How Do I Winterize Daylilies?
Daylilies bloom for only one day, but they produce so many flower buds that many plants remain in bloom for most of the summer. A hardy perennial, daylily plants thrive with little care in most gardens. Daylilies grow from a fibrous root system and have foliage that dies back in fall. There are also a few semi-evergreen varieties that keep their foliage all winter long in mild climates but go dormant in cold areas. Not all varieties are suitable in all climates, so choose daylily types known to grow well in your area for best winter hardiness.
Things You’ll Need
- Cut back the foliage once it begins to yellow and die back in late fall, using sharp shears. Cut it down to 5 inches tall. Remove the old foliage from the bed and discard or compost it.
- Remove old mulch and garden debris from the bed, as these can harbor disease organisms or insect eggs. Dispose of or compost this debris.
- Water the daylilies once weekly until the ground begins to freeze in later fall. Supply approximately ½ to 1 inch of water a week when there is no additional rainfall.
- Spread a 3-inch layer of straw or leaf mulch over the bed once the soil begins to freeze. Winter mulches help maintain soil temperature and prevent the ground from going through freeze and thaw cycles, which can damage daylily roots.
Tips & Warnings
Replace winter mulches with pine bark or another attractive summer mulch, as these retain moisture in the soil and prevent weed growth.
You can divide daylilies in fall after they stop flowering, but the plants respond better to early spring divisions.