How to Feed Daylilies
Daylilies are perennial flowers that live for many years. These flowers are not true lilies since they grow from thick, fleshy roots called rhizomes; true lilies grow from bulbs. Daylilies produce an abundant amount of flowers over the summer. Each blossom opens for one day before drying up. Another flower then quickly replaces it. Daylilies are used as flower borders, mass plantings, ground covers and cut flowers. Feeding the daylilies encourages the formation of more flower blossoms.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Hand cultivator
- Remove any weeds and grass growing in the daylily planting area. This reduces the competition for the nutrients in the soil and fertilizer.
- Sprinkle the planting area lightly with water. This wets the top layer of soil so the fertilizer stays in place when sprinkled over the ground.
- Spread 3/4 to 1 1/2 lbs. per 100 square feet of 3-1-2 slow-release fertilizer over the soil. The numbers represent the ratio between nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Try to find a fertilizer as close to this ratio as possible. Apply the fertilizer between the plants and keep it off the leaves.
- Scratch the fertilizer pellets into the top inch of soil with a hand cultivator. Use a small rake if bending over for garden work hurts your back or if you are fertilizing a large flower bed. Gently work around the plants, so you do not damage the leaves or break the flower stems.
- Water the area heavily to activate the fertilizer. The water allows the fertilizer to work its way down into the soil. Feed the daylilies three times a year. Space the feedings throughout the year so the daylilies are fertilized in the fall, early spring and in the middle of summer.
Tips & Warnings
Deadheading — removing the dying flowers — needs to be done on daylilies to prevent the formation of seedpods. Seed production is the trigger for the daylilies to stop flowering, which means fewer flowers during the year.
Garden pests do not usually bother daylilies. Occasionally the flowers become infested with aphids and thrips. Spray the flowers and leaves with insecticidal soap. Rinse the pests off the daylilies with a strong stream of water.