Daylilies - (Hemerocallis) Planting Guide

Talk About Tough . . .
We have a friend who had a swimming pool put in a couple of summers ago. Shortly before the workmen arrived she realized that several big daylily plants were growing right where the trucks were going to enter the backyard. Knowing her plants were about to be squashed, our friend quickly dug the daylilies, tossed the clumps in a wheelbarrow and hid the whole works behind the garage. Two and a half months later she remembered the plants. Our friend hurried to the back of the garage (like a few more minutes would matter at that point!) and couldn't believe her eyes. As luck would have it, the plants had ended up under the edge of the roof and rainwater had drained into the wheelbarrow. There were her daylilies, in 6" of water, with bent flower stalks stretching for the light, blooming profusely.
How can you help but love plants that demonstrate that kind of will to grow and bloom?
PLANTING
DEPTH

Crown is 1" below soil level

WATER
QUANTITY

Light to Moderate

SUNLIGHT
QUANTITY

Full sun to light shade

PLANTING
PROXIMITY

12 Inches Between Planting

Outdoor Beds
  1. Find a location where the soil drains well. If there are still water puddles 5-6 hours after a hard rain, scout out another site. Or amend the soil with the addition of organic material to raise the level 2"-3" to improve the drainage. Peat moss, compost, ground bark or decomposed manure all work well and are widely available. Daylilies like an average amount of moisture but will not be happy in soils that are water logged.
  2. Site your daylilies where they will receive full sunlight, or light shade in the hottest areas.
  3. Plant so that the junction between the roots and the base of the top growth is level with the soil surface. Make a little mound in the bottom of the planting hole, fan the roots over the mound and cover with soil. Plant immediately as daylily roots will dry up if left out of the ground for too long.
  4. After planting, water generously, soaking the soil to settle it around the roots. New top growth will begin to form in just a few weeks, with speed depending on the amount of available warmth and moisture.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut the flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt the plants. While daylily blooms last only a single day, choosing stems with several large buds will provide a few consecutive days of flowers in your bouquet.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, photosynthesize and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water lightly as needed. Leaves may be removed if they yellow. (This depends on the variety, some are evergreen and some slip into a dormant period during the winter.)
  7. Your daylilies will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.


Pots, Barrels, Tubs & Urns
  1. Fill your containers with good quality, well-drained soil. Almost any commercially available potting medium will work fine. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes so the soil does not become waterlogged.
  2. Site your daylilies where they will receive full sunlight, or light shade in the hottest areas.
  3. Plant so that the junction between the roots and the base of the top growth is level with the soil surface. Make a little mound in the bottom of the planting hole, fan the roots over the mound and cover with soil. Plant immediately as daylily roots will dry up if left out of the ground for too long.
  4. After planting, water generously, soaking the soil. New top growth will begin to form in just a few weeks, with speed depending on the amount of available warmth and moisture.
  5. When in bloom, feel free to cut the flowers for bouquets. This will not hurt the plants. While daylily blooms last only a single day, choosing stems with several large buds will provide a few consecutive days of flowers in your bouquet.
  6. After blooming has finished for the season leave the foliage in place; don't cut it off. The leaves will gather sunlight, photosynthesize and provide nourishment for next year's show. Water lightly as needed. Leaves may be removed if they yellow. (This depends on the variety, some are evergreen and some slip into a dormant period during the winter.)
  7. Your daylilies will rest for a few months before beginning the next growing cycle.
Note: In areas with winter temperatures that drop below freezing, we recommend that fall plantings be done 8 weeks or more before hard frosts typically occur. This allows time for fall planted perennials to root in securely and reduces the risk of frost heave. Mulching newly planted perennials can also help manage freezing and thawing soils.