Growing Guides – Daylilies – Home Garden

Growing Daylilies at Home

When received: Plant as soon as possible. If they cannot be planted within 2 or 3 days, keep the daylilies cool and dry. Mature plants will usually stay healthy for 2 weeks before planting. Liners need to be planted/potted immediately. Soak plants 4-6 hours in water prior to planting.

When to plant: In the South, daylilies can be planted any time of the year, with spring and fall being the optimum time, and July and August the least desirable time. In the North, spring is the optimum planting time; mulching is necessary the first fall after planting.

Where to plant: The ideal location for the daylilies is a sunny, well-drained location in slightly acid (pH 6.8) garden soil. A minimum amount of sun is 6 hours per day. Dark-colored cultivars may hold their color better with afternoon shade. Daylilies are not fragile, and will perform well in most garden soils; however, they cannot compete with heavy shrub and tree roots that invade their growing area.

How to plant:
Field soil preparation – spade or till soil to a depth of approximately 12″. If soil is heavy, incorporate sharp sand and organic matter (peat moss or well rotted compost).

Container soil preparation – Use any good commercial potting soil mix. Do not use any fertilizer on a newly potted daylilies.

Placing the plant – Spread the roots over a cone of soil at approximately ground level. Cover the roots with 1/2″ to 1″ of soil and firm with hands. Space plants 12″ to 18″ apart or pot 1 plant per gallon container.

Water – Soak thoroughly after planting, and keep watered well for one month. After becoming established, daylilies can withstand long periods of drought; however, they reward you immensely for a good watering routine.

Fertilizing: No fertilizer should be used until the daylilies are established and growing well (usually 4 to 6 weeks after planting). No fertilizer should be used in hot weather (June, July or August). Always use fertilizers at 1/2 the recommended amount, and never use fertilizers that are high in nitrogen. Commercial fertilizers like 12-24-12 or 5-10-5 in the fall and early spring with additional phosphorous in the early spring is good. Daylilies respond to bone meal or cottonseed after they are well established.

Disease: Very few insects or diseases greatly affect these daylilies. Malathion may be applied according to directions if aphids or thrips appear.

Winter protection: In colder zones (3-7) daylilies may be vulnerable to freeze damage, especially the first winter after planting. Therefore, they should be covered with a moderate to heavy (2″ to 4″) layer of loose mulch (straw, hardwood leaves or bark mulch) prior to wintertime hard freezes. Timing will vary according to the frost dates in your region. For best results, mulch should be pulled away from crown of plant after any danger of hard freeze in the spring is past. Daylilies grown in containers have additional exposure to the elements, so proper protection should be given (bury the container and mulch or bring into properly protected area.)

General: The daylily is one of the hardiest and most versatile of all herbaceous perennials. For optimum performance, dig and divide clumps every 3-4 years.

Questions: Call American Daylily & Perennials, 800-770-2777.