Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simply Summer - How to Grow Daylilies

Day lilies - for many parts of our country, they are an ideal flower for the beginner.

Hardy in a range of approximately zone 3 to zone 9 (sorry, parts of Florida), it doesn't take much more than choosing your color and height and planting them in a sunny spot - and then spending the rest of your busy day on something else.  Yes, it's that easy.

These are not true lilies, but who cares?  Lots of color combinations. Spider type, striped type, fringed type.  Some are fragrant. No pruning needed, no insect pests, few diseases - the only care they will need, besides your love, is making sure they have sufficient water (yes, they will grow in semi-desert areas) and dividing them every few years.  Oh yes, fertilize them yearly with some compost.  Some people recommend mulching them before their first winter, but in my zone 5, I've never found that to be necessary.

Groundhogs don't bother them (and I should know). They are said to be deer-resistant, but since I don't have much of a deer problem (knock on my garden fence) I can't confirm that.

But what a reward you get for your few minutes of care.  These are daylilies from my yards. I got the first three from a plant sale last year at Binghamton, New York's Cutler Botanical Gardens and they are in my front yard.  The woman who sold these to us told my spouse and me that these came from a garden in Pennsylvania - and they didn't know the varieties - or, in some cases - even the colors.

The price, though, was right.  As it turned out, these are shorter varieties and I may have to replant them in slightly different locations when it's time to divide them.
This and the photo below have not been shared previously on my blog.

This third one ended up being buried.  It will definitely have to be moved.
Here are some more of my daylilies.  This first one is (somehow) growing in my oregano bed.
The next two below I've had for years.
This last one is a taller, larger variety and is magnificent near my back yard fence.
Alas, the one drawback of day lilies is: they are well named. Each bloom lasts for a single day.  These would not be the best choice for cut flowers.

Yes, in upstate New York, July isn't July without a few - or a lot - of day lilies.

What s your favorite go-to flower?


  1. Daylilies are a Texas garden staple, too, although I see way too many boring plain yellow Stella d'Oro plants (the variety found in most garden centers).

    We recently bought some with peach to burgundy shading/striping and are keeping them at RV park as container plants for now. I know just where they'll go in our flower beds at home when we move the trailer!

    My main go-to plant for hot dry/humid Texas summers is lantana - love the color varieties of its compound flowers, its roots winter over (and I can mow down the dead branchlets without hurting the main plant), and it spreads out to give nearby tree roots cooling shade without rooting itself every-darn-where.

  2. That's a beautiful flower! Too bad I'm a plant killer, I'd love to have these in my garden!

  3. Day lilies sure are easy. I miss the peonies from my old house. We haven't done a thing to our perennial beds in our current home as I have grandiose plans for an eco-friendly yard :)

  4. Wow. Those are beautiful. I live in CA now, and I had forgotten about the Lillys I grew in my New England garden. We have daylillies that they use almost as ground cover here, the orange variety, but I love the purple and yellow ones. Nice blog!

  5. LOVE your photos - day lilies are gorgeous! Used to have bunches of them where I used to live in NH. Like you said, it's amazing to see how many bloom during the day, but sad to see them go away overnight!

    Some of my favorite flowers are morning glories, pansies, and sunflowers.

  6. Your daylilies are just gorgeous! I wonder if they'd grow here?

  7. I think I am the only blogger in the world who does not have Daylilies! I really need to try some, especially if the woodchucks leave them alone. I have heard mixed reviews on whether the deer bother them.

  8. Nice pictures! The deer will eat the flowers though. They don't bother the leaves but the flowers are the whole point of having them. (The flowers are said to be edible by humans too.)


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