are one of the easiest perennials to grow. They require just
a few essential ingredients. Full sun is best, but they will
bloom satisfactorily with at least five hours of direct sunlight.
They also like a rich moist soil. Adding compost and other organic
matter will provide better plants and nicer bloom scapes.
Daylilies are heavy feeders. They should be fertilized regularily
with balanced fertilizer either liquid or granular. If you use
granular fertilizer, be sure to place in under the plants and
not directly into the crown as it will burn them.
If you live where there are slugs and snails, the daylilies must be
protected. We've found Deadline Bullets to be very effective.
For water, it seems the more the better. We keep our daylilies
constantly moist with drip water applied about every three days
during the dry season.
The bloom scapes are traditionally numerous with very high bud
counts sometimes approaching thirty or so. If the night temperatures
are low, the blooms will not open properly but with reasonable
warm nights the blooms open fine and will last all day.
At the end of the season, you need to pull out the old bloom
stalks and clean up any dead foliage.
Since daylilies are hybrid crosses of both dormant (desiduous) and evergreen species, you
will find some daylilies dormant (DOR), others evergreen (EV). You will also find many of the daylilies listed as semi-evergreen (SE), but unfortunately, this term means little. In mild climates they will either lose their foliage entirely (Dormant) or not (Evergreen) In cold climates all of the daylilies will lose their foliage. Some of the dormants are late forming foliage in the spring (Hard Dormants) and others will start forming new foliage when the plant warms up. Generally, the hard dormants will not perform well in very mild areas without winter chill. Most of the evergreens will perform fine in both warm and cold climates, but some cultivars may tend to be tender or susceptible to crown rot. If you live where there are large temperature swings such as KS, OK, NE, and IL, we recommend you mulch your daylilies to protect them from thawing, starting new growth and then having a hard freeze damage the new foliage. If you have winter snow cover, you already have excellent insulation and should not experience much winter kill.
Dormant varieties are very easy to clean up in the fall and always have a
pleasing appearance. In milder areas, evergreen daylilies should also be cleaned up before winter. Remove all dead and dying foliage but leave the healthy foliage for winter protection or form nice appearance during the winter in mild areas.
Dayliles can be maintained in the same location for several
years. They actually look more attractive after being established for two or three years.
Here's the correct approach for dividing. It can
be done anytime the plant is in active growth including during
it's bloom season. Water the clump well and let it dry for three
or four days until the soil is moist, but not wet. Dig the entire
clump up and knock any dirt off the roots. Cut back the foliage
to a manageable length perhaps to 8 or 9 inches. Now take something
similar to two large screwdrivers and pry them into the center
of the clump and break into single or double fans. Cut off any
damaged roots and they are ready for replant. We have found they establish just as well with 6 inch roots as longer so we always cut the roots short before planting.Be careful to keep
the names as they will all look identical when out of the ground.
Daylilies are an easy plant to fit into the landscape setting. Since they
are quite attractive throughout the year, so they can be intermixed with other
annuals or perennials. Each clump is going to become perhaps 24 inches in diameter
and you need spacing between clumps so plant them perhaps three feet apart. If you have fine quality daylilies we recommend you also use an attractive labelling scheme to keep them identified. After many years of observing various methods, we recommend the See-Fine Markers from Lewiston Idaho (telephone 208- 743-2137 for details) and the Engraved plates from Engraved Garden Path Markers Inc in Haubstadt Indiana (telephone 812-483-2127 for information) These labels used together are permanant, professional, and really create a wonderful effect. For best results we recommend the 13 inch or 20 inch stakes to be less obtrusive. As for how many daylilies to plant together, we have had very dramatic results by planting a large bed in exclusively daylilies.
Mulch heavily between the clumps for the best weed control.
Over ten years ago, a new disease was introduced into the
United States called Daylily Rust. It is evidenced with tiny
mustard yellow spots forming primarily on the underside of the foliage. It is spread by
spores in the air and some varieties are significantly more susceptable
than others. Initially daylily rust was quite prevalent in Florida, but rare elsewhere. Due to it's transmission vector and the high rate of susceptability of daylilies to rust, it is now endemic throughout the United States in areas without a hard winter freeze or an area with no perceptible humidity. This means that desert environments like Arizona and areas as cold as Kansas and Missouri should not have rust winter over. In areas with mild winters it may be a moderate or severe problem and in tropical areas with lots of rainfall, it may be severe. Fortunately it can be controlled by commercial growers such as ourselves with a weekly spray program of systemics. Unfortunely, many of these chemicals are controlled and not available to the average gardener. We have used Heritage, Banner Max, Rally, and now use Cabrio. Cabrio can now be purchased on-line. Type Cabrio in Google to find sources. These are systemic fungicides and will make the plants immune to rust. We quarantine all incoming plants for a year in our commercial greenhouse where we also spray regularly with systemics. The rust infection is inside the foliage and does not evidence itself for sometimes months after receipt. Our goal is to keep our customers informed on rust and do our best to see that all plants shipped do not have rust. So far with thousands of fans shipping each year, we feel our system is working. Our real worry is that rust can arrive unexpectedly in ones garden from adjoining neighbors, on guests clothing or shoes, on traded plants or a number of other ways. We offer the following suggestions to help our customers prevent an infection of rust. First, be able to recognize it. Be sure you know what rust looks like and inspect your plants regularly for traces of it. If you find rust, cut the foliage back to about 3 inches and spray with Daconil Ultrex. This will kill any active spores. This may solve the problem, but you need to revisit this area each week and make sure it's under control. If you have an organic garden and are opposed to spraying, we would recommend you remove any cultivars with significant rust and unless you live in a very tropical environment, you may find the rust while active in your garden, is not objectionable. Be considerate of others though and don't share or sell any plants without informing the propective buyers that you do have active rust in your garden. We recommend that you buy from nurseries that have active spray programs and sources to minimize your chances of getting rust. It appears the large commercial growers catering mostly to the landscape trade may, in many cases, be the largest contributors to the spread of rust. If you find rust, don't panic. Contact us and we will be happy to assist you in the necessary activities to control. To learn more about rust, we recommend you visit this website to
learn more about daylily rust. http://www.ncf.ca/~ah748/rust.html.
Other common pests of daylilies are spider mites, aphids, and
thrips. They can also be easily controlled with a regular spray
routine. Some areas of the country have problems with crown rot
and winter freeze damage. In mild climates, you should not have
problems with either of these.