Daylilies are among the easiest of all perennial plants to grow. They thrive and bloom in the hot summer months with full sun to partial shade. They flourish in most types of soil and are winter-hardy, thriving in the coldest and hottest areas of the country. They're suitable for all planting zones.
All daylilies are delightful additions to the summer garden, providing an abundance of flowers for weeks on end. They range from dwarfs to the tall standards, making them ideal for many locations throughout your landscape. And because most varieties re-bloom, you’ll enjoy an extended blooming season when their flowers reappear later in the season.
Quick Reference Planting Guide
- Location: Full to partial shade.
- Hardiness Zone: Zones 3–9 to -25°F.
- Planting Distance: Dwarfs: 2' apart; Standards: 2'–3' apart.
- Mature Height: Dwarfs: 12"–24"; Intermediates and Standards: 2'–3' within 2 years with a similar spread.
- Bloom Time: Early to mid-summer. After a few weeks rest, it's possible to see repeat blooms until early fall for the first year, depending upon the variety.
- To Plant: Dig a hole at least twice as wide and twice as deep as the crown. Spread the roots of the plant out and cover with soil so that no more than 1" of soil covers the crown. Firm the soil around the crown. Water thoroughly.
Although daylilies do well even in poor soil, they can reach optimum results if you improve your soil as follows:
- Thoroughly spade or rototill the soil to a depth of 12"–15".
- Thoroughly mix in a generous 2"–4" layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, peat moss, or shredded leaves. If you plant in containers, any good potting soil will do. Whether you have a poor or rich soil, we recommend feeding your plants once every two weeks with plant booster for lush foliage and more spectacular blooms.
- Watering: Your plants require at least 1" of rainfall, or equivalent watering, each week. Whenever rainfall is minimal, be sure that you water well at least once a week. During drought or extremely hot weather, water more frequently.
- Mulching: Apply a 2"–4" layer of shredded bark, compost, or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and discourage weed growth.
- Weeding: Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with plants for food, water, and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them. Mulch also assists in keeping weeds down.
- Deadheading: Remove spent blossoms to promote additional blooming. Pinch or cut off when they fade, but leave as much foliage as possible.
- Grooming: Clip off unsightly or dead growth to maintain the plants in good form and shape. Cut flower stalks between the bottom blossom and the uppermost leaves.
- Feeding: Discontinue any feeding after September 1. Your plants want to harden off for winter.
- Winterizing: After frost has blackened the foliage of your daylilies, it will wither away. After it does, clean up the area around the plants. In-ground plantings don't require mulch. As soon as the weather warms in the spring, remove any mulch from in-ground plantings or containerized plants. At the same time, be sure to give the garden a good clean-up to remove dead or damaged parts on any plants.
- Containerized Plants: Move your containers to a sheltered location in northern zones such as an unheated garage or shed over the winter. You can also move containers to the south side of a foundation and mulch for the winter. Such warm locations increase the hardiness factor by two planting zones sometimes. You can also bury or plant either the plant itself or the entire container in the garden and mulch after the ground has frozen. As soon as the weather warms in the spring, remove any mulch from the container and bring it back out into the garden sunlight.
- Dividing: Daylilies will multiply over the years. Every 4–6 years, you can divide your daylilies and replant them to make more beds or to share with friends. Spring or early fall is the best time to divide and replant.