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ABOUT DAYLILIES

Daylilies are easy to grow perennial plants that come in a rainbow of colors, including purple, lavender, pink, red, orange, yellow, white and all the intermediate colors.

Although
they are related to the old-fashioned orange “ditch lilies”, modern daylilies do not cover large patches of ground like the ditch-lily covers.

Modern daylilies have ruffled and different colored edges and eyezones. There is a spectacular range of plant height as well as flower size (2” to 14”), shape, color and time of bloom.

While each flower only lasts for one day (hence the name ‘daylily’), established plants bloom from 4-8 weeks and some varieties bloom again later in the season.

Daylilies are divided into categories which describe their growth habits. Evergreens are happiest in warm climates because their foliage begins to grow any time the temperatures are above freezing for a period of time. Semi-evergreens tend to keep growing well into the fall, but then die back to the ground during our winters. Dormant daylilies die back to the ground and are generally considered to be the hardiest of the three types of daylilies. Daylilies are also categorized based on flower characteristics. Spiders have petals that are long and narrow. Doubles have extra petals in the middle of the flower. Flowers with eyes have a darker circle around the center. Daylilies are tough plants with few pests, and they can be grown in conditions of full sun to part shade.

PLANTING:
Dig a hole a bit larger than the root area. Add enriched soil to the bottom of the hole. Set the plant so that the point where roots and foliage meet is no deeper than one inch below the surface of the soil. Add soil all around the plant, being sure to keep the crown exactly level with the top of the ground, and press the soil firmly in place. Keep the plant well watered for the week or two after planting.

Plant in early September if possible, so that the plants will become established before winter. Many gardeners transplant soon after the flowering period has ended. Daylilies can be moved during the flowering period. It is best to trim the foliage to about 8” when transplanting
.
MULCHING:
Mulching is very desirable in daylily culture. Its principal advantage is that during the summer months moisture is retained and weeds are discouraged. A number of materials can be used successfully: straw, sawdust, pine bark, wood shavings and chips. The mulch should be one to two inches deep after it has settled. Evergreen daylilies and first-year plants can benefit from a winter mulch.

WATERING
If natural rainfall is scarce during the flowering period, a supplemental watering is beneficial.


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For additional information contact WDS President, Rhonda Veroeven, 608-345-0395