How to Plant and Grow Daylilies: The Ultimate Carefree Perennial

  • jack Officer
  • May 22, 2023

Hemerocallis spp.

Daylilies and I am going means again. Hardy, drought-tolerant, profuse bloomers: what’s to not like? Add to that their eagerness to unfold and multiply, and also you’ve bought your self a straightforward addition to your property and backyard.

Due to its reputation, the daylily is accessible in a staggering array of colours and rising habits. They’re forgiving of most types of maltreatment and thrive on minimal consideration.

Establishing and rising these spectacular beauties is a superb beginning mission for the newbie, and discovering a singular or quirky hybrid species is a feather within the hat for extra skilled gardeners.

Close up of two orange daylily flowers in bloom.

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At present we’ll find out about why daylilies are such glorious additions on your backyard, and the right way to deal with the handful of difficulties these flashy flowers might be liable to. We’ll check out a number of cultivars I’ve had first-hand expertise with as properly.

Right here’s what’s forward:

Cultivation and Historical past

You’re in all probability conversant in Hemerocallis in a single type or one other. This latin identify means “stunning day” in Greek, and that’s about as becoming because it will get for botanical names.

The brightly coloured blooms are common throughout most rising zones in the USA, and in lots of areas worldwide. Hemerocallis traces its origin to Asia after which to Europe, so this incredible perennial is a world traveler.

Most cultivars will prosper in rising zones 3-9, though a number of outliers will likely be pleased in climates as chilly as zone 2, and as heat as zone 10.

Red and yellow striped Hemerocallis flowers with orange coreopsis and yellow achillea.
Daylilies with achillea and coreopsis.

Daylilies are inclined to develop in giant clumps, and so they get their widespread identify as a result of every particular person blossom will final for under a single day.

Every clump of flowers can produce as many as two to 4 hundred blooms over the interval of a month in one of the best circumstances, so don’t let that “flower a day” limitation scare you off.

These prolific durations of flowering are supported by the stalks, in any other case often known as “scapes.” Every scape can produce as many as a dozen buds, so that you’ll have loads of flowers to indicate off in your backyard.

Closeup of closed orange and green Hemerocallis buds, with green foliage.

Pow, there you go! Subsequent time you see a daylily on the backyard middle you possibly can say, “Take a look at the buds on that scape,” and impress everyone round you.

Daylilies can develop in any mild circumstances, from full solar to full shade. However they’re at their finest in full solar.

When grown in full shade, the amount of flowers buds produced is minimal, and nothing to write down residence about. Hemerocallis is at its finest when it has uninterrupted morning solar with a reprieve from the afternoon sunshine. We’ll go into a bit of extra depth about this beneath.

Establishing in Your Backyard

As a result of they’re so forgiving, it’s simple to think about daylilies might be plopped into any outdated place and so they’ll thanks for it. The reality isn’t removed from that generality, however some forethought and planning will solely profit your gardening pursuits.

The timeliness of your Hemerocallis planting is probably necessary.

In northern, cooler climates, you could possibly get away with planting the hardy daylily in any season besides the depths of winter (and even then, who is aware of?). However in hotter, southern climates you’ll need to get your bulbs planted within the spring or the autumn.

A single orange ditch lily grows in a grassy meadow.
An orange “ditch lily.”

Your Hemerocallis can probably attain heights between one and 6 toes and can typically unfold out to a width of two to 4 toes.

When you’re planting a number of specimens, you’ll area them one to 4 toes aside, relying in your persistence reserves; affected person gardeners will discover theirs filling out in 2-3 years and consuming up that area, however of us who need to make an impression NOW will area their plantings nearer to at least one foot aside.

Daylilies are at their finest with about eight hours of daylight every day. They thrive in morning mild the place they obtain shade from the recent late afternoon solar.

These crops don’t require a lot fertilizer, so an annual addition of compost will likely be all of the added vitamins you want.

Including Hemerocallis to Your Backyard

You may plant your daylily a bit deeper than most perennials. The crowns might be buried to a depth of about 1 inch beneath the soil line.

Water a number of instances per week for 2-4 weeks after planting, however after a month or so that you’ll solely must water as soon as per week, tops.

After the primary 12 months of development, you’ll discover that your daylily has change into drought tolerant and solely must be watered through the worst dry durations.

Yellow daylilies with long, narrow, green foliage growing along the base of a wooden deck.
Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’

When first including Hemerocallis to your backyard, you’re going to need to loosen that soil up a bit. Hardy as it’s, the daylily advantages from a very good little bit of forethought and planning.

Most backyard facilities will promote these in a pot measurement of 1 to 2 gallons, so that you’re ideally going to until the soil of the planting space to a depth of 18 inches.

Completely different cultivars will bloom at completely different durations of the summer season, so staggering your planting with a wide range of several types of Hemerocallis is the best way to go if you wish to have continued blooms all through the rising season.

When you plant a single cultivar, you possibly can anticipate a grand and wonderful, however brief, interval of flowering.

Soil Circumstances and a Drink of Water

Your daylily is barely explicit concerning the high quality of its soil.

It desires to be positioned into good-quality backyard soil, that magical middle-ground of excessive fertility, good drainage, and usually moist circumstances.

Red and orange Hemerocallis growing in a perennial garden bed.

In case your yard is like mine and doesn’t foster daylily happiness naturally, you possibly can amend your native soil with compost.

In case your soil is dense and heavy, the compost will assist to interrupt it up. However, in case your soil is sandy and quick draining, the addition of compost will assist to extend the moisture retention of your backyard.

Pruning and Upkeep

As soon as it’s established, you possibly can just about lace your fingers behind your head and chill out.

This perennial is succesful and able to handle itself, however there are a number of methods you possibly can assist it alongside:

Deadheading and Maximizing Your Flowers

Most daylilies will deadhead themselves, in order that’s one backyard chore we are able to cross off the listing.

Yellow-orange daylilies with green grasslike foliage growing in large clumps in the garden, with trees in the background.

As soon as a scape is out of bloom and has no future buds to supply, it’s sensible to take away it from the plant.

Equally, when the plant produces its seedheads, it’s finest to prune these from the flower to assist future flower manufacturing.

Learn extra about deadheading flowers right here.

The Nice Divide

You’ll divide your daylilies each 2 to 4 years, relying on how briskly they’re spreading and rising out.

You’ll discover when the clump is simply too massive for its personal consolation as a result of the flower manufacturing suffers and the plant, as a complete, seems to be sad.

Divide in late summer season for one of the best outcomes. You may chop in half, in quarters, or in tenths, relying on how giant that Hemerocallis clump is. Unfold these infants out to your neighbors for max impression (extra on that later).

Reducing Again Lifeless Foliage

Ideally, you’re going to go away the foliage in place all through the winter and into the spring. As soon as the climate warms up and the soil thaws, you’re going to need to flush lower any lifeless foliage from the daylily.

Red daylilies with long stems and long, green, grasslike foliage growing in a garden.

Leaving that foliage standing all through the winter acts as an extra layer of mulch on your daylilies, so assume twice earlier than flush slicing your whole backyard within the fall.

Cultivars to Choose

Daylilies have some fascinating naming conventions, tied with the iris in my view.

Primal Scream

The ‘Primal Scream’ Hemerocallis is a stable go-to selection for bountiful orange blooms. The flowers are giant and the plant grows to a modest top of about three toes.

Bright orange daylilies with green foliage, growing in a green lawn with trees and a house in the background.

Hemerocallis ‘Primal Scream’

It may develop in zones 3-9, so virtually each gardener within the US can anticipate stunning blooms of their backyard from ‘Primal Scream.’

I wish to pair orange flowers with one thing silvery like dusty miller, or possibly metallic-colored purple foliage like persian defend.

You will discover it in #2 containers from Nature Hills Nursery.

Sunday Gloves

I’ve all the time been a sucker for white and yellow flowers, and ‘White Gloves’ gives a bit of little bit of each. I’d name the flowers “creamy,” based mostly on those I’ve seen in particular person.

Closeup of white 'Sunday Gloves' Hemerocallis blooms, with purple flowers in the background.

Hemerocallis ‘Sunday Gloves’

It’s a beautiful flower with a very good measurement (every bloom is about 5 inches broad), and it blooms early sufficient within the season to supply a pleasant transition from springtime pastels to the extra daring and vibrant summer season colours.

‘Sunday Gloves’ will develop in zones 3-9, and it additionally reaches a modest top of simply over two toes.

Discover it now at Nature Hills Nursery.


Possessing a darkish purple flower that attracts you in, the ‘Nosferatu’ Hemerocallis possesses a coloration and a reputation excellent for gardeners with a little bit of an edge. The strong plant will eagerly develop in virtually any situation and offer you swaths of purple flowers all through the mid-season.

Closeup of a purple 'Nosferatu' Hemerocallis blossom with a green-yellow center, growing with yellow black-eyed susans.

Hemerocallis ‘Nosferatu’

The hue of this cultivar is spectacular, and comparatively unusual within the backyard. It’s a must-see plant!

It’s out there at Nature Hills Nursery.

Stella d’Oro

No dialogue of rising daylilies is full with out mentioning the ‘Stella d’Oro.’ One of many staples of any perennial backyard, ‘Stella d’Oro’ will develop nearly wherever, and fortunately flowers all through your complete summer season.

It’s proof against many ailments and is available in at a modest one foot in top.

Closeup of a single pale yellow 'Stella de Oro' Hemerocallis blossom, covered lightly with dew, with a black background.

Hemerocallis ‘Stella d’Oro’

You will discover these flowers in about each backyard middle you come throughout, or they’re out there at Nature Hills Nursery.

You’re in all probability conversant in the wild-growing orange daylily seen on the edges of roads and on the borders of pasture land. That is H. fulva, a tenacious plant given the unlucky nicknames “ditch lily” and “gutter lily.”

This member of the daylily household grows eagerly, and rapidly spreads past its authentic planting space.

These aren’t unhealthy traits to have you probably have a big space you want stuffed up. Nonetheless, should you’re working with a small and contained backyard space, you’ll need to choose a extra modest cultivar.

Managing Pests and Illnesses

I like how daylilies are a “set it and neglect it” sort of perennial. They require minimal fuss and are prone to just a few issues. Brush up in your pesticide fundamentals with our information to secure chemical software within the backyard.

The Bugs

Aphids, slugs, spider mites, gall midges, and thrips are the most typical potential sources of most of your insect issues. Slugs are notoriously troublesome, however Gardener’s Path has put collectively an all-you-need-to-know information on dealing with these slimy troublemakers.

The gall midge is a European pest that was found in British Columbia within the early 2000s. Within the years since, it has unfold all through the Pacific Northwest. The gall midge overwinters inside Hemerocallis buds and destroys them from the within out.

Contact pesticides are ineffective, and the easiest way to take away the menace out of your backyard is to plant cultivars proof against the gall midge. When you spot malformed buds in your Hemerocallis and stay within the Pacific Northwest, Canada, or affected elements of Europe, you need to take away the contaminated space of the plant and destroy it.

Closeup of a wilted orange daylily blossom growing on a long stem infested with insects, on a black background.

Contaminated buds will likely be inflated and distorted and won’t open correctly. Daylilies that flower early are most probably to be affected by the gall midge.

Thrips are a typical backyard drawback, and don’t require any therapy in case your crops are wholesome. If an infestation is simply too massive to disregard, spray with horticultural oil to remove the thrip drawback.

Spider mites trigger hassle principally during times of sizzling, dry climate. Preserve your crops well-watered and provides them a bit of bathe as soon as per week or so throughout sizzling climate to assist decrease spider mites.

Aphids are a well-recognized sight for the gardener. A selfmade insecticidal cleaning soap therapy is normally sufficient to handle these pesky bugs.

Streak and Rust

Streak and rust are extra critical points affecting the well being of Hemerocallis. Each are fungal points with many similarities.

They each seem as yellow-orange streaks and flecks on the foliage of your crops. Signs seem throughout heat climate and should initially be confused with chlorosis.

The best option to decide what you’re taking a look at is to the touch the affected areas along with your finger, a glove, or a tissue. If a powdery, orange streak wipes off, you then’re coping with rust.

One other indicator to find out the distinction between rust and streak is the gross-looking pustule that develops solely with rust.

Streak is a much less critical affliction. The fungus can overwinter within the foliage, so eradicating your lifeless foliage and beginning contemporary every spring is the easiest way to stop publicity.

In case your crops are affected by streak through the rising season, you need to as a substitute reduce the affected areas instantly and destroy the leaves.

Rust is a extra critical situation. It spreads in a short time between crops. Though many gardeners will suggest destroying any Hemerocallis contaminated with rust, there could also be different choices.

Bonide Captain Jack’s Copper Fungicide

Flush slicing all foliage may assist to restrict the unfold of rust. Use a high quality copper fungicide just like the one pictured above, out there on Amazon, to stop additional rust (and streak) infections.

You should definitely learn our information, Understanding, Treating, and Avoiding Rust on Daylilies, for extra data.

All the time destroy any plant materials that’s contaminated with a fungus or illness. Don’t compost it!

Dang Deer!

When you stay in deer nation, there’s a very good probability that Bambi is gonna be munching in your daylilies. These flowers and foliage are like caviar to our ungulate mates.

Alternate your use of merchandise like Scram, Milorganite, and Liquid Fence to deter deer out of your backyard.

The Excellent Neighborly Perennial

I benefit from the coloration and sturdiness that Hemerocallis gives, however my favourite facet of this perennial is how voraciously it grows into dividable clumps.

As we’ve talked about, daylilies gained’t flower in the event that they’re left undivided for too lengthy, and that’s why it’s the excellent plant on your backyard.

Dividing is important for the well being of the plant, however it’s additionally a wonderful option to get to know your neighbors and share bits of your backyard with one another.

Most gardeners bounce on the probability to attain a number of free crops, and while you’ve bought clumps of daylilies to supply, you’ll discover individuals leaping to seize a number of of their very own.

Closeup of orange striped daylily flowers.

I all the time imagined gardens in my neighborhood because the patches of a quilt. As people, we are able to’t cowl our whole neighborhood in a inexperienced blanket. However we are able to all contribute our personal squares.

When these squares are mixed, we’re dwelling in a greener place, and people particular person efforts we take to beautify the panorama and defend our native ecosystems could make an even bigger distinction once we work collectively. That’s what makes daylilies the right neighborly perennial.

You may put collectively an awesome perennial border by combining them with different perennials like black-eyed Susans, coreopsis, and echinacea.

Do you will have a beneficial selection, or a query or bit of recommendation on dealing with this perennial? We’d like to see it within the remark part beneath. Drop us a line!

And for extra spring flower rising suggestions, try a few of our different guides:

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