Family: Hemerocallidaceae

Common Name: ABCs of Daylily


The Daylily is a rugged, durable plant that will survive neglected but responds to TLC with extra added flowers and clean foliage. Enter this area to get general cultural information for the Daylily (Hemerocallis genus).

Plant TypePerennials Hardy
Hardiness Zone4-9
SunlightDaylily's prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade. A general rule is the more shaded the site, the less the flowers.
MoistureVery tolerable of moisture conditions. They have a large somewhat fleshy root system that will help them survive draught conditions. I have seen these plants in very dry conditions. They look bad, but as soon as the moisture returns they will recover.
Soil & Siteaverage
FlowersThe genus name Hemerocallis (hemera-day, kallos-beauty) means the flowers last only one day. This may sound like a very short blooming plant but the plants produce many buds over an extended period of time. This is a plant that the plant breeders have improved. The newer cultivars have an increased bud count, larger flower size and better colors. There are cultivars that have repeated periods of bloom. The original daylily was either yellow or orange now there is just about any color except true blue. The bloom time is from around mid to end of June through August. The peak is in July. After the flowering period they may produce a three chambered seed pod. The flowers are bore on stems called scapes
Fruitdry (dehiscent); loculicidal (opening from the top), many seeds
LeavesStrap like leaves that are produced from a crown just underneath the soil.
RootsThe roots are fibrous and fleshy.
DimensionsSizes range from 16" to 40" or greater in height. Space the plants about 12-24" depending on the desired effect and budget.
MaintenanceCutting off of dead flower buds (dead heading) removal of dead foliage and cutting out the old flower scapes. In general the more flowers the more dead flower stalks. I find that the newer cultivars in general, tend to die back later than the older types
PropagationMany times these plants will produce seed pods. The seeds can be planted but the cultivars do not come true from seed. The main way this group is propagated is by division. This can be done in the spring or the preferred time is in August. Divided the clumps so that they have 2-3 eyes or more. The foliage of these divisions should be cut back at least 50%. The resulting cut back division should look like a fan.
Native SiteEurope, China to Japan
Author's NotesThis is an easy landscape perennial to grow. It has few if any disease or insect problems and will grow with very little care. Always try to buy the newer cultivars, most are superior in flower production, length of bloom and substance as compared to many of the older types
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