Planning Your New Daylily Garden
Daylilies have frequently been called the perfect perennial
because they are hardy, easy to grow, drought tolerant, and rarely bothered by
insects or diseases. They also come in a full range of colors, shapes, sizes,
heights, and bloom times.
Daylilies can be used beautifully
as a formal mass planting of all one type, as part of a mixed border with other perennials, or as a mixed daylily bed
of different varieties selected to bloom at different times. We find that
limiting your selection to a few different varieties in each area gives a more calming
effect, while mixing lots of different colors together looks more exciting. For a very natural look,
select one type, and repeat clusters of them scattered around your yard.
Location and Spacing
location with at least a half day of sunlight and good drainage. If starting a
new garden area, your soil will need conditioning with composted manure, or your
own compost. Improving the soil is a good investment for more flowers next summer. Lime is useful if your soil is naturally very acidic. Complete planting instructions are included with each order.
Daylilies are generally spaced 18-24" apart. The new garden (left upper photo) was planted in early September, at 24" spacing. The same garden (left lower photo) was blooming and looked almost full the following July. Our plants are large, and daylilies are a vigorous plant in good conditions. If planted
closer than 18" apart, they may need to be divided in a few years. For the
look of established clumps without waiting, try putting 3 plants of one variety
together as a big cluster, with 2-3 ft. between clusters.
Simple Care of Daylilies
Once your new daylilies have settled in, they require very
little to produce colorful blooms. Spread organic fertilizer, compost, or dehydrated
manure around the daylilies each spring, as foliage growth is beginning.
During any summer dry spells, water deeply once a week. Extra
water during bloom season will encourage rebloom. Deadheading old blossoms is an enjoyable task that makes the flowers look nice, but is not necessary for the plants. Clean out old foliage after
daylilies go dormant, in either late fall or early spring.
may decide to spread an organic mulch around daylilies to suppress weeds and keep
the soil moist. It will eventually add both nutrients and humus to the soil as it breaks down.
Don't pile a thick, heavy mulch directly on top of the daylilies, as they need
to breathe. Winter protection is not needed.
Daylilies may be
divided every 5 years or so, if they become crowded, or may be left for decades
to flourish with little care.
If a plant is growing happily, blooming well, and does not look overcrowded in the garden, then leave it. If a clump is very crowded by plants next to it, has a donut shape with no foliage in the middle, and has fewer blooms than it did in previous years, then it's time to divide.