How to Garden Daylilies


The large, exotic blooms of daylilies resemble those of other lilies, though the daylily is actual just a close relative of the true lily. These perennial flowers bloom throughout summer, adding color to the bed for several months. Available in a range of colors, daylilies also come in bi-color types. Daylilies are not finicky about soil and can tolerate mild droughts, making them an adaptable plant that takes only a little work to maintain. Proper garden care keeps the daylilies looking their best for years to come.



Things You’ll Need
  • Shears
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
    1. Trim the daylilies in spring before new growth begins. Cut off dead flower stalks, leaves and stems to the ground with a pair of shears. Pull any grass or weeds that are beginning to grow within the daylily clump so that they do not become established.
    2. Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to prevent weed growth and to help retain soil moisture. Use shredded wood or bark mulch.
    3. Water the daylilies at the base of the plant so the foliage doesn’t become wet, as this may lead to fungal problems. Water once weekly, moistening the soil to a 6-inch depth. Morning irrigation is preferable, as this gives any wet foliage time to dry before cooler evening temperatures.
    4. Fertilize daylilies once a year in spring as new growth begins. The University of Vermont Extension recommends applying 3 lbs. of 10-10-10 analysis fertilizer to every 100 square feet of bed. Apply the fertilizer to the soil between the plants, as direct contact with fertilizer can damage leaves and roots.
    5. Remove the spent flowers before they begin setting seed. Once daylilies set seed, they may inhibit future blooming. Pinch the flower off behind the flower head, removing the entire flower structure so seed cannot form.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spread a 1-inch layer of compost around the plants before mulching. Compost improves soil quality and adds organic nutrients to the bed.

  • Daylilies can grow in partial shade, but they bloom best when they receive at least six hours of sunlight a day.

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