Daylilies are lovely in gardens and perennial borders, but they really shine when naturalized in the landscape. Naturalized plants are cultivated species that grow "wild" beyond the garden edge.
Daylilies, or hemerocallis, are members of the lily family. They are herbaceous perennials; plants grow in fans from crowns with fleshy roots that form clumps.
Each bud opens in succession for a day.
Flowers bloom on stems called scapes, one at a time, for about a day each. Many varieties are drought-tolerant and require little fertilizer, making them good candidates for naturalization.
Naturalized tawny daylilies line country roads and fill abandoned gardens.
Hemerocallis fulva, tawny daylily, is the model for daylily naturalizing. Classic form, aggressive growth and broad sun to shade tolerance have contributed to naturalization bordering on invasiveness in some areas.
Daylily varieties chosen for naturalization should be strong growers with non-fading blooms that bloom over a long period. Plain grassy foliage shades out weeds more efficiently; choices of early-, mid- and late-season bloomers or rebloomers provide a summer of flowers.
Naturalized daylilies provide good choices for ground covers, erosion control and xeriscapes, all of which help lower landscape maintenance and lessen dependence on horticultural chemicals.