Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) Are tough, long-lived garden perennials which have been widely cultivated and hybridized, giving rise to over 60,000 known selections. They’re hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 to 10 and so are rather easy to grow. Although the amount of varieties may seem enormous, there are a few basic features to consider when selecting plants.
Daylilies are broadly categorized as evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous, according to the seasonal habits of the straplike, leafy foliage. Evergreen types are generally better for the warmer climates of USDA zones 8 to 10, however many types will perform nicely with good farming. They prefer growing in full or partial sun. Morning sun exposure with afternoon shade is considered best for many types. They tolerate a number of soils but flourish when grown in loamy, somewhat acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5 that drains well.
Size and Colour
True Hemerocallis species just feature orange, yellow or orange russet-colored flowers. Modern breeding has significantly raised the daylily colour range. You can choose from very light yellow, honey-gold, deep red, soft lilac and rich purple. Some varieties feature blended or multiple colors, stripes and contrasting bands or eyes. Daylily foliage is usually 12 to 24 inches long. Flower stalks, known as scapes, range from 6 inches tall to over 5 feet. As they reproduce and naturalize over the years, a clump of daylilies can spread significantly. You are able to spread them by dividing root clumps each five years.
Daylilies are aptly named. Most feature blooms that open from the morning and shut by nightfall, completing the cycle in one day. Blooms usually appear in clusters on the slim scapes, each flowering over a period of many days to weeks. Flower forms can be triangular, ruffled, flat, spiderlike, double, pinched or recurved. Different varieties bloom at different times during the growing season. Planting a mix of early-, mid- and late-season cultivars can extend the blossom season. Blooms vary in size from tiny 1-inch blossoms to 8-inch-wide giants. Reblooming and ever-blooming kinds are also available. Many choices are also quite fragrant.
Before selecting and planting daylilies, rate your landscape and dirt. Pick a site where they will get appropriate sun exposure. Darker-colored varieties may fade quickly if they get a lot of afternoon sun. If your soil is sandy and dry or clay-dense and poorly drained, you can amend it with organic matter like completed compost, aged manure and chopped pine bark to better support daylily health and vigor. Plant daylilies with the crown — where leaf and roots match — no deeper than one inch under the soil. In regions with hot or dry summers, apply a layer of organic mulch to help keep dirt.