Growing Daylilies: Tips and Five to Try
Think daylilies are boring? Think again! Get tips for growing daylilies and see five spectacular varieties to try.
Daylilies are so common that they’re often overlooked. Growing daylilies is easy and rewarding, though, and newer varieties are real show-stoppers. Check out these simple tips for growing daylilies in your own garden. Then take a look at some of the incredible new offerings and plan to add some this year.
Choose evergreen varieties for warmer climates. There are several species of daylilies, including the roadside variety Hemerocallis fulva, but most sold today are hybrids. They fall into two categories: dormant, which die back to the ground in the winter, and evergreen. In general, most daylilies are of the dormant type and do best in colder climates (zones 3 – 7). Evergreen varieties are better for warmer climates (zones 8 – 9), although they can be a little harder to find. You’ll have better luck growing daylilies in the south if you seek them out, though. Semi-evergreen varieties lose some foliage but survive colder winters, so they’ll work in any zone.
Plant early-, mid-, and late-blooming varieties. True to their name, daylily blooms open in the morning and fade by night. They have multiple blooms (up to a dozen) on each stalk, so the flowering continues for days or weeks. Many older types have a first big bloom, and then re-bloom periodically for the rest of the season. Different varieties blooms earlier or later in the season, so by growing daylilies with different flowering times, you’ll have more consistent color in your garden.
Deadhead for more blooms. Re-blooming daylily varieties are becoming more common, as they have flowers throughout the season. All varieties benefit from dead-heading, though. Remove spent blooms when they fade to encourage the plant to put energy into creating more flowers instead of seeds.
Divide and conquer. Growing daylilies is a low-maintenance gig, but they do need to be divided every few years. Daylilies spread by budding new small plants next to the main one. Over time, they’ll become crowded and produce fewer flowers. In late summer, dig up the whole clump and use a shovel to split into smaller chunks. Spread them out and replant, or share extras with friends and neighbors.
Try dwarf varieties in containers. With so many unique kinds of flowers now available, growing daylilies in containers can be a great way to highlight a special variety or two. Some types are far too tall, but dwarf (or miniature) daylilies top out around 2 feet tall. Mix them with trailing flowers like alyssum or lobelia, or just let them be the stars of the show.
Here are five daylilies that caught my eye in this year’s catalogs.
- Snaggle Tooth Daylily (Michigan Bulb): Reblooming, semi-evergreen
- Darya Daylily (Breck’s): Reblooming, semi-evergreen
- Extravagant Daylily (Dutch Bulbs): Evergreen, two bloom cycles per season
- Here Lies Butch Daylily (Dutch Bulbs): Semi-evergreen, dwarf (20 – 22″)
- Catcher in the Eye Daylily (Breck’s): Evergreen, re-blooming