Daylilies: A Gardener’s Delight

Daylilies are beautiful plants whose scientific name is Hemerocallis. It is derived from the Greek words, “beauty” and “day”, or beauty for a day. This refers to the fact that daylilies produce flowers that last only one day. They bloom in the early morning and by nightfall, they die.

I love these wonderful plants and to many they are considered the perfect perennial. Though each individual flower dies in a day, the stalk of the daylily produces many flowers for up to 3 weeks. Because they produce so many flowers, it appears that they are constantly in bloom. These lovely flowers make a wonderful addition to any garden. Extremely versatile, daylilies have many shapes and styles. The AHS recognizes 6 forms for exhibition purposes: single, double, spider, unusual form and polymerous flowers. These range from long, slender petals to fuller, ruffled flowers. There are hundreds of daylily varieties and colors to select, this is one reason they are a gardener’s delight.

Easy to Maintain

Daylilies are the easiest perennial to plant and they can survive for years with very little care. They are vigorous and can adapt to many types of soil conditions, but they are best produced in a well drained soil with plenty of organic matter. Newly planted daylilies need regular watering to continue to grow. Be careful not to over water them because the roots can rot if they get too soaked.

They grow best in full sun but can withstand partial shade as well. When planting a lighter shade of daylily, they need at least 6 hours of full sun a day. If you are planting a darker flower, it is best for them to receive more shade to bring out the richness. Too much sun can wash out the deep color.

Many Varieties

The varieties that bloom at night give a very lovely fragrance for your garden or wherever you choose to plant them. Daylilies are very adaptable and can be planted almost anywhere and next to many different types of plants or trees. Daylilies are versatile and easy to care for.

Once planted and they start to produce, they grow very quickly. Each clump of flowers could produce anywhere from 200 to 400 blooms in a month, under healthy conditions. You will need to divide them often, so they do not become overcrowded.

In southern states it is advisable to plant daylilies in the early spring or late autumn. Planting them in extreme heat and humidity during the months of July, August and September can cause the stalks to rot. In northern states, they should be planted in the spring. Late autumn blooming can cause them to freeze because they don’t have adequate time to form new roots.

These beauties are available in a wide variety of lovely colors, which makes them very special. From the palest yellow to the deepest purple, it is easy to find a color that is just right for you. For a long-term radiance of color, I like to grow a few different varieties.