Caring For Daylily

The care information provided in this section represents the kind of practical advice is available for all the plants in this web site if you subscribe to the monthly customized newsletter Yardener’s Advisor.

Watering Daylilies
Once they are established in good soil modern hybrid daylilies can manage fine with normal rainfall. In times of drought, though, they will need supplemental watering along with the other plants on your property, especially before and during blooming. If they are in poor, thin soil that does not have organic matter in it to hold water, they will need watering a lot. Common tawny (orange) daylilies tolerate dry soil well and are quite immune to neglect. Even a severe drought will not permanently harm established plants. For information on products see the file on Choosing Watering Equipment

Fertilizing Daylilies
Daylilies like a light application in the spring of a slow-acting granular fertilizer. This assures a consistent, steady supply of nutrients over the season. In the South the fall is also a good time to fertilize, especially September and October. Go easy and follow the package instructions for use. Too much fertilizer stimulates foliage growth and discourages blooming performance. Sprinkle it on the soil around each plant clump for the rain or watering to soak in. For more information see the file for Choosing Fertilizers

Consider Plant Growth Activators
There are on the market a growing number of products that will help your plants become healthier, more drought resistant, more disease resistant, and even more insect resistant. These products are generally easy to use and not terribly expensive. If you want to give your plants some oomph, check out New Technology In Plant Growth Activators

Mulching Daylilies
A layer of mulch on the soil around daylily plants helps control weeds and conserves soil moisture. Spread an inch or two of chopped leaves, shredded bark, or other organic material around emerging daylilies in the spring. Over the season it will gradually decompose, adding nutrients and organic matter to improve the soil. In the winter reinforce any remaining mulch with an inch or two of fresh chopped leaves or other organic material or lay boughs of needled evergreens over daylily beds. This will buffer fluctuating extremes of soil temperature that may disturb daylily roots. For more information see the file on Using Mulch

Pruning/grooming Daylilies
Daylilies need very little care. However, snapping off the hard incipient seed pod as soon as each flower has faded and clipping off the dried stems when all its blooms are finished keeps hybrid daylilies looking neat and attractive. It also stimulates the development of new flower stems to assure continuous blooming. Remove dead flowers each day, and prune out the old stalks when all their flowers have faded. The foliage of those that are not evergreen will ripen as the summer ends, and eventually turn yellow and die back to soil level. Clean it up to reduce potential for disease in the area.

Some experts recommend cutting the foliage of daylilies back to 6 or 8 inches tall in August. In hot humid areas this improves air circulation around the plants to forestall insect and disease problems. When flower production starts to decline, it may be time to divide the entire plant into smaller ones.

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