


 Daylily seedlings in the greenhouse

Daylily Proliferations

My Daylily stems have little leaves growing on them they look like miniature Daylilies. What are they?

They are called Proliferations and they are like the extra plants the Spider plant houseplant produces. Treat proliferations just like rooted cuttings. Putting them in a pot with sand is a good approach. They should produce roots quite quickly. However because they don't develop a large root system before fall, they need extra protection to get through he winter. They also need to go dormant, so they should be kept in a protected spot like an unheated garage.

The whole process of preparing daylilies from growing to shipping is a small family hands on process. Each plant is carefully dug, tagged, washed, cut and packed by hand. 


Growing Daylilies 

David divides clumps of daylilies, preparing them for rowing out. The daylilies we grow are planted in freshly tilled heavy-composted soil.

Digging Orders

 Digging Orders

Jasper selects a daylily from several rows of miniature cultivars.

Digging Orders

After selecting a plant suitable for digging, Jasper carefully digs and divides a saleable size piece on the spot.

Digging Orders

Our daylily tags are simple but they are easy to read and wont rot or washoff before they get to their destination.

  Just Out of the Ground 

This A sized piece has 4 fans and a large healthy root system. These plants were just dug and  washed

This B sized piece is a little smaller than the A size but it will increase quickly and produce excellent bloom by next year (many B sized piece will bloom the first year).

  Finishing Touches

Next the daylilies are cut back. This may seem detrimental but we always cut our daylilies back when we transplant them and it makes shipping easier and cheaper (for everyone).


Finally the daylilies are individually washed. By removing most of the soil we further reduce the weight and ensure a clean healthy plant. The washing also helps to thoroughly moisten the plants before shipping.

 Packing The Order 

Lastly the plants go into their shipping box. The daylilies are carefully placed between layers of paper. This helps keep them moist but also allows for some air movement reducing molding.

We always are sure to get plants dug, labeled, washed and packed quickly. Plants are generally out of the ground for only part of a day before being packed for shipping. Plants are shipped out the afternoon of the same day they are dug.



Frequently Asked Questions about Daylilies

While Daylilies are extremely easy to grow there are always questions that come up, both about how to select daylilies and how to grow daylilies. We here at Olallie Dayliliy Gardens have to put together answers for many commonly asked questions for both buyers and growers. Whether its what to expect when you order daylilies from us or how do you divide a daylily the answer is here.


Buying Daylilies From Olallie Daylily Gardens



General Daylily Culture and Care





When do I plant?

You can plant daylilies any time in the growing season, in our area about late April through mid October. 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 year.

 How 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.

 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 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.

Daylily with Roots












When planting a daylily, it is advantageous to the plant to spread the roots out in the hole, as shown above

Planted Daylily












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.

Soaker Hose on Newly Planted Daylilies








 Do I need to weed my daylilies?

'Time 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?

Peat moss:
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:
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 in bulk.
Raked Leaves:
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.

 Do 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?

A 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.

 What 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.

 Do 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 a plant.

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?

Our four 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

Other options include:Deterrent Sprays, such as Liquid Fence are organic sprays that smell bad

Flashing objects, such as old CD's or Pie Plates on string

Scented Soap, sliced and put around base of plant

Music: an old radio tuned to a talk radio show.

Keep in mind that almost nothing will work if the deer are desperate for food.

 Will I have problems with any pests on my Daylilies?

Pests: 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

Rust Information Website

 Can 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.

Are 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 a plant.

 Can 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.














Hemerocallis fulva

Olallie Collected General 2017


Astilbe:bed 19


Campanula latifolia x2

Campanula trachelium

Coreopsis tripteris

Cosmos s.

Filapendula ulmaria

Lobelia silphilitica alba

Morning glory 2015

Mustard: purple leafed


Nicotiana: BP

Nicotina rustic: tiny flowers

Primula veris

Rudbeckia tri


Stachys spicata


Thalictrum aquilegifolium

Tree Basil ?seeds?

Veronia altissima

Veronia NB


Iris ensata:  Gekkiken, squat pods, bed 20

Iris ensata: bamboo beds








Aruncus hybrid bed 17 short/med ht

Aruncus med ht, shade edge

Aruncus:Fall Red Stem

Aruncus mixed


CSD Big Leaf Hosta (behind Blueberries)

CSD Big Leaf Hosta: wood edge bed 14-18

Blue Angel

Grand Tiara

Low small Hosta (behind Blueberries)

Yellow Splash rim

Williamsville Hosta

Olallie Seeds 2016-2015)


Bouquet Dill (15)

Dark green Italian Parsley (15)

Gigante (14)

Sweet Basil (16)

Round Midnight  Purple Basil (16)

Purple Ruffles Basil (16) #



Scarlet Nantes Carrot (15)

Rumba Carrot (15)

Napoli Carrot (15)



Super Beefsteak (13)

Principe Borghese (16)

Blue Beech (15)

Pruden’s Purple (15)

Black Prince (15)

Glacier (15)

San Marzano (14)

House (16)


Nicotiana glutinosa

Nicotiana bigalovii v. quadrivalvis

Nicotiana sylvestris

Nicotiana rustica



Purple Leaf Mustard (Olallie)

Osaka Purple Mustard


Red Shiso (Perilla frutiscens)


Halona Muskmelon


Veronica longifolia pink

Campanula punctata hondoensis

Broccoli/Brussels Sprouts

Falstaff Red Brussels Sprouts

Purple Peacock Broccoli

Limba Broccoli

Fiesta Broccoli

Green King Broccoli

Happy Rich mini Broccoli

Amadeus Broccoli


Fish Pepper

Thai Hot

Purple beauty

Long Red Narrow Cayenne

Czech Black

New Ace Sweet

Sandia (Eco)

Tepin (Eco)

Haitian Red (Eco)

Puya (Eco)

White Bullet (Eco)

Japones (Eco)

Sante Fe (Eco)

Pequin (Eco)

Steve’s Little Kicker (Eco)

Cayenne Long Slim (Eco)

Royal Purple (JL)

Habenero White (JL)

Jalapeno Purple (JL)


Marketmore 76


Little Leaf



Sassy pickling




Slik Pic Summer Squash

Sweet Reba Acorn Squash

Eastern Rise Winter Squash

Blue Hubbard


Blue Coco Pole Bean

Red Noodle Yard Long

Dolichos lablab


Baltisk Purple Kale

Nero De Tuscana Lacinato kale

Beedy’s Kale


Misc Online Sources

Wild Arugula aka Sylvetta

Arugula ‘Slow Bolt'

Bean 'Willow Leaf'  pole Lima

Squash 'Tatume' C. pepo: Summer Squash: ‘Calabacita’, native of Meso-America

Squash 'Round Zucchini' (C. pepo)

Lettuce 'Buttercrunch’: Boston/bibb type lettuce

Lettuce 'Lolla Rossa Darkness’:very frilly deep dark red variety.

Lettuce 'New Red Fire’:The leaves are green at the base and rest is a deep red

Lettuce 'Rouge D'Hiver’: Maroon leaved romaine (cos) lettuce is a French heirloom

Pepper'Midnight’: very dk purple, almost  black foliage and upright small cones

Pepper, hot 'Jigsaw’: Beautiful tricolor variegated foliage, purple stems & flowers, small dark purple oval fruit that turn red when ripe.

Perilla frutescens nankinensis laciniata purple (PURPLE SHISO): frilly dark red/purple leaves

Papalo: Summer Cilantro (Porophyllum ruderale) Papalo is in the aster family growing about 5 even even in pots.  it does not bolt. It will not flower or make seeds in short season climates. AKA Papaloquelite and Bolivian Coriander.

Sunflower 'Skyscraper'

Garlic 'Nia~wanda Park'

Basil 'Spicy Globe'

Lime Basil

Basil, Lemon

Cosmos 'Sensation Purity' 4 tall with lacy foliage

Cosmos 'Sensation Pink’: 4 tall with lacy foliage

Cosmos 'Daydream’: light pink with a glowing inner deeper pink ring

Coreopsis tictoria 'Mahogany Midget'

Centratherum intermedium 'Pineapple  Sangria' (Brazilian Button Flower)

Calendula 'Neon’: The petals of these fully double flowers are orange and tipped in burgundy

Isotoma axillaris (Blue Star Creeper): delicate foliage and lavender blue star shaped flowers.

Ipomoea lobata (aka Mina lobata (Spanish Flag aka Firecracker Vine) 10’

Helenium aromaticum (Pinapples): small yellow globe shaped blossom clusters, fragrant

 Marigold 'Lemon Gem' Tagetes signata/Tagetes Tenuifolia

Marigold 'Paprika' single red blooms edged in gold.

Marigold 'Red Cherry: Tagetes signata/Tagetes Tenuifolia double mahogany

Marigold 'Harlequin’: red and yellow striped, 2-3’

Marigold 'Crackerjack Mix’:big double flowers in various shades of yellow & orange 30”

Marigold 'Burning Embers' :single red flowers rimmed in gold.  2 tall.

Salvia coccinea (Texas/Scarlet Sage): original native American species  2-4’

Tithonia rotundifolia 'Torch’: 5’

Rehmannia elata (Chinese Foxglove): Z7,  3’, runs

Pennisetum glaucum 'Purple Majesty OP' (Ornamental Purple Millet)

Papaver somniferum Mix  (Annual Poppies)

Verbena bonariensis (Verbena-on-a-Stick): 2 lilac flower, 36-48 tall thin stems

Zinnia 'Burpeeana Giants Mix’: cactus dahlia type blooms 6, wide range of colors. to 2.

Browallia americana: purple-blue flowers all summer til frost.  2 tall  wonderful airy feel

Snapdragon 'Brighton Rock’: variably colored and striped snapdragon mix.

Veronica, Tall Blue: 3 tall and as you can see develops many spikes of flowers



Provider Bush Green Beans 

Velour Bush Haricots Verts 

Fortex Pole Beans 

Purple Podded Pole Beans 

Magnificenza OG Muskmelons

Telegraph Improved European Long-Fruited Cucumbers 

Eight Ball Zucchini 

Jackpot Zucchini 

Jade Dragon Bitter Melon 

Table Queen Acorn Winter Squash 

Sweet Dumpling Dumpling 

Sunshine Buttercup/Kabocha Winter Squash 

Baby Blue Hubbard Hubbard Winter Squash

Burpees Butterbush OG Butternut Winter Squash 

New England Pie Pumpkins 

Robin Beets 

Early Wonder Tall Top Beets 

Red Ace OG Beets 

Champion Summer Radishes 

Cheriette Summer Radishes 

Space Spinach 

Avon Spinach 

Bloomsdale Spinach 

Caucasian Mountain Spinach Caucasian Mountain Spinach 

New Zealand Spinach New Zealand Spinach 

Green Deer Tongue OG Leaf Lettuce 

De Morges Braun OG Leaf Lettuce 

Dark Lollo Rossa OG Cutting Lettuce 

Tom Thumb Butterhead Lettuce 

Winter Marvel OG Butterhead Lettuce 

Red-Eared Butterheart OG Butterhead Lettuce 

Pablo Batavian Lettuce 

Anuenue OG Batavian Lettuce 

Red Iceberg Crisphead Lettuce 

Argentata Chard 

Perpetual Spinach Chard 

Bright Lights Chard 

Tatsoi Tatsoi 

Red Shiso Shiso 

Hestia Brussels Sprouts 

Gustus Brussels Sprouts 

Scarlet OG Kale 

Afina Cutting Celery Celery 

Long Red Narrow Cayenne Hot Peppers 

Thai Hot OG Hot Peppers 

Hinkelhatz OG Hot Peppers 

Bellstar OG Paste Tomatoes 

Jasper OG Cherry Tomatoes 

Sweet Treats Cherry Tomatoes 

Juliet Grape Tomatoes 

Caribe OG Cilantro 

Double Click Cranberries Cosmos 

Tango Cosmos Cosmos 

Sweet Annie OG Sweet Annie 

State Fair Mix Zinnias 


Angels Trumpet White Seeds:   Brugmansia suaveolens 'White' , fragrant z 9-1  Basil Green Globe Seeds : refinement of bush basil from Italy where the variety is known as Finissimo Verde a Palla        

 Basil Red Genovese Seeds : First purple-leaf Genovese! As far as we know this is the first purple leaf basil of the Genovese type.

Cowslip Seeds: Primula veris                        

Gojiberry Black Seeds: Tibetan gojiberry; Hei guo gou qi) A promising superfood! A little known species of gojiberry with amazing health potential. The black berries are very rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), a class of compounds that is thought to give red wine, grape seeds and blueberries their powerful antioxidant effects. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and E.               

Jujube Chinese Seeds: Zizyphus spinosa, Hardy bush or small tree                  

Lobelia Red Seeds: Red Lobelia: Lobelia cardinalis

Maralroot Seeds: Leuzea carthamoides 'Lujza' ,  Siberian perennial with remarkable metabolic and tonic effects                   

Oxlip Seeds: Primula elatior                             

Pepicha Seeds: Porophyllum tagetoides, Mexican herb like cilantro but ten times so                          

Pomegranate Dwarf Seeds: Punica granatum 'Nana'                

Savory Winter Carpet Seeds :  Satureja montana illyrica, a form of winter savory from the Carpathian Mountains of Europe.        

Savory Winter Lemon Seeds :   Satureja montana citriodora, clean lemon scent of all its own.         

Senega Chinese Seeds : Polygala tenuifolia, hardy in zones 2-9, Siberian milkwort                

Tamarind Seeds: Tamarindus indica                         

Gojiberry Shanghai Express Seeds: Lycium barbarum 'Shanghai Express' , produces red gojiberries the first year  

Gojiberry Bulk Seeds: Lycium barbarum,  Chinese culinary and medicinal herb           

Zhi Mu Seeds: Anemarrhena asphodeloides                        

Groundcherry Peruvian Seeds: Physalis peruviana          

Spinach Red Malabar Seeds:Basella alba, (Rubra) Red-stemmed variety. Edible and highly ornamental.     

Swiss Chard Rainbow:

 Tomatillo Purple de Milpa: Physalis philadelphica 'Purple de Milpa’, Fruits are large, up to 5cm/2" across

Tomatillo Cossack Pineapple: Physalis pubescens 'Cossack Pineapple' , Not a true tomatillo as one would find in Mexico but a close relative grown in the Ukraine

Tomato Liliput Seeds : Heirloom native from Brazil. Not commercially cultivated. Sweet tiny tomatoes.