On and on daylily

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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  • Planting and Growing Daylilies For Midseason Color

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.

No Blooms On Daylilies – What To Do When A Daylily Isn’t Blooming

Popular in flower gardens and landscapes, daylilies are a common choice for homeowners who want to add color and curb appeal to their yards. These perennials are treasured for good reason; adapting to a wide range of growing conditions and able to withstand diverse climates, daylilies reward gardeners with vibrant blooms all season long.

As the name would suggest, each daylily flower remains open for only one day. The profusion of blooms produced on a single plant make this flower a garden favorite. That’s why a daylily not flowering can be upsetting.

Why Daylilies Won’t Flower

Finding that there are no blooms on daylilies may be quite alarming for many home gardeners. While the plants themselves can create nice visual interest in flower borders, when daylilies won’t flower, it can

be rather disappointing.

If your daylily isn’t blooming, growers should first make certain that they have provided the growing conditions required for the plant to thrive. With the daylily, non-flowering can be a sign of a couple issues. Most commonly, your plant may not be receiving adequate amounts of sunlight in the garden. Plantings in partial shade may struggle to receive enough light to produce consistent blooms.

If bloom has suddenly stopped in an already established planting of daylilies, there may be yet another issue that has caused the plants to cease flowering – overcrowding. As the plants grow and multiply, the daylilies may have to compete for space and nutrients in the soil. This often results in diminished size of the plant, as well as a decrease in the number of flowers that are produced.

How to Make a Daylily Bloom

If the proper growth conditions are being met, one of the best methods to encourage blooms on daylily plants is to divide the plants. Daylilies that have become overcrowded will need to be divided and replanted elsewhere in the garden. In general, daylily plants can be divided any time throughout the growing season. However, it is best done in the spring when the daylily will be able to establish itself in its new location.

When dividing and transplanting daylilies, always make certain to bury the crown at the proper soil level. Planting daylilies too deep will also cause decreased blooming too. With a spade and a pair of gardening gloves, most growers are able to promote better overall health and bloom in their daylily plants.

Why Day Lilies Don’t Bloom

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Day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) usually bloom for three to four weeks, but shade, drought, too much fertilizer or crowding can prevent flowering. These perennials grow in upright clumps 6 to 36 inches tall and 18 to 24 inches wide, and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, depending on the variety. Selecting day lilies that thrive in the growing conditions in your garden gives the best chance of plentiful blooms.

Shady Spots

Day lilies growing in shady spots flower rarely or not at all. These plants flower best in sites that receive eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Day lilies grow healthily in partially shaded sites, but you’ll see fewer flowers.

Grow day lilies in an area of the garden that receives at least six hours of sun. In mild and cold climates, such as USDA zones 7 and lower, there’s no maximum amount of sunlight day lilies can tolerate. In USDA zones 8 and above, the plants grow and flower best with light shade, such as from a high canopy, at midday and into the afternoon. If your day lilies are growing in a shady site, remove overhanging branches and other sources of shade, or consider transplanting the plants to a brighter part of the yard.

Dry Soil

Dry soil and periods of drought prevent flowering in day lilies. Plump roots mean day lilies can survive dry soil and drought, but the plants often lose their flower buds in these conditions.

Moist soils rich in organic matter are best for growing day lilies. Spread a 3-inch layer of garden compost, leaf mold or well-aged manure around the plants, but don’t pile the mulch against the day lily stems because this can cause rotting. Over time, worms and other soil organisms will break the mulch down and enrich the soil.

Water day lilies when the soil surface is dry. Spray water from a garden hose fitted with a soft spray attachment at the plant bases to penetrate dense clumps. Stop watering when the water begins to puddle on the soil surface.

Excessive Fertilizer

Day lilies don’t need much fertilizer, and excessive fertilizer can encourage leafy growth at the expense of flowers. Plants getting too much fertilizer often have lush, deep green leaves and look healthy but won’t flower. Day lilies growing in a border next to a lawn can accidentally receive lawn fertilizer.

Don’t fertilize day lilies that look healthy but aren’t flowering and don’t spread lawn fertilizer within 2 feet of day lilies.

Crowded Plants

Dividing crowded day lilies encourages strong growth and flowering. Reduced blooming is a sign that day lilies need dividing. This can happen every two or three years or up to every 20 years, depending on the variety. You can divide day lilies at most times of the year, but the usual time for dividing plants is spring before new growth starts.

Dig up day lily clumps with a garden fork, and split each clump into three or four sections. You can do this by pushing two garden forks down through the leaves and into the root ball, then levering the garden forks apart, or you can cut through the root ball with a sharp, clean knife. Plant the sections at their original growing depth and 18 to 24 inches apart.

Q. Last summer my Stella de Oro daylily did not have many blooms on it. A friend told me that she thinks it needs to be divided. Do you think this is good advice, and how would I go about dividing it?

A. There may be a couple of reasons why your daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’) did not bloom as well last summer as in past years. One reason might be that it does need to be divided. Daylilies are herbaceous perennials, like astilbe (Astilbe), bleeding heart (Dicentra), bearded iris (Iris hybrids) and many others, that over three to four years get overcrowded, become less vigorous, and bloom less. A general recommendation for most herbaceous perennials is to lift and divide them every three to five years. One exception is the herbaceous peony (Paeonia officianalis). The herbaceous peony gets better every year and last upwards to 75 years, and longer in some cases.

Lifting and dividing can be done in either the spring or the fall of the year. I personally prefer the spring because the soil is usually moist and loose, and the process fits into the spring cleanup and renovation of the perennial garden. Just prior to growth or just as new growth is emerging in the spring, use a spading fork to get under the plant, pry and lift it with as many roots as you can get. Once the plant is out of the ground, use a spade or sharp knife to cut and pull the plant apart. In the case of the daylily, you will be able to get individual plantlets with roots and nodules attached. Usually the plantlets on the outside edge of the plant are the most vigorous and should be used for replanting. Those near the center of the plant are the original plant and the ones that are less vigorous.

Before replanting, prepare the soil by adding and mixing in organic matter such as compost or leaf mold. A ratio of 1/3 organic matter to soil is a good one. Prepare the hole to a depth of about 10-12 inches and mix the organic matter and soil well. Then place the individual plantlets in the hole so that the top is just at the soil level and with the holes about 1 ½ to 2 feet apart. I like to replant just before a spring rain so as to settle the soil around the roots. If there is no rain, then water the plants into the ground. If the loosened soil settles so much that several inches of the plant top are showing, then add some more leaf mold /compost and soil mix around the newly planted division. Perhaps you will have more new plantlets than you can use in your garden, so you can share those with another gardener.

Other reasons why your Stella de Oro did not bloom as well is because it may not be getting enough sun. They bloom most freely in full sun. Although they will grow and bloom in most any soil, they prefer a loose, well-drained soil. Another reason for fewer blooms is competition from a shrub, tree or larger perennial close by. If you believe that one of these reasons is the cause for fewer blooms, then it is time to move (perhaps lift and divide) the plant to a new location.

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An abundance of healthy green foliage, but no flowers: what’s wrong?

Most daylilies (Hemerocallis cvs) bloom year after year without your having to do much of anything: they are very reliable and very permanent plants. But some varieties, even though they are treated the same way and grow under the same conditions, bloom less after they have been in the ground 5 or 6 years. They may stop blooming entirely. The very popular ‘Stella de Oro’ daylily – the mostly widely sold daylily in the world – belongs to this category. After a number of years, it just doesn’t bloom the way it used to. What’s wrong?

Competing With Itself

If a daylily is no longer blooming well yet others around it are still going strong, the problem most likely has nothing to do with fertilizing, watering, exposure, or other cultural factors, but rather results from overcrowding. And not overcrowding caused by other plants (most daylilies can hold their own in that department!), but with itself. It has produced so many offshoots that there is now a profusion of plants that share the same space, each competing with its neighbors for light and minerals. This intense competition reduces or eliminates flowering. It’s as simple as that.

Time to Divide

And the solution is just as simple: divide the plant. Maybe not when you notice the problem, in midsummer, but either in the fall (at least one month before the first frost) or the spring, when new shoots start to appear. That’s because daylilies respond better to division when they are more or less dormant. (And in the fall, even though they still have leaves, the average daylily is pretty much asleep.)

That said, you can divide a daylily in summer if you really want to, but it’s more of a shock to the plant and it’s therefore extra important to water regularly to help it make a complete recovery.

Daylily Division

Dividing a daylily is pretty basic.

Dividing a daylily in the fall: you can cut the foliage back if you prefer.

Start by just digging up the entire plant with a spade, taking the biggest root ball possible. If you do it late in the season (late August, September), you can shear the foliage to 8 inches (20 cm) high before starting so you can better see what you’re doing… if you want to (shearing is not absolutely necessary).

Slice through the plant with the spade to cut it into 2, 3, 4 or more sections. Each section must have at least one healthy fan; preferably 3 or more. Now replant each section without burying the crown (the junction between the roots and the stem)… in other words, plant it with its leaves at the same level as they were before the division.

After the division, water well and apply a mulch. The plant will need additional watering in case of drought until it is well established and that can take a full year.

If you end up with too many plants, no problem: they make great gifts for friends and neighbors!

Once replanted, your divided daylily will likely flower at least modestly its first season and heavily from then on. And after 5 or 6 years, since it is one of those daylilies, it will be time to repeat the process!

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