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Hosta and Gardening Links Daylilies Growing Tips

Daylilies and water

After transplanting, daylilies benefit from frequent watering...two or three times a week. Once the roots are established once a week is usually sufficient. Sandy soils require more frequent watering than clay soils. Daylilies do not like wet feet so plant in an area with good drainage.

Daylily Pests

Frankly, the American Hemereocallis Society does such a fine job in discussing this subject we suggest you go to: www.daylilies.org/AHSfaq2.html#pests and read their excellent material.

Daylily Rust

Daylily Rust is a new (to North America, at least) concern to gardeners. It is now found in about 30 states. We do not have this problem (knock on wood!) and therefore don't have any first hand experience. The AHS has an excellent discussion of the subject, including suggestions for control, and we recommend you review their material if you need more information: www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/daylily_rust.

As a preventive measure (since it spreads by airborne spores there is no guarantee we can't be infected at some future date) we have initiated a fungicide spray program. Incidentally, we are inspected annually by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. If you'd like a copy of our Certificate, just send us a stamped, self-addressed envelope and we'll be happy to send you one.

Daylily Terminology

Diploids and Tetraploids: A diploid has 22 chromosones and a tetraploid has 44. If you're thinking of hybridizing, you must cross a diploid with a diploid or a tetraploid with a tetraploid.

Evergreen, Dormant and Semi-evergreen. These terms describe what happens to the foliage during the winter. Evergreens try to grow whenever it turns warm; Dormant varieties die completely to the ground until spring; and Semi-evergreens are somewhere in between. In general, dormant varieties are more cold hardy...although even evergreen types will do fairly well....particularly if mulched for the winter. Customers in zones 9 and 10 (find your zone on our Plant Hardiness Zones page), should probably stick to evergreen or semi-evergreen varieties. Since all of our plants are field grown they have survived through zone 5 without any problems.

Rebloomer. Almost all of the varieties we sell are described as rebloomers in most catalogs. There is a wide variation from type to type, however. Some have a fairly long blooming period; some have a distinct second bloom period and a few have some blooms most of the season. This feature is also heavily influenced by growing conditions....so we've decided not to make any claims regarding this characteristic. We can tell you, however, that our experience indicates most varieties listed as rebloomers have, at best, only a few sporadic blooms occuring after the main bloom period.

Fertilizing Daylilies

We use balanced 13-13-13 fertilizer on our daylilies but one with a higher phosphorous content is also appropriate (such as 12-18-12). It's best to wait until the roots are established before fertilizing. Granulated fertilizer should be applied to the soil around the plant....try to keep it from direct contact with the foliage. Water soluble fertilizer is easy to apply but should not be applied over the bloom since most brands will stain the flower. We like to fertilize established plants early in the spring. Plants can also benefit from a second application in mid summer.

How to plant Daylilies

Prepare the soil by incorporating compost, peat moss, course sand or well-rotted manure. The hole should be large enough to accommodate the roots when the roots are spread horizontally. The crown (where the roots and leaves meet) of the plant should be about one inch below the soil surface. Firm the soil gently and water the plant immediately.

Receiving Daylilies

Unwrap the box as soon as possible. The roots' surface have been dried before shipping to prevent rot. Soak the roots in tepid water for 3 or 4 hours before planting. The tops have been trimmed for shipping but they'll recover quickly after planting.

If you're unable to plant soon after receipt keep the plants in a cool dark location. after you've let the surface of the roots dry out again. A paper bag in the refrigerator will do for a few days....but don't let them freeze.

Spacing Daylilies

The larger varieties may be planted up to 30 inches apart....smaller varieties as close as 12 inches. In the main this is a question of whether you're interested in the plant as an individual speciman or if you're more interested in using daylilies as ground cover.

Where to plant Daylilies

Daylilies prefer sunny locations. Although they will tolerate semi-shade, their blooms will be smaller and growth less vigouous. Six hours of sun is the recommended minimum. In addition, the plants do not like wet feet so a well drained site is important.

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