The dainty Daylilies have been delighting gardeners with their abundant charm and agreeability for centuries. Daylily comes from the genus Hemerocallis in the Asphodelaceae family. Its botanical name translates to “beauty for a day”, an obvious allusion to the day-long lifespan of daylily flowers, most of which tend to wither away within about 24 hours of blooming, often replaced by another from the same stalk the following day. Daylilies are native to parts of eastern Asia, including China, Japan and Korea. Daylily flowers come in a wide array of forms and sizes and a breathtaking spectrum of colors that includes orange, pink, purple, red and yellow.
Daylily plants do best in sites that receive direct sunlight for 6 hours a day. Incorporate good quantities of organic matter to enhance the soil’s aeration, drainage and fertility. Daylilies are exceptional in their diversity and the myriad it can be utilized in the garden. They make stunning border plants, are excellent for mass plantings along walkways or fences as well as for landscape plantings in combination with compact shrubs or ornamental grasses.
Spring offers the ideal time for planting daylilies, although gardeners in the South also have the option of planting late in fall. Till the soil to a depth of 1 foot and dig planting holes that are a little larger than the root mass, at least 18 to 24 inches apart from each other. Make sure you spread the roots out as you sow, and that the crown doesn’t end up any deeper than an inch under the soil surface. Pat the ground lightly to firm up the surface after refill and water thoroughly. Daylilies require regular irrigation for optimum growth. Mulching isn’t a necessity, but is useful in areas susceptible to weeds and excessive heat.