The daylily’s scientific name is Hemerocallis, which is derived from two Greek words which mean beauty and day. The name refers to the fact that each flower on the daylily stalk blooms for one day, but because each plant is comprised of many stalks and flower buds, there are numerous blossoms over a period of weeks. Different cultivars also bloom repeatedly throughout the year.
Thousands of daylilies that have been named and registered bloom in multitudes of color. The modern hybrid daylilies are quite different from the wild flowers which were limited in color range. Currently you can plant daylilies whose flowers bloom in shades of gold, apricot or peach, lavender to purple, orange, pink, red, white and off-white, and yellow. The center, or throat, of the daylily is usually a different color from the flower, most likely a green or yellow hue. The stamen may be the same color as the flower and usually has a dark tip.
To maximize the showy flowers, you can plant daylilies whose blooms have different forms. The single daylily flower has three petals, while the double has layers of petals, making it appear to be a stacked, double flower. Unusual daylily shapes include flowers whose petals are pinched, twisted, or have a star or trumpet shape.
Daylilies are perennials that live more than one season, but initially they should be planted after the danger of frost has passed in the north and before the heat of summer in the south. Daylilies may need one season to bloom, but after they’re established they can produce hundreds of flowers in a season. In cold climates they bloom throughout the summer, with each plant blooming for about 45 days. Grown as perennials, the newer cultivars rebloom throughout the year.
Daylilies are tough perennials that exist and adapt to many garden soils and sites. They thrive though in full sun, but afternoon light shade in a hot climate helps them look fresh. The daylily prefers slightly acidic soil that is moist and well-drained. Organic fertilizer, either liquid or granular, applied before bloom time helps produce a multitude of flowers.