How To Grow And Care For Day Lilies

Daylilies are very easy to grow and not very demanding in what they require to bloom.

Daylilies are so easy to grow that if you take just minimal care of them they will bloom and multiply for years. They come in many colors and sizes and are not very picky about where they are planted. They do want sun at least half the day and can do well on slopes and other difficult places. If you are interested in container gardening on a balcony that gets a lot of sun, daylilies are a sensible choice.

If you buy daylilies growing in a pot from a local nursery you can just leave it in the pot. Daylilies do well in full sun or part shade. Part shade means 4-6 hours of the day the plant is shaded from direct sunlight. Daylilies in a pot must be watered every day during hot summer days. If the pot dries out very quickly move the plant to a larger one.

Often daylilies are sold in packages that contain bare root plants. These plants are ready to sprout when the conditions are right. It helps to soak these roots in water for up to an hour to re-hydrate them before planting. These can go into a pot or the ground. Do not use dirt from your yard in a pot, it will become very hard and can injure or kill the plant. Use good commercial potting soil in pots.

Daylilies do best in a garden setting where they can grow undisturbed for many years. Good soil, well loosened and lightly fertilized will produce a multitude of blooms. Plant the daylily with the roots spread out in a circle and cover with about an inch of soil. If you soak them in water before planting they will get started faster. Daylilies should be set about 12" apart if they will grow no taller than 14". Larger plants should be spaced 18" to 24" apart to allow space for the plants to multiply.

Every three or four years the plants should be lifted from the ground or pot and the roots should be divided. Dig under the roots and lift the plant out of the ground. There will be many plants instead of just the one plant you started with. Gently separate the plants with your fingers. Try not to break the roots. Replant the largest, healthiest roots at the same depth and spacing as the parent plant.

Daylilies grown in the ground can take a fair amount of neglect. Once established, they do not require extra watering. The plants can tolerate some weeds but do better if they are weeded. Do not mow the plants. They like a little fertilizer, but do not require it to bloom. Lift and divide when the clump looks crowded.

Daylilies do not require mulch but will respond favorably to bark or pine straw covering the ground around them to keep the weeds down and conserve moisture.

Many daylilies also produce a baby plant on the stem near where the flower was. Once the baby is about 3 inches long, break the stem from the plant. Trim off as much of the stem as you can without damaging the baby. This tiny plant can be planted in a pot until it gets big enough to go in a permanent bed. This baby plant is a little more delicate than other daylilies and will need to be coddled a little more than bare root or potted daylilies.

Some daylilies produce seeds in large seedpods where the flowers grew. These seed can be planted but results are not as reliable as dividing clumps.

Daylilies do not have any significant diseases and are pretty resistant to insect damage. They are an excellent plant for low maintenance gardening.

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