Gardeners can't get enough of daylilies, and it's easy to understand
why. Other flowers may be as beautiful, but no other plants are as
rugged, widely adapted, or versatile. Daylilies are gorgeous, and
they are survivors--perfect plants for both the connoisseur and the
from Asia, daylilies have adapted to the challenging and varied climates
of the United States with all the vigor of its best native plants. They
grow in all U.S. regions, but thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through
Daylilies have arching, straplike foliage. Flowers are borne on tall
stems, called scapes, that rise above the foliage. They are available
in a range of sizes; some varieties grow just 12 inches tall; others
reach 3 feet. (Note that the height given in plant descriptions usually
refers to the height of the flowers; the foliage may be significantly
to its name, each daylily flower remains open for only one day, but
each flowering scape contains numerous buds. The
color range of daylilies has expanded to include everything but blue
and pure white. Many blossoms are bi- or tri-colored, and some have
striking "eyes"--zones of different colors surrounding the
throat. Single daylilies have six petals, while double varieties have
a second set of petals, often ruffled. In the Far East, daylily flowers
are used in recipes and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are often found
as a dried food in stores.
How to Use Daylilies
Daylilies are stalwarts
of the perennial border, but they shine in other spots, too. Vigorous
daylilies grow thickly enough to choke out most weeds, making them a
low maintenance ground cover. They excel at holding the soil on steep
slopes and other erosion-prone spots. Plant them on banks and roadsides
or along waterways. Use dwarf daylilies in rock gardens, in containers,
or as edging for flower beds. When planting several daylily varieties,
arrange them in drifts of a single variety for a natural look.
Daylilies grow best in full sun, ideally 6 hours or more daily. However,
in hot and dry climates, they benefit from some afternoon shade, as
well as irrigation during bloom. Also, many of the deep reds and the
paler shades hold their colors better in partial shade. In any zone,
daylilies will perform reasonably well with half a day's shade--they
just won't bloom as vigorously.
Daylilies grow well
in a wide range of soils. You can plant them successfully almost any
time the ground can be worked. To plant bareroot daylilies, work the
soil to a depth of 12 inches. Dig a hole, then make a mound of soil
in the center. Set the plant on the mound with the crown at the soil
surface or no more than an inch below. Firm the soil around the roots,
and water well. Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart.
The ideal time to
transplant or divide your planting is in spring as the shoots begin
to emerge, or immediately after bloom. When replanting, set the plants
at the same height they grew at previously or slightly higher to allow
for settling. Firm the soil, then water. Some cultivars can grow for
20 years without requiring division, but others may need division every
second or third season. You'll know it's time to divide when flower
production beings to decline.
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daylily is a mid season diploid bearing 6 inch orchid-pink blooms
with a deep veining.
mid season tetraploid, this daylily bears 5 inch pastel orchid blooms
with deep violet highlights.
daylily is a diploid with 3 inch pastel peach blooms with a pronounced
ruffling along the edges.
diploid Daylily bears 2-3 inch yellow throated, cranberry-red flowers.
de Oro Daylily
yellow colored blooms characterize this popular daylily and encapture
a stunning tangerine throat. Blooms early and is a repeat bloomer.