How To Care For Daylilies: From Seed To Bloom



Updated on 10/1/2023
Emma DowneyBy Emma Downey
Gardening Expert
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Daylilies are known for the vast, multicolored flowers that they produce. These flowers will return yearly with little to no maintenance, even in dry circumstances. Daylilies may be planted, grown, and cared for in your garden in the following manner, including cleaning up at the end of the season and splitting the plants after they bloom.

Concerning Daylilies

The daylily is a very low-maintenance (nearly no-maintenance) perennial. It is simple to cultivate, resistant to almost all diseases and pests, and able to thrive in conditions of poor soil, uneven sunshine exposure, and prolonged drought. In addition, there are hundreds of different gorgeous daylilies from which to select. Daylilies may be made to bloom from late spring all the way through the first frost of October if you plant a mixture of early, mid-season, and late-blooming cultivars in addition to repeat bloomers.

The scientific name for the daylily is Hemerocallis, which originates from the Greek words hemera (meaning "day") and kallos (meaning "beautiful"). Because each flower only stays in bloom for a single day, the name is rather apt. Daylilies are not "real lilies" and instead develop from fleshy roots, despite the name of the flower.



True lilies, which include Asiatic and Oriental lilies, are members of the genus Lilium and create from bulbs that resemble onions. In the case of daylilies, the leaves emerge from a crown, while the blooms appear on stems that are devoid of leaves and are referred to as "scapes," and these scapes rise above the foliage. A mature plant may have anywhere from four to six scapes, each of which bears 12–15 buds; this results in a prolonged time during which the plant is in bloom. The length of the scape is what is meant to be referred to whenever there is a height given beside a daylily variety. Some can grow to be over 2 meters tall!

When Should Daylilies Be Planted?

Daylilies should be planted in early spring, as soon as the soil can be handled. You might also plant them at the beginning of October, at least six weeks before the season's first frost.

Identifying and Preparing a Potential Location for Planting

Daylilies can endure conditions that are less than perfect, but they will produce their most significant results if grown in a location that receives full sunlight and has soil rich in nutrients and drains well.

Avoid planting close to trees and bushes since they compete with your plants for moisture and nutrients. Before planting, amend the soil with compost or old manure to boost the amount of organic matter.

How To Put Daylilies In The Ground



  • First, dig a sufficiently large hole so the roots may spread out. It is recommended that the plant's crown, which is the point where the roots and leaves meet, be buried approximately 1 inch deep.
  • To finish, fill up the dirt around the plant and lightly pack it down.
  • Water, the area until the ground, is entirely soaked.

Daylily Maintenance And Cultivation

But if you want these flowers to flourish and perform at their best, here's how to give them a little bit of TLC. Daylilies take little to no care and may even live with neglect, but if you want them to grow and perform at their best, here's how. A once-per-week watering schedule should be followed for recently planted daylilies.

Daylilies can thrive without being watered since they are pretty drought-resistant and sturdy. However, they require around one inch of water each week, most of which will be provided by typical rainfall. If you are experiencing a dry period or reside in an area that has a drier environment, watering them will encourage them to produce more blooms for you in return. Put mulch around the plant to help keep it wet and reduce the amount of weeding that has to be done.



As long as the soil contains a healthy amount of nutrients, daylilies need not be fertilized. You may, however, boost higher bloom performance by applying a little all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10) once a year in the early spring when new daylily top growth appears. This should be done. Spread a handful of the mixture at the base of each cluster of daylilies, and water it if it is dry. You have the option of fertilizing daylilies a second time after they have stopped blooming in order to assist your plants in increasing their number at a quicker rate in the future.

Although it is not required, deadheading can be done by removing wasted flowers from a plant in order to discourage seed formation and promote more flowering. Cut off their flowers as soon as you see they are beginning to wither. The vast majority of daylilies do not produce seeds on their own; thus, you will need to divide them in order to start new plants (see how below).

Once all of the blooms on a daylily scape have finished blooming, you have the option of cutting the entire scape down to the ground immediately, cutting it back in the fall, or not cutting it back at all. Should you choose not to prune it, it will just turn brown and stay in its standing position.



However, before new growth begins in the spring, you should prune away any dead foliage that was left over from the previous year's growth in the early spring. In the spring, amend the soil surrounding the plants by working composting or aged manure into the ground.

Dividing Daylilies And Transplanting Them

Daylilies have the potential to be aggressive spreaders and almost certainly will need to be divided at some stage (usually every 3 to 5 years). By splitting the plants, you will not only prevent them from spreading, but you will also give them a new life, which will result in more significant and more frequent blooms.



The following is the procedure for dividing daylilies:

  • Even while dividing may be done whenever the soil is workable, the ideal time to do it is immediately after the daylily has stopped flowering. This ensures that the new divisions are healthy and robust. Please take note that in order for the plants to become re-established before winter, they require at least six weeks.
  • Remove the entire root cluster from the ground.
  • Take away as much dirt as you can from the roots of the plant. The extra dirt may be removed from the seeds by soaking them in water for a while in a bucket.
  • Find the plant's crown and examine it. It should be broken up into smaller clumps, starting from the outside edge (usually 3 to 4 per plant). Each cluster needs to have a good set of roots and a few leaves at the very least.
  • Trim the leaves to a length that is roughly one-third of what they were initially (5 to 6 inches, generally).
  • Replant, and make sure they get enough water.


There are literally hundreds upon thousands of stunning daylilies available for purchase. Daylilies may be made to bloom from late spring all the way through October by planting a mixture of early, mid-season, and late-blooming cultivars in addition to repeat bloomers.

Flowers of the daylily can have a pleasant scent and can be found in a wide variety of hues, tints, and color combinations. Some flowers have broad petals that are ruffled at the edges, while others have full, round petals. Daylilies with a form like a spider are referred to as "spiders," but daylilies with "doubles" have twice as many petals and sepals. Some of the newest varieties even bloom at night and have a strong fragrance.

The following are some of our most favored cultivars:

  • 'Stella de Oro' features a large number of golden flowers on each scape and blooms continuously throughout the summer.
  • The 'Little Grapette' kind of grape features dainty lilac blossoms that bloom in the early summer. The daylily in question is only 12 inches in height.
  • The blooms of 'So Sweet' are yellow in color. The color of its leaves does not change over the winter.
  • Large, crimson-red blooms with golden throats can reach up to 9 inches in width on the 'Ruby Spider' plant.
  • The flowers of 'Catherine Woodbury' are a fragrant shade of lavender pink and bloom from the middle to the end of summer.
  • The 'Indian Giver' has enormous flowers that are a deep, rich purple, and it blooms from the beginning to the end of summer. It's semi-evergreen.
'Indian Giver'

'Indian Giver'

  • The 'Siloam Double Classic' variety produces fragrant, double, salmon-pink flowers from the beginning through the middle of summer. It works wonderfully in containers.
  • Daylilies with the ability to rebloom during the growing season are referred to as "reblooming."
  • "Happy Returns," "Good Fairy," and "Mini Stella" are some of the titles.
  • Daylilies with evergreen leaves are those that keep their green color throughout the winter:

The songs "Wind Frills," "So Sweet," and "Joan Senior."

Are you looking for a particular hue? No problem! The following are some choices: :

  • "Lullaby Baby," "Chicago Candy Cane," and "Halls Pink" are all variations of the color pink.
  • Color names for lavender and purple include "Mountain Violet," "Velvet Shadows," and "Summer Wine."
  • "Hearts Afire," "Oriental Ruby," and "Red Mittens" all include the color red.
  • Orange contains the songs "Rocket City," "Carrot Top," and "By Myself."
  • The names "Lemon Lollypop," "Mini Stella," and "Paradise Prince" are all yellow.
  • Crispin, "Ice Carnival," "May May," and "So Lovely" are all white titles.




Using Daylilies as a Substitute for Other Cut Flowers. Daylilies, particularly heirloom varieties, have the potential to be attractive when used as cut flowers. One day is all that individual blooms remain, although buds will continue to open and grow for up to a week when they are kept inside.

Daylily buds should be clipped when they are on the cusp of the opening so that a hint of the color of the flower may be seen through the door. As the lower buds wither away, the ones higher up will begin to open.

As soon as you have brought the flowers inside, cut the ends of the stems diagonally with a sharp knife and trim them to a length of about one inch.

Every few days, the water should be changed out.

Take away the spent blooms every day to encourage the growth of new buds.

Wisdom And Creativity



Daylilies are not indigenous to the Americas and may be traced back to their origins in Asia. They were brought to Europe by explorers, and then early settlers in North America were responsible for obtaining them there.

The common orange-red daylily, scientifically known as Hemerocallis fulva, is also referred to as roadside lily, outhouse lily, ditch lily, and tawny daylily. It makes bright borders along country roads.

If a daylily flower opens later or shuts sooner than its typical time (i.e., it begins at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m.), then you should prepare for rain, according to an old meteorological proverb.

The daylily may be consumed in its entirety from root to flower. The young, succulent leaf can be prepared and consumed like other spring greens. Raw or cooked, the buds and blooms of the plant can be finished. It is possible to destroy the swollen sections of the root by boiling them first. Continue reading to find out more about this.


There may be instances of thrips and aphids feeding on the floral buds. To keep them away, you can either use soap containing an insecticide or spray them with a lot of water.

Cooking Notes



Daylilies may be eaten and have been used for culinary purposes for quite some time. The young, fragile leaves were cooked and eaten as a spring green. The buds, blossoms, and stems were eaten raw or added to soups. The swollen areas of the root were boiled and eaten. When cooked in stews, soups, or sauces, all portions of the plant have a flavor that can be described as somewhat peppery and work as a thickening agent.

You might like the taste of daylily blossoms sautéed with butter and garlic. They have a flavor reminiscent of a combination of green peas and asparagus.

Fry daylily buds in a thin batter after dipping them in the batter. You'll have an excellent treat for the summer if you sprinkle some salt on top.