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Daylily Care for Beginners

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Landscaping, Gardening | 0 comments

Daylilies are easy-to-care-for perennials that can enhance any landscape.

They come in various colors and range in size from one foot to 6 feet, though most are from 18 inches to 36 inches. They have a tuberous root system and can be either deciduous or evergreen.

Daylilies can be used in clumps, mass plantings for flower bed borders, ground covers, or containers. Their lily-like blossoms are excellent as cut flowers.

Daylilies should be cut in the morning when the bloom is fully opened; stems with multiple buds should be cut when buds are well-developed. Numerous buds will open one per day. The previous day’s blossoms should be cut off daily.

Red and orange daylily flowers.

Striking red and orange daylily flowers.

Tip: After being cut, daylilies should be refrigerated for about an hour with their stems in water to make them last longer.

Planting Daylilies

Daylilies prefer a medium heavy, slightly acidic to neutral soil with adequate drainage. An alkaline soil may cause foliage to turn yellow. Soil mix is an excellent addition to existing beds.

Mulch with a thin layer of bark mulch. After planting, water in with a root stimulator solution according to label directions. When choosing your location, remember that most daylilies will perform best in full sun; however, full sun tends to fade dark blooms.

Watering Daylilies

Established daylilies don’t need watering unless a dry period occurs before or during flowering, when excessive dryness may cause buds to drop. Be sure to keep newly planted daylilies moist at all times.

Orange daylily bloom

A gorgeous orange daylily bloom.

Feeding Daylilies

Feed established daylilies with blooming plant fertilizer, 3-9-12. Excessive nitrogen may cause yellowing of the leaves and reduce the brilliance of red and pink varieties. Daylilies should be fed lightly at two to four-week intervals from mid-March through mid-June and again in mid-September.

Be sure to water when feeding if weather conditions are dry and warm. Daylilies respond well to bone meal, which should be applied every spring at 5 lbs per 100 sq ft of bed area.

Insects & Diseases

Thrips present the most serious threat to daylilies, causing distorted and discolored flowers. Spraying with pesticides according to label recommendations should control this problem.

General Care

Once established, daylilies are easy to maintain. Large clumps can be divided in late fall to early spring (remove any dead foliage and cultivate shallowly between plants to prevent weed growth).

FAQ:Caring for Daylilies

Q: How often should I water my daylilies in Southern California?

A: Water them thoroughly once a week, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. You may need to water them twice a week in the hottest months.

Q: What’s the best soil type for daylilies?

A: Daylilies thrive in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Adding organic matter can improve soil structure.

Q: Do daylilies require full sun?

A: Yes, daylilies perform best in full sun, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal blooming.

Q: When is the best time to plant daylilies in Southern California?

A: During the fall or early spring, to avoid the extreme heat of summer.

Q: How should I fertilize my daylilies?

A5: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring as new growth appears and after blooming.

Q: Can I grow daylilies in containers?

A: Yes, as long as they have adequate drainage and regular watering.

Q: How should I deal with pests on my daylilies?

A: Watch for common pests like aphids and thrips. Insecticidal soap or neem oil can be effective, eco-friendly options for control.

Q: Do daylilies need to be deadheaded?

A: Removing spent blooms (deadheading) encourages more flowers and prevents seed formation, focusing the plant’s energy on root and foliage development.

Q: How often should I divide my daylilies?

A: Daylilies should be divided every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and bloom quality. The best time for dividing is early spring or late fall.

Q: Are daylilies resistant to drought conditions?

A: Daylilies are quite drought-tolerant once established, making them ideal for Southern California gardens, although regular watering improves performance.

Q: What should I do if my daylilies aren’t blooming?

A: Ensure they get enough sunlight, proper nutrition, and water. If they’re overcrowded, dividing them may also help.

Q: Can daylilies survive Southern California’s winter temperatures?

A: Daylilies can easily survive the mild Southern California winters without special care.

FAQ:Caring for Daylilies

Q: How often should I water my daylilies in Southern California?

A: Water them thoroughly once a week, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. You may need to water them twice a week in the hottest months.

Q: What’s the best soil type for daylilies?

A: Daylilies thrive in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Adding organic matter can improve soil structure.

Q: Do daylilies require full sun?

A: Yes, daylilies perform best in full sun, requiring at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily for optimal blooming.

Q: When is the best time to plant daylilies in Southern California?

A: During the fall or early spring, to avoid the extreme heat of summer.

Q: How should I fertilize my daylilies?

A5: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring as new growth appears and after blooming.

Q: Can I grow daylilies in containers?

A: Yes, as long as they have adequate drainage and regular watering.

Q: How should I deal with pests on my daylilies?

A: Watch for common pests like aphids and thrips. Insecticidal soap or neem oil can be effective, eco-friendly options for control.

Q: Do daylilies need to be deadheaded?

A: Removing spent blooms (deadheading) encourages more flowers and prevents seed formation, focusing the plant’s energy on root and foliage development.

Q: How often should I divide my daylilies?

A: Daylilies should be divided every 3 to 5 years to maintain vigor and bloom quality. The best time for dividing is early spring or late fall.

Q: Are daylilies resistant to drought conditions?

A: Daylilies are quite drought-tolerant once established, making them ideal for Southern California gardens, although regular watering improves performance.

Q: What should I do if my daylilies aren’t blooming?

A: Ensure they get enough sunlight, proper nutrition, and water. If they’re overcrowded, dividing them may also help.

Q: Can daylilies survive Southern California’s winter temperatures?

A: Daylilies can easily survive the mild Southern California winters without special care.

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