How to Prune a Daylily

6 Daylilies, or hermerocallis as they are know botanically, are a genus of flowering perennial plants grown from underground rhizomes. While they are not true lilies grown from underground bulbs, the flowers and foliage strongly resemble lilies. They are beloved for their prolific blooming capacity with each flower lasting one day, hence their name. They are equally appreciated for their low maintenance. Daylilies bloom from late spring through the summer and into fall and winter in warm or temperate climes. They naturalize by underground rhizomes and should be deadheaded and thinned periodically.

Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need
  • Secateurs
  • Long blade shears
  1. Cut off the individual flower heads as they fade throughout the growing seasons. This process is called deadheading. However, refrain from cutting down or removing the flower stalk (also called a scape) until every last bud has opened and completed blooming. Cut the scape down to the crown of the plant between the leaves and just above the soil, then pull it out and discard it.
  2. Remove discolored, dry, dead or damaged leaves or stalks by cutting each back to the crown at the soil line and lifting it from the plant canopy. Inspect for disease damage periodically and remove any that you find, cutting the leaves or stalks back to a point of healthy plant flesh.
  3. Shear all of the plant’s top foliage after the first hard frost has come. Alternatively, leave the dying foliage in place over winter and shear it off in early spring before new green growth appears. In warmer climates without heavy frost, the top foliage of the daylily will remain green and should not be sheared down.

Tips & Warnings

  • Daylilies are often best left on the plant during bloom as they will survive only a day or less in water.

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