Growing Guides – Daylilies – Commercial Production
Growing Daylilies Commercially
Timing – Pot within 2-3 days of receipt, keeping plants cool and dry until planted. If the plants are extremely dry, you may soak them in water for 4-6 hours on the day you will pot them. Without proper refrigerated storage you may lose significant growth for every day the bare roots go unplanted.
Season – Ideal planting time is Spring or Fall: Spring planting is optimum in Northern states and Fall planting in the South. For Spring planting in the warmer zones, plant as early as possible so that plants become well-established before hot weather.
Soil: Most commercial soil mixes are adequate as daylilies are tolerant of soil mix as well as pH variation. Ideal pH for daylilies is 6.8.
Light: Full sun is recommended, with a minimum of 6 hours needed. Dark-colored cultivars usually hold their color better with afternoon shade.
Water: Soak thoroughly after potting, keep well watered for 30 days, and maintain a good watering routine. The color and material of the container, as well as the soil mix and air temperature, can influence the need for water.
Fertilizer: Best quality and rebloom come from a consistent supply of water and nutrients. Controlled release fertilizer in the potting mix or fertilizer in the irrigation water are optimal. Do not add supplemental dry fertilizer for 4-6 weeks after planting, or in hot weather. Generally fertilizers with a balanced analysis (or in containers, a slightly higher nitrogen content) are best.
Bloom Staging: Daylilies do not all bloom at the same time. Though as field growers we have no container experience with staging, some container growers report having had success using “Bonzi” or “Sumagic” at 10-20 ppm on part of their crop. This tightens up the plants and delays bloom, extending the selling season.
Insect/Pest Control: Daylilies are very pest-resistant; treat for aphids or thrips if they appear.
Heat/Cold Protection: Plants in containers are more vulnerable to extremes in temperature, so take appropriate protective measures for your zone. In zones 4-6, cold frame winter protection is recommended for containerized daylilies. In zones 8-10, 30% shade during summer will improve foliage quality and frequency of rebloom.