Daylilies have the reputation for being tough, adaptable, vigorous plants
that can withstand droughts and require less care than other perennials.
Daylilies have now become the most popular perennial; their reputation is
Your new plants will grow and bloom for many years with no special care whatever. In fact, accomplished gardeners will recognize the cultural procedures given here apply generally to most perennials. However, if you are a daylily fanatic and want to see the best growth and bloom possible, pay additional attention to their cultural needs.
Daylilies have traditionally been known to have dormant, semi-evergreen or evergreen foliage. Daylilies can adapt to most sites provided they have at least six hours of direct sunlight a day to perform satisfactorily. If using them in a partially shaded environment they require a minimum of two hours of direct sunlight to perform well. Extending bloom season tip. When they are given a little shade they seem to bloom about two or three weeks latter than the ones in full sun this is a trick to have a longer bloom period. Now plant some in part shade and some in full sun, you have now increased your bloom period by three weeks. They are not very fussy about soil, but a well-drained loam is best. Mix some peat moss or compost into heavy or compacted soil at planting time horse manure is a good thing to add as it does not have to be composted, it also loosens heavy clay soil. The easiest way to assess your soil fertility and condition is to have a soil test performed. Soil test results give the right recommendations for fertilizer, compost, mulch and PH adjustment. Aside from the soil test recommendations, there are only a few special procedures daylilies need for your culture to be perfect. The PH or acidity of the soil should be adjusted to about 6.5 or at least be in the range of 6.2 to 6.8. Since Daylilies also like somewhat large amounts of organic matter in the soil. add about five inches of compost (of any source or kind) tilled into the top eight to ten inches.
|Setting out new plants you do not have to give them as much water the first month as they are sending out new feeder roots but they do need to be watered. After the first month Daylilies prefer regular watering. An inch a week applied in two watering is perfect. Planting. Daylilies should be planted no closer than two to two and half feet apart except for miniatures which can be planted as close as twelve to eighteen inches. Newly purchased daylily plants should be planted as soon as is reasonable. Soak them a few hours (or overnight) in a bucket of water with rooting hormone (or starter solution or bio-stimulant). A organic method we use is chop some willow branches cut up in one inch lengths and soak the willow pieces in the water for a day or two then remove the willow branches and soak the plant roots This helps them develop new roots quickly and often helps spring plantings bloom the same year. After the soil is prepared, the soil should be mounded slightly about an inch. This is for rainwater drainage away from the crown. A hole large enough to accommodate the root mass should then be dug into the center of the mound. The crown of the plant (where the leaves and roots meet) should be planted no more than one inch below the soil surface. Cover the roots with soil and water the plant completely.|
|Diseases Daylilies do not generally have serious disease and pest problems. The few diseases they do have can be easily controlled by proper culture. Always pull summer mulch away from the crown at least an inch in early spring and again in late fall to prevent bacterial and fungal infection of the crown when sudden freezes damage the daylily foliage and crown. Freezing plus soil born fungal and bacteria diseases cause "spring sickness" in daylilies and are difficult to treat effectively except by proper culture. If chemical treatment is necessary, use a soil drench fungicide labeled for ornamentals. It should be applied twice about ten days apart. Some serious growers use a soil drench fungicide applied in late fall as a preventative. Fungal diseases causing spots on the leaves can be (but do not generally need to be) treated with a fungicide labeled for ornamentals and leaf spot fungi. Watering your plants early in the day when it is humid will prevent leaf spot fungi. Daylily Rust is a new disease to daylilies. Rust can be identified by capsule like growths on the leaves, when touched it will spread a rusty substance on your hand. Controlling rust there are a number of chemicals at garden centers to kill or control it. Daconil one of the many fungicides that can be used to kill rust. Be sure to read the label and make sure it is safe to use on Daylilies. NOTE! We are only offering suggestions on chemicals people have used. Ask your county agriculture extension agent for the best chemicals for your area if any.|
|Daylily Pests This may include aphids, thrips and spider mites. They are rarely a problem. If they are, organic or chemical sprays labeled for the particular pest and ornamentals will control them. NOTE! We are only offering suggestions on chemicals people have used. Ask your county agriculture extension agent for the best chemicals for your area if any.|
|Mulches and Weed Control for Daylilies. Any mulch used for perennials can also be used with Daylilies. Mulch shades and cools the soil, helps prevent weeds from germinating and composts in place providing organic matter to the soil. Remember to pull any mulch away from the crown of the plant at least an inch in early spring and again in the fall.|
|Dividing and Transplanting Daylilies. Daylily clumps should be dug out of the ground and divided every three to five years. Over grown clumps may not bloom and grow as well. Fall is the best time to divide in the south. Spring is the best time to dig and divide in the north since survival will be better. However replanting in the north in Fall is ok anytime up to 6 weeks before the first frost is acceptable. Clumps can be divided by washing all the soil from the roots and pulling two, three and four fan divisions off the clump. After washing, let the divisions dry in the shade for several hours or overnight. This lets the cut surfaces heal and prevents fungal and bacterial infections. Replant the divisions as described above and always add two scoop shovels of compost for each replanted division. Remember to keep all divisions labeled with the correct cultivar name. Give the extra divisions to deserving friends.|
|Over wintering. most
cultivars are as "hardy as a rock" and do not need winter mulch. However,
even the "hardy as a rock" cultivars will grow and bloom better when given
over wintering care. The first step in over wintering is to make sure all
summer mulch is pulled away from the plant crowns at least an inch. This is
advisable for all perennials. Do not remove the old dead daylily foliage in
late fall unless you see 1/4" black fungal spots (called sclerotia). The
black spots are the over wintering stages for leaf spot fungi. The old
daylily foliage helps hold the winter mulch or snow in the north for winter.
mulching for winter All daylilies and most perennials should be covered with
two to six inches of straw, hay or hardwood leaves depending on where you
live. Never use softwood leaves for winter mulch as they mat down on your
perennials and killing many of them. If you have ever seen evidence of mice
or voles, poison mouse bait scattered under the winter mulch is advisable.
Winter mulch should remain in place from the time the ground begins to
freeze all through winter until the middle of April in the north in the
south you may remove about mid to late February. Then the mulch and old
daylily foliage can be removed. Because spring can be early or late from one
year to the next, a good rule of thumb is to wait until the soft maples and
elms are in bloom before removing winter mulch in the spring. If winter
mulch is removed early and a severe cold snap freezes new foliage, wait
until it thaws and remove the injured leaves with a scissors. Newly
purchased and newly divided daylilies should be covered with ten to twelve
inches of winter mulch their first winter in the north. Winter mulch
definitely helps perennials survive winter. This is due to four factors.
First, extra organic matter is added to the soil. Second, the winter mulch
insulates plants from extremely cold winter temperatures. Third, winter
mulch insulates plants from a warm January thaw. January thaws can warm the
soil enough for plants to come out of dormancy and begin to grow. They are
severely damaged when cold temperatures return. This is what kills many
otherwise hardy perennials in the Midwest. Mid-winter thaws can also heave
new plants out of the ground. Fourth, there is some evidence that perennials
continue to develop new roots between the time the foliage turns brown and
the ground freezes solid. This is certainly true for daylilies. Winter mulch
extends the time before a solid freeze. Additional Information. Additional
information can be found in the texts dedicated to daylilies and your local
or state daylily society.
Plant Lovers Beware, once you are exposed to the incredible world of modern daylilies, you will become obsessed with them.