Daylilies are the easiest perennials to grow that thrive in various soil conditions, ranging from Minnesota (Zone 3) to Florida (Zone 9). It is also called “beauty for a day” since daylilies open in the morning and die by nightfall. Each stem in a daylily has a dozen buds, and the plant continues to bloom for several weeks. In a month, a mature clump of daylilies can produce 200-400 blooms. Read on to know more about daylilies, their varieties, and how you can plant, transplant, and harvest them.
Information About Daylilies
Daylilies are easy-to-grow perennials that have numerous varieties in terms of shapes, sizes, and colors. Here are some basic information about daylilies:
1. Genus Name
The genus name of daylilies is Hemerocallis.
2. Plant Type
Daylilies are Perennials, so they live for several years.
3. Height and Width
If you wonder how tall daylilies grow, they are usually 1-3 feet tall or may even be 3-8 feet tall, with a width ranging from 1-3 feet.
4. Flower and Foliage Color
The foliage of daylilies is blue or green, and the flowers come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, purple, white, yellow, and pink.
5. Season Features
Daylilies bloom in the Fall and Summer.
One can propagate daylilies through division or with seeds.
7. Light Requirements
Daylilies thrive in partly sunny or warm environments.
Daylilies are not toxic to humans or dogs, but dogs should not ingest them as it leads to an upset stomach. However, it can be toxic to cats.
When is The Right Time Plant Daylilies
To decide when to plant daylilies, you must know when daylilies bloom. Since these are summer-bloomers, it is best to plant them in the spring or during the early fall, 6 weeks before the first frost arrives, such that one can still work the soil. In places where the climate is mild, one can plant them in the summer. It will take them a year to establish and form dense clumps.
Varieties of Daylilies
There are a lot of varieties of daylilies. Moreover, breeders are also developing numerous hybrids with new shapes and colors for the flowers. Here are some popular varieties that are well-suited for most Zones in the US:
1. Primal Scream
The Primal Scream Hemerocallis yields large orange flowers, and the plants grow upto 3 feet. This variety is ideal across Zones 3-9.
2. White Gloves
White Gloves are gorgeous flowers that bloom upto 5 inches wide early in the springtime, and the plant grows upto 2 feet tall. This variety thrives in Zones 3-9.
Nosferatu Hemerocallis produces rich, dark purple flowers that are relatively rare and can grow in any condition.
4. Stella d’Oro
This variety is a staple in a perennial garden and blooms throughout the summer. The plant grows upto 1 foot tall and easily grows and spreads.
5. Apple Tart
The Apple Tart Daylilies have gorgeous red flowers with yellow accents. The plant grows upto 3 feet tall.
6. Catherine Woodbury
Catherin Woodbury Daylilies are perfect for those who like light and pastel shades, with their pale pink colored flowers.
7. Little Grapette
Hemerocallis Little Grapette yields miniature purple flowers that have a greenish-yellow eye. They are ideal for Zones 4-10 in the US.
8. Hyperion Daylily
Hemerocallis Hyperion grows upto 4 feet tall and yields large, fragrant yellow flowers that open up in the evening.
9. Strawberry Candy
This variety of daylilies yields cute pink flowers with softly ruffled edges, a darker ring in the center, and a yellow throat. These flowers rebloom.
10. Siloam Double Classic
The Siloam Double Classic yields fragrant flowers in early summer. The flowers are double blossoms which are salmon-pink, and the plant is ideal for containers.
Selecting a Place For Planting Daylilies
Finding the perfect place to plant daylily bulbs that can thrive in your garden is easy as they are small, low-maintenance plants. They mainly require:
- Light- Daylilies usually need around 6 hours of sunlight in a day. Ensure that your location will allow them to receive plenty of sunlight, especially in the mornings and some shade in the afternoon. If you don’t have an open garden with shade, daylilies will still grow, but they tend to produce fewer flowers.
- Soil- Daylilies can tolerate various soil conditions, but they thrive in moist, well-draining garden soils. Ensure that you have loosened up the soil before planting them, and there is no debris or rocks. For sandy soils that don’t retain moisture, you can use compost. Compost is also great for heavy clay soils, as it will make them light in texture.
- Spacing- Daylilies tend to spread quickly. They expand to form large clumps that are upto 3 feet wide. Ensure that you space the plants at least 2 feet apart. It would be best if you also considered what to plant with daylilies. These plants can be Echinacea, Lavender, or Bergamot. Also, keep in mind to not plant daylilies near shrubs or trees as they will reduce the amount of moisture the plant will get.
How to Plant Daylilies
Planting daylilies is easy once you have figured out where you wish to plant them, post which you can apply the following steps:
- In your selected space, dig a hole that is at least 18 inches deep and is wide enough for the plant’s roots to be spread out.
- The place where the roots meet the leaves is called the crown of the plant. It has to be buried around 1 inch deep in the soil.
- After putting the plant in the soil, fill the soil in and lightly pack it down around the plant.
- Pour some water till the soil has become well saturated.
How to Transplant Daylilies
Daylilies spread quickly, and you have to divide and transplant them every 3-5 years continuously. This controls the spread of the plant and reinvigorates them, making their bloom better and more frequent.
- Make sure that you divide the plant when the soil is in a workable condition. The ideal period for planting the daylilies is in the spring or early fall, 6 weeks before the first frost arrives. Daylilies need those 6 weeks before the winter to re-establish themselves.
- Dig up with whole root clump.
- Remove the soil from the roots as much as possible. You can even soak the roots in a bucket of water to get rid of the excess soil.
- Take the crown of the plant and, from its outer edge, break it into smaller clumps. Usually, you can break a plant into 3-4 clumps. Ensure that each clump has healthy roots and some leaves.
- Cut the leaves back to around 5-6 inches, which is 1/3rd their original length.
- Replant these clumps and water them thoroughly.
How to Take Care of Daylily Plants
Daylilies are low-maintenance perennials, and taking care of them is therefore not cumbersome.
Daylilies have to be watered once a week when they are newly planted. Once they have been established, they are fairly drought tolerant and don’t need frequent watering. You can rely on rainfall to water them. However, if you live in areas with a drier climate, you can water them upto 1 inch per week. Watering daylilies ensures a bountiful bloom.
Daylilies don’t need to be fertilized if the soil is moist and healthy. However, if you have infertile soil or want a stronger bloom, you can use a general-purpose fertilizer once a year, during early spring. If you want them to grow and spread faster, you can fertilize them once again after the bloom. Spread a handful of the fertilizer around the base of the clump and water it.
You can remove the wilting daylilies by snipping them off at their blossom to prevent seed production.
4. Cutting the Scape
Once the bloom is complete, the scape of a daylily, its stem, will turn brown and remain to stand. Therefore, it is necessary to cut the scape down to the ground after the bloom is complete.
To prevent the growth of weeds that will deprive the daylily of moisture from the soil, you can put mulch around the plant.
6. Cutting and Storing
Heirloom varieties of daylilies are ideal for use as cut flowers. When you cut the daylily, ensure that its buds are on the brink of opening and the flower color is starting to show. Storing daylilies indoors is easy! Make a diagonal cut to the stem and keep them in water that you change every few days.
Daylilies are resistant to most diseases and pests. However, they can succumb to aphids, spider mites, and rust. Daylily aphids are a common pest for flowering plants that feed on buds. You can keep them at bay using insecticidal soap or sprays. Spider mites are common pests in hot and dry climatic conditions and can be dealt with by blasting the plant with a jet of water. Rust is a fungus that causes orange-yellow powdery spots on the daylily flowers. Ensure that you space your daylilies plentifully, allowing for good airflow.
How to Harvest Daylilies Flowers
There are three ways of harvesting daylilies from your beautiful daylily garden and using them in soups or stews.
- You can harvest the daylily shoots during early spring and let them establish until the blooming season arrives. You can cut the shoots using clippers above soil level, which doesn’t harm the plant as it will regrow. You can peel, clean, and store the shoots in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Daylily tubers are edible and can be dug up and clipped off the root. The tubers look like small fingerling potatoes that you can clean and store like potatoes. Replant the remaining roots and tubers.
- The buds of daylilies are edible and delicious after being sautéd in butter. You can harvest these buds during early spring by pulling them off the plant or clipping them off. The flowers can also be harvested for food or used in floral arrangements by removing the blooming flower and using it in food or storing it in water.
Daylilies are an ideal plant for those who wish to have a beautiful garden but don’t have the time to tend to it regularly. They will brighten up your space and will last a very long time. Daylilies can also be used in the kitchen because they are edible and non-toxic for humans. They have a peppery taste, and their tender foliage, buds, and flowers can be eaten raw or used in soups.