How to Take Care of Daylilies


Daylilies, known botanically as Hemerocallis, are low maintenance perennial plants prized for vibrant, lily-shaped flowers that bloom in attractive shades of apricot, orange and red. Not technically a member of the lily family, daylilies take their name from the Greek words for day (hemera) and beauty (kallos). Daylilies can be grown successfully in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Garden hose or watering can
  • Chemical or organic fertilizer
  • Weed the area around the daylilies in the early spring, before any new plant growth. Cut any dead foliage from the previous year's growth with a pair of sharpened and sterilized pruning shears.

  • Water daylilies regularly to keep the surrounding soil moist to the touch. Provide daylilies with at least 1-inch of supplemental irrigation each week when rainfall is insufficient. Apply supplemental irrigation directly to the soil, rather than to the plant itself, to prevent the foliage from rotting due to excessive moisture.

  • Fertilize daylilies once each year, in the early spring, which will give the plant the nutrients it needs to thrive all season. Feed daylilies a balanced water soluble chemical fertilizer, or organic fertilizer such as manure, compost or alfalfa meal.

  • Remove seed pods and spent blossoms throughout the growing season. This will encourage the daylilies to produce additional blooms and prevent them from producing seeds. Daylilies allowed to produce seeds will have noticeably fewer blossoms the following growing season.

Tips & Warnings

  • Maintain a 3-inch layer of mulch on the surface of the soil around daylilies during the spring and summer months. This will help the plant conserve moisture and make it more difficult for weeds to grow in the planting area.
  • Bring potted daylilies indoors during the winter, if desired. Place them within 4 feet of a bright window where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Reduce the frequency of irrigation, allowing the top 2 inches of growing medium to dry slightly between watering. Move the daylilies back outdoors when new spring growth is observed and resume your regular watering schedule.
  • Daylilies are often troubled by aphids, thrips and other common insect pests. Treat affected daylilies with an insecticidal soap spray or rinse insect pests from the plant with a high-pressured hose.

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