One of the first questions asked about daylily care is “How long do daylilies bloom?” From my experience, I’ve had daylilies flower for 8 months. Read on to learn more from Rachel Cook.
I call it the “Queen of May” as this Daylily (with unknown origin) has often bloomed for me well into December.
It is one of the most satisfactory dayilies blooming both early and late in the season, but skipping July and August when daylilies are a dime a dozen anyway.
A drought from May 20 to July 6 advanced the blooms of many varieties a week or two. They stood the drought well, as expected, the only noticeable effect being that some buds withered, as it reorganized its existence onto a dry basis.
Then in October the long Indian Summer, following a cold spell, started up again the early bloomers, which do not usually repeat bloom. These and a regular repeater, re-blossomed on extremely short stalks, as if they could not tell whether Spring was really here again or not.
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Daylilies For All Seasons
All seasons, come droughts or floods, are satisfactory to daylilies; they adjust themselves readily to the growing conditions of the moment and like it.
While daylilies can survive almost any kind of transplanting, it is reported that single roots do better than large clumps, that clumps are inclined to sulk for a year or two.
This must refer to bare-root transplanting since, with a sufficiently large ball of earth, the plant cannot know it has been moved.
Hemerocallis fulva is the old familiar, orange roadside lily, which has naturalized itself throughout the eastern part of the country.
Hemerocallis fulva Maculata is similar but preferable since it has a much larger flower and continues to bloom a week or so after fulva is finished. This Maculata here was off schedule this year from a recent transplanting.
Hemerocallis fulva Flore Pleno, as the name implies, is a double-flowered form of the tawny fulva, the pistils of the flowers having been transformed into a column of petals.
It is an interesting variety to be naturalized in a corner by itself, since it is too coarse in growth for a garden bed. There is also a sport of this which has white-striped foliage but identical flowers and blooming habits.
Proliferations – Daylilies Interesting Habit
A number of daylily varieties have the interesting habit of developing proliferations – small, complete plants that start halfway up a flower stalk.
These plantlets are really entire plants with leaves and aerial rootlets, and even indications of small buds; they will grow readily when detached from the main stem and planted. It can take a year for them to reach the size of purchased roots.
Some varieties develop underground runners which send up small plants a foot or two from the mother plant. These too make good “give-away” plants.
Still others, such as the selected priced choice ones, spread very slowly, and it is necessary to divide the clumps in order to get extra plants.
Many, but not all varieties develop seed pods. These are snipped off on the theory that the strength can better go into further blooms. “Queen of May” develops these proloferations in September. However, seeds will grow readily but take about a year longer than proliferations to become full-sized clumps.
Daylilies Perfect For Weekend Gardeners
Daylilies are the most satisfactory of flowers for the weekend gardener. Aside from their long season, their color range from light yellow through deep red, some of which are fragrant. They are absolutely bug-proof with no sprays or dusts are needed.
They seem indifferent to ordinary types of soils and locations – sour or sweet, damp or dry, fertile or poor, full sun or considerable shade. They do seem to enjoy some humus in the soil, but it is not a necessity.
Avoid Heavy Fertilizer
They definitely dislike heavy applications of fertilizer. They prefer to take care of themselves.
More about Lily Fertilizer
They can be planted successfully at any time of year, even in the Winter if the gardener is up to it and able to get soil to plant them in.
Although some Summer or Fall blooms can be expected from a root planted in the Spring, it does take two or three years for a root to form a full-sized, established clump with its multitudes of flowers.
Give them this time, and about two feet of space between plants, for full rewards.
Some are evening and night bloomers, rather than “day” lilies. Nothing can look sadder than a true “day” variety on the table at an evening dinner party.
From the name, daylily, it is to be expected that each flower lasts only one day, but there are more and more on the same stem, blooming day after day until the end of its season. Then another variety takes over, and so on.
Even out of blooming season the grassy green foliage of daylily plants make attractive mounds. While some lose all their leaves in Winter, many have evergreen tendencies – the mound of foliage remains, brown at the tips but green at the center where it is protected and still growing slowly.
By Rachel Cook – Rachel has been flower gardening for decades with a special fascination and love for daylilies old and new.