The Daylily, Hemerocallis, are low-maintenance perennials that are tolerant of most planting sites. The best known of the daylilies is the stella daylily, 'Stella De Oro'. There are many daylily varieties to choose from and new ones coming out all the time. They come in all colors and heights. Some daylilies have distinctive eyes that contrast with the rest of the flower. Learn what the requirements are for growing beautiful daylilies.
The daylily will grow in USDA Zones 3-10. They require full sun and fertile, moist, well-drained soil but will tolerate drought and low fertility. The preferred pH is 5.5-7.0. They grow from 6-48" high and from 12-36" across and does very well as border plants. Make sure you know the height of the mature daylily so that you will have the shortest ones in front. The flowers of the daylily take on a trumpet shape and will only stay open and last but one day.
Some daylilies are repeat bloomers and will produce more flowers on and off all season long. Daylilies have always been a low maintenance plant that is great for new gardeners with very little time to spend on maintenance tasks.
Daylilies are great container plants. If you are wanting to put daylilies into a container, I suggest that you use a dwarf variety as they will do best in container plantings, but other varieties, can certainly be planted also. Daylilies are also great for naturalizing in large drifts. The effect is very dynamic.
Planting the Daylily
Daylilies should be planted 12-36” apart in spring or fall. Apply slow-release fertilizer of a water-soluble form about 3 weeks after planting in spring. You should stop feeding them 4-6 weeks prior to the first frost in your area. Water them deeply whenever the soil is dry. Apply 3” of vegetative mulch in summer to help retain soil moisture. Prune back if frost withers the foliage. In milder climates, you can leave the plant standing and prune it back in early spring.
Daylilies are propagated by division. They can be divided in spring or fall every 3 years to control growth. You should dig around the root clump to loosen the soil, then carefully lift the clump up. You may find that established plants may be thick and dense or even difficult to cut through. If this happens, use a sharp ax to break up the clumps. After they are divided, you can reset the healthy ones back into the soil. Do make sure that they have healthy roots and have some top shoots left on them.
Pest or Diseases of Daylilies
The most common problems would be snails and slugs, but a newer disease known as daylily rust can also become a problem.
*Tip- Deadhead daylilies to keep the plants attractive while the additional blooms open.
Daylily Varieties and Species Information
Since there are more than 30,000 named daylily cultivars, it will be hard to mention many of them. ‘Stella de Oro’ is a popular variety that reaches only 12 “ tall but is a good reblooming variety that has bright golden yellow flowers. ‘Hyperion’ which reaches almost 48” tall, has fragrant yellow flowers in midseason.
Other favorite daylily varieties are ‘Frans Hals’, ‘Ruffled Apricot’, ‘Prairie Blue Eyes’, ‘Catherine Woodbury’, 'Eenie Weenie’, 'Little Grapette', ‘Buckeye’, ‘Peach Mandelynne’, 'Forty Second Street', ‘Elizabeth’, 'Yellow Submarine', and ‘Strawberry Hill’.
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