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How to Grow

Caring for your Daylilies

Daylilies have frequently been called the perfect perennial because they are hardy, easy to grow, drought tolerant and rarely bothered by insects or diseases.  They also come in a full range of colors, shapes, sizes, heights, and bloom times.

Planting: Daylilies grown in containers can be planted at almost any time of the year.  Loosen roots slightly and plant at the same depth in the ground as they were in the container. Space daylilies about 18” to 24” apart as they will nearly triple in size. 

Sun: Daylilies love sun, full sun if possible but will tolerate lightly shaded conditions.  Sun usually dictates the amount of blooms for any plant, and the amount of re-blooms.  A general rule is to make sure they get at least 6 hours of direct sun a day.  Light yellow, pinks and pastels need full fun to bring out their lovely colorings.  Purple and red varieties benefit from partial shade in the hottest part of the day as they do not withstand the sun as well as the lighter colors, causing earlier fading in their dark colors. 

Soils: Daylilies will grow in a wide range of soils, from sand to heavy clay and in a wide range of soil PH levels.  There are steps you can take to improve your soil, especially if it is predominantly clay or sand. 

Water: Water is essential for good performance.  In sufficient quantity, water helps ensure that you get as many blooms and as large of blooms as possible.  It is important that daylilies get sufficient water in the spring, when plants are in full growth mode and in summer when they are blooming.  Daylilies can withstand a lot of drought but ultimately as with any plant they suffer because of it.  One inch per week during the growing season is a good rule of thumb.  Slightly more may be needed during the hottest months. 

Fertilizers: Daylilies are heavy feeders and like a high nitrogen fertilizer.  It is best to use a slow release fertilizer in the early spring when new growth first appears.  Use the maximum amounts on the products instructions.  (On the farm, we use a 19-8-8 nine-month slow release fertilizer.  This should be sufficient until the next spring.  We also sell the fertilizer at the farm)

Colors and Styles: Daylilies come in a variety of colors, including yellow, close to white, purple, close to green, pink and many more.  There are no true black, white, or blue daylilies.  There are three types of daylily bloom styles including doubles, spiders and single blooms. 

Mulch: Do not pile heavy mulch directly on top of the plants or against the base of the plant, as they need to breathe.  Winter protection is not normally needed. 

Splitting: You can divide daylilies that have at least 3 fans with the best time to split being the end of summer.  See link here for more information on splitting.

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