The daylily is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial because:
- Available in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Able to survive with very little care in a wide range of climates.
- Suitable for all types of landscapes.
- Drought tolerant when necessary, with relatively few pest and disease problems in most gardens.
- Adaptable to various soil and light conditions.
- Known to bloom from late spring until autumn.
When to plant:
Daylilies are very hardy and adaptable, and therefore can be planted at various times throughout the year. You may begin to plant daylilies in the spring after the last hard frost, through the summer, and in to the fall, at least 4-6 weeks before the first hard frost. If you choose to plant outside of this window, water frequently and mulch the newly planted daylilies.
Sun or shade:
Most daylilies do best in full sun. They will tolerate part-shade conditions, but require a minimum of six hours of direct sun per day. Light yellow cultivars, many shades of pink, and delicate pastels need full sun to bring out their lovely colorings. Many red and purple cultivars benefit from partial shade in the hottest part of the day because dark colors absorb heat and do not withstand the sun as well as lighter colors.
types of soil:
Like most plants, daylilies show maximum performance in soils with good aeration, fertility and microbial activity. Although daylilies will perform in a wide range of pH levels and soil types, the ideal medium holds sufficient moisture to sustain the plants, yet is at the same time well-drained. These characteristics can be improved in soils that have too much sand or clay by amending with compost.
For maximum performance, daylilies should be planted in well-drained soil. In some regions raised beds may be beneficial where drainage is a problem. However raised beds should be approached with caution in cold winter regions as being elevated can make the plants more vulnerable to temperature extremes and fluctuations. Note also that raised beds generally require more irrigation during the summer.
location, spacing, and dividing:
For maximum performance, avoid planting daylilies in areas near shrubs and trees as this root competition will take some of the necessary nutrients and water. If this is not possible, give the daylilies extra fertilizer and water to compensate for this loss.
For smaller plants, allow 16"-24" of spacing. For larger plants, 24"-30" is recommended. If you notice a lack of blooms due to overcrowding, divide your daylilies. Be sure the clump can be divided in to at least two medium sized plants with at least 3 fans each.
fertilizer, weed & pest control:
Daylilies respond well to several balanced fertilization techniques. Granular, slow release, liquid fertilizer, compost, and manure all work well when used as directed. The best times to fertilize are in the spring (after the last frost) with a high Nitrogen fertilizer and just before bloom and/or late summer with a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10.
Once established, daylilies do a good job of blocking out weeds. Until mature, mulching and hand-weeding are the best techniques for maximum performance. Daylilies usually do not need to be sprayed for pests like aphids and thrips.
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