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Daylily Culture Tips!

  • Daylilies are among the easiest of perennials to grow and can last a lifetime if given an occasional transplanting. We dig and divide the display beds every 3 to 4 years and revitalize the soil. Some daylilies will grow and bloom for a longer time depending on cultivar, how fast they increase and their culture. They grow best in full sun or at least six hours preferably with afternoon shade. They do not like competing with tree and shrub roots for nutrients and water so do not plant them around trees.
  • Although they tolerate moving at almost any time the ground is not frozen, they are best planted in spring and early fall.
  • When transplanting, trim foliage back to about six inches to minimize moisture loss.
  • To prepare your planting area cultivate soil down to about 15 inches, that means turning with a shovel. Add organic matter, i.e. ground pine bark, mushroom compost, old manure, leaf mold, peat moss or your own compost. We use ground pine bark, lime if needed, cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal and sea kelp meal, all organic nutrients. Till and let sit for a week or so until soil is settled before planting.
  • To plant your daylilies, dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root mass. Mound the soil in the center of the hole and place daylily on the mound with roots spread out. Fill in with soil so that the crown (where roots and foliage join) is no more than 1 inch below surrounding soil surface and tamp firmly to avoid air pockets. Water thoroughly with soluble fertilizer or fish emulsion then add 3 to 4 inches of a good organic mulch. We use old horse/donkey manure.
  • Water is the most essential ingredient. Daylilies are considered drought tolerant only in that they are survivors. They do not THRIVE in dry conditions.
  • Keep in mind that soils and growing conditions vary in each garden. Have your soil tested and follow recommendations for best results.
  • A good complete slow release fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 8-8-8 gives excellent results. Daylilies respond beautifully to a soluble fertilizer program, such as Peter.s Special 20-20-20, Miracle-Gro 15-30-15 or fish emulsion. This can be applied with a hose-end sprayer about every 2 weeks during bloom season. Remember that daylilies are thirsty, heavy feeders!

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