How to Plant Daylilies
Care for Hemerocallis Hybrids

Discover how to plant daylilies so that they bloom heavily and multiply rapidly. Care for Hemerocallis hybrids. How to grow daylilies from seed.  Growing daylily plants in containers. Propagation and reblooming tips.


Yellow daylilies spread their cheer beside a garden path.

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The repeated appearance of trumpet-shaped blossoms borne on well-branched stems above elegant clumps of grassy foliage makes growing daylilies a perennial joy.  The flower is called a daylily because each bloom lasts for just one day.  The plant makes up for this forgivable shortcoming by producing, sometimes, hundreds of flowers over the course of a growing season.

When I was a teenager, my mother grew the orange-flowered Hemerocallis species in our backyard.  These plants took whatever nature threw at them and flourished in spite of our, nearly total, neglect.

A shovelfull of composted manure may have been dug into the planting area prior to their installation.  Mom would throw a handfull of fertilizer in their general direction each spring, unless she forgot or didn't have time.  They were never watered.

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I remember her digging clumps up every few years to divide because they had multiplied so much. 

She used the divisions to fill empty spots in her flower beds and as pass along plants to share with neighbors and friends.

If you are gardening under difficult conditions, or are botanically challenged, this is the daylily for you. 

Otherwise, read on...

Growing Hemerocallis Hybrids

Dwarf daylilies draw attention to this small pond.

How to Plant Daylilies:

Space plants a foot apart.  Plant them so that the tubers are about an inch below the surface of the soil.

If planted too deep, they will not bloom or grow well.  Eventually, the plants  will decline and die.

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Today, the old-fashioned species has been eclipsed by the thousands of modern daylily hybrids which have made innumerable combinations of heights, colors, flower forms, and blooming times available to gardeners.  There are evergreen and deciduous, tender and cold hardy types.

In exchange for all this variety, the hybrids require a bit more care than the species.

Light: Daylilies bloom most abundantly in full sun.  However, plants growing in Florida or Arizona gardens will perform and maintain their color best when sited in bright shade.

Soil: Rich, constantly moist soil that drains freely will encourage rapid growth and multiplication.  Dig in lots of compost before setting the plants in place.

Water:  Never let these plants dry out.  Repeated exposure to drought will weaken them.

Fertilizer:  If their soil is rich enough, your daylilies will not need much food.  A light application of any balanced fertilizer in midsummer should suffice.  Feed plants growing on sandy soil every 8 weeks during warm weather.


Transplanting Daylilies
Daylily Propagation

Growing Daylilies from Seed is Easy!

Sow the seeds, 1/4 inch deep,  in a flat of soilless potting mix moistened with weak chamomile tea.

Once the seeds sprout, continue to water them with the tea as it will prevent damping off.

Be sure to label the flat so that you don't mistake the seedlings for weeds!

Expect beautiful flowers in 2 years.

Daylilies may be planted or transplanted at any time during the growing season--even in high summer--as long as you remember to water them every day for a week following.

  • Prepare a planting hole (or holes) in the new site.
  • Dig up the clump.  If it has been in the ground for several years, this may be a good time to divide it.  To do so, pull or cut the root mass into divisions containing at least 4 fans (groups of leaves) each.  More is better.  Divisions smaller than this may struggle to become established.
  • Set each division into a planting hole and fill it with soil.  Water the newly set plants well.

Did You Know...

A clump of daylilies may be successfully lifted and moved while it is in full bloom as long as you do not disturb the roots!

Growing Daylilies in Containers

Dwarf Daylily, Stella D'Oro

When growing daylilies in a pot, choose compact, everblooming varieties like 'Stella De Oro'.

Use a free-draining potting soil, and enrich it with composted manure. 

Mix in a tablespoon of slow release fertilizer granules before you set the plants into the container.

Even after all of this soil prep, the plants will need to be fed with a low nitrogen, water soluble food every 2-3 weeks for should the soil become too lean, the plants will fail to rebloom.



More Beautiful Perennials:

Perennial Sunflowers

Delphiniums: Risk vs Reward

Caring for Hydrangeas

Digitalis Foxglove

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