Transplanting daylilies best time

Daylilies come in a variety of colors and multiply quickly. When they are overcrowded they compete for water.

Divide and transplant Daylilies to give them room to grow.

The three parts of the daylily are the foliage which are the green tops, the crown which is white, and the roots.

The best time to divide daylilies is after the last one blooms in the summer, but they can be divided until the end of Autumn. The roots will have lots of time to grow in the ground and make beautiful flowers for next year.

You can also divide daylilies in the Spring.

Step 1: Gather Supplies Needed

You will need: a spade or shovel, knife, scissors, pruners or lopping shears, garden hose

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Step 2: Cut off half of the green foliage

Step 3: Dig a hole all the way around the plant

Step 4: Lift the plant out of the ground and gently shake off any loose dirt

Step 5: Spray the plant with hose to remove any extra dirt from the roots

Step 6: Separate the Fans

Wiggle the daylilies back and forth to separate the fans. A fan is one plant that has a green top or foliage, a crown, and roots.

If the fans do not come apart easily you may need to cut into the crown with a knife just enough until you can pull apart the fan.

Once separated, spray again with hose to remove excess soil.

Step 7: Dry the Fans

You may either set the fans into full sun for up to three days to allow the plants to dry or immediately plant them. If you choose to let them dry, this may prevent crown rot, keep insects away, or prevent disease to the plant.

Step 8: Transplanting the Daylily

Dig a hole that is two times as wide as the roots and about a foot deep. Make a mound in the center of the hole. Put the plant on top of the mound (with the green side up) and spread the roots all the way around to the bottom of the mound. Cover the plant with dirt and make sure that the crown is at the very top of the hole.

Step 9: Add Mulch or Fertilizer

If you choose to add fertilizers, use 2 teaspoons of plant food for each square foot of dirt. You may choose to add mulch instead of fertilizers.

Step 10: Water

Water each plant well. Daylilies should be divided every 3 to 5 years or when overcrowding happens.

Cynthia G.

I am a person of varied interests. I am a Master Scuba Diver and have dove the Florida Keys wrecks, Bimini, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Cozumel, and Bonaire. I love photography, handcrafts, gardening, writing, and painting. I have been married 37 years and have 2 grown married children. My husband and I have lived in 7 states.

Daylilies are one of the easiest perennials to grow. They are extremely hardy and forgiving plants. Few pests bother them. Large well developed clumps are weed and drought resistant and can live untended for decades.

Why grow daylilies?
Low Maintentance-
They are forgiving growers, even in the most adverse conditions, multiplying without much care.

A mass of Daylilies puts on a show

Great Value-
Dollar for dollar, daylilies are your best initial perennial plant investment.
If you’ve ever visited an old abandoned New England homestead cellar hole, you’ll see daylilies. 150 years after planting, daylilies are still growing on the site.
We will send large divisions, to ensure quick establishment and best bloom. Plants will be state inspected, labelled and ready to be planted in your garden.

If I move my daylilies will they bloom?
A clump of daylilies can be moved early in the spring and will still bloom that year almost as if nothing had happened.

When do I plant?
Transplant daylilies any time of the growing season. Many people choose to transplant during the spring or early fall, allowing the plants ample time to establish themselves before the next blooming season. Daylilies are able to withstand being divided during the heat of summer.

What do I do if I can’t get my bare root plants in the ground right away?
If you have just received them, unpack them and air them out immediately. Store plants in a cool and moist location, but not soaking. It is possible to store them out of the ground for up to two weeks, but bloom for that season may be lost.

I don’t have a permanent garden plan designed. Can I temporarily plant daylilies and then move them?
Yes, daylilies can be moved at any time during the growing season. Consider planting them at the edge of your vegetable garden for a season or two. The extra fertilizer and water will help them quickly attain larger clump size. Move the clump intact later to a less optimum site and it will be ready to perform.

How much sun does a daylily need?
The amount of sun is proportional to the amount of bloom. In other words, the more sun the more blooms; but daylilies will grow in any light condition. When choosing a location for them, consider how much of the day they would have direct sunlight. The midday and early afternoon sun is the strongest, but morning sun is usually adequate for a good show.

What kind of soil is best for daylilies?
Almost any soil will grow daylilies, but the better the soil the better the performance. Soil should be friable and humus rich with a balanced pH. Use compost for ammendments and fertilize occasionally.

How deep do they need to be?
Plant about 6-8″ deep, depending on the root mass. Once the hole is prepared, place the daylily upright, without cramming it into the space. Loosley push soil over the roots until the hole is nearly full. Press the soil down around the roots, without covering the green of the crown. Leave a slight depression, or water reservoir, around the plant, about 1/2″ deep.

Do daylilies need to be watered?
Dr. Darrow used to say that water is the best fertilizer for daylilies. While, you can’t beat compost for nutrient and soil value, consider giving daylilies water on a regular basis to enhance their growth. Except in extreme soggy situations, extra water means more blooms and a longer season of bloom.

How to divide Daylilies

I have some old daylilies that need dividing. How do I do it?
The easiest way we’ve found is to dig up the clump, shake off a the soil, lay the clump on its side and gently pry off pieces using a weeding fork.

Remember, daylilies are not just a purchase, they are an investment. Extremely long-lived, you can count on them growing and increasing for decades to come.

Planning a season of blooms
Would you like to spread your blooming season out even longer? Plant in the warmer areas on your property, along south sides of buildings. Daylilies in these areas will bloom earlier, gaining an extra mini season. To achieve a season of blooms, choose daylilies that begin to bloom about 2 weeks apart, from early June, mid June, late June, early July and so on.

The color, width and curve of a plant’s foliage will define and enhance a garden’s look. The light green strap-like leaves of H. minor bow gracefully, honoring the sweet faces of Johnny Jump Ups.

Flower shapes
Daylily flowers come in many shapes: round, star shaped, spider-like, flat, fluted, trumpet, recurved, and more. Try an interesting shape as a focal point in a garden bed.

Container plantings
For gardens of limited size,try planting mini and dwarf daylilies in containers. Make sure they have drainage holes, and can adequately keep in the moisture. Your favorite piece of pottery could become a home for a tiny garden. Line it with a plastic nursery pot, add a little compost to the potting soil for nutrients, top off with bark or coco mulch, and don’t forget to water!

Marginal sites
Do you have a marginal site, very dry, very wet, lots of ice and snow from the roof or sand and salt from the road? Daylilies are very salt tolerant

Daylilies are one of the few plants that just might do well in those adverse conditions.

About Mulching:
Besides helping to keep weeds in check, mulch aids in soil moisture retention. We mulch with a composted-manure mixture layer, and then add a top layer of hay. The compost acts as a fertilizing soil ammendment, working its way down to the roots of the plants.

  • avoid peat moss, it acts as a water shedding mat.
  • grass clippings, hay and straw are good mulches and are widely available. Ideally, seed-free straw should be used.
  • coco mulch and shredded bark are decorative, but will not easily break down , and so are less beneficial to the soil. These mulches are better for permanent plantings.
  • be sure not to bury the crowns of the plants with mulch. Leave a 2-3″ depression around the base of each plant for breathing room.
  • mulch as needed, anytime during the growing season.
  • a thick layer of mulch will help deter weed growth, but it won’t stop it, so don’t forget to weed.

Benefits of Hand Weeding
‘Time consuming’ and ‘tiresome’ are words often used to describe handweeding. But far better than chemical herbicide weed killers, hand weeding directly leads to improved health of your garden. By churning in the organic matter decaying at the top layer, nutrients are added to the soil. By removing the ‘weeds’ by hand, wildflowers and legumes can be selectively left to enhance the beauty and health of the soil. Its good excercise too!

Plant in groups of three or more for the best effect. Combine reds with lemon yellow. Its dynamite!

Deer generally don’t eat daylilies, unless they’re desperate. Sometimes, they will eat the buds, but not the leaves. In fact, there are very few pests that do bother daylilies! People often ask us how we keep the deer out of our fields. It’s easy with our four Border Collies. They have learned to keep the deer away, go around the garden beds and, especially, play with the visitors.

Cut flowers
Plant a long stem cutting garden of annual flowers around a circle of tall daylilies. If the daylilies are left uncut, they will provide the backdrop of full color, enabling you to cut the annuals regularly.

Tetraploid vs Diploid
Many people think that Tetraploid (Wikipedia) daylilies are better than diploids. However , tets frequently lack the natural wild charm that the thinner scapes and finer foliage dips have. Think of tets as more of a sculpture or centerpiece, to stand out ,while dips blend and complement.

Join the American Hemerocallis Society, write to
Pat Mercer P.O. Box 10 Dexter, Georgia 31019

$25.00 per year, including 4 quarterly Journals

Yard and Garden: Dividing Lilies, Daylilies and Peonies

AMES, Iowa – Late summer and early fall is a great time to manage the flowers growing around the house and in the garden. The trick is to know the best times and ways to manage particular types of flowers, like lilies, daylilies and peonies. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer tips on managing different types of flowers during the late summer and early fall.

To have additional questions answered, contact the ISU Hortline at 515-294-3108 or [email protected]

When is a good time to dig and divide lilies?

Early fall is an excellent time to dig and divide Asiatic, Oriental and other garden lilies. Carefully dig up the clump and separate the bulbs. Replant the bulbs immediately. If planting must be delayed, place the bulbs in a plastic bag containing lightly moistened sphagnum peat moss and place the bag in the refrigerator. Plant the large bulbs four to six inches deep. Small bulbs should be planted two to four inches deep. Lilies perform best in well-drained soils in full sun. The large bulbs may bloom the following summer. However, the small bulbs may not bloom for one or two years.

When is the best time to transplant peonies?

September is the best time to transplant peonies. Begin by cutting the peony stems near ground level. Then carefully dig around and under each plant. Try to retain as much of the root system as possible.

If desired, large peony clumps can be divided at this time as well. Using a sharp knife, divide the clump into sections. Each division should have three to five buds and a good root system.

When replanting, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the entire root system of the peony. Position the plant or division in the hole so the buds are one to two inches below the soil surface. Fill the hole with soil and water thoroughly. Peonies perform best in well-drained soils in full sun.

When can I divide daylilies?

Daylilies can be divided in early spring, as new growth begins to emerge, or in late summer to early fall. Dig up the entire clump with a spade. Shake or wash off the soil, then carefully pull the clump apart. Often, a sharp knife is necessary to divide large, dense clumps. Each division should have two or three fans of leaves and a good root system. When dividing daylilies in late summer to early fall, cut the foliage back to a height of six to eight inches.

Replant the divisions as soon as possible. When planting, the daylily’s crown, the area where the shoots and roots meet, should be approximately one inch below the soil surface. Water thoroughly. Divided plants usually don’t bloom well for one or two years.

How To Transplant Daylilies: Learn About Moving Daylilies In The Garden

Daylilies are one of the hardiest, easy-care and showiest of perennials. While they are not finicky about, well pretty much anything, they do grow into large clumps and like to be divided every three to five years for optimal blooming. Moving and transplanting daylilies takes a little finesse. The following information on how and when to transplant daylilies will have you an old pro at dividing and moving daylilies in no time.

When to Transplant Daylilies

The most ideal time to transplant daylily roots is after the final bloom in the summer. That said, being the totally easy-to-please perennial that they are, they can be divided up until the end of autumn, which will still give them plenty of time to establish in the ground to create gorgeous blooms next year.

But wait, there’s more. Transplanting daylilies can even take place in the spring. The divided clump will still bloom that year as if nothing ever happened. Really, if you feel like moving the daylilies at pretty much any time of the year, these resilient troopers will reliably return.

How to Transplant Daylilies

Prior to moving the daylilies, remove half of the green foliage. Then dig around the plant and carefully hoist it from the ground. Shake off some of the loose dirt from the roots and then spray them with hose to remove the remainder.

Now that you can clearly see the roots, it’s time to separate the clump. Wiggle the plants back and forth to separate individual fans. Each fan is a plant that is complete with foliage, a crown and roots. If the fans are hard to separate, go ahead and cut into the crown with a knife until they can be pulled apart.

You can allow the fans to dry in the full sun for a few days, which may prevent crown rot, or plant them immediately.

Dig a hole two times as wide as the roots and a foot (30 cm.) or so deep. In the center of the hole, pile dirt up to make a mound and put the plant atop the mound with the foliage end up. Spread the roots out to the bottom of the hole and fill back in with soil so the crown of the plant is at the top of the hole. Water the plants in well.

That’s about it. The reliable blooms will return year after year, even if you don’t divide them. For the happiest, healthiest daylilies, however, plan to divide and transplant every 3-5 years to prevent them from overcrowding.

We have 5 clumps of daylilies in our front yard. I am not a particularly big fan of daylilies, especially the yellow daylilies, so I decided to move them to the side of the house.. Even if you don’t want to transplant your daylilies, sometimes, they do need to be divided. They can get a bit dense and it will affect their bloom and how manicured they look.

Early spring is the best time to transplant daylilies, but you can also do it in the late fall, when you know that their flowering is done. Either way, know that they may not flower the year that you transplant them. Likely, they will just send up green shoots and die back, feeding themselves for the NEXT flowering season.

Dividing daylilies is really pretty simple. Start by loosening the soil all around the base of the plant. Lift the plant out of the ground in one big clump. Then, using a garden fork or even a hand shovel, loosen the root ball. Pull out smaller clumps of daylilies, making sure that you have both the root and at least three sets of leaves. If you plan on transplanting the pieces you have divided, cut the leaves back to about 6 inches long. If you aren’t moving the daylilies, just put the smaller divided pieces back into the hole you just pulled them up from. {For the best results, follow the transplant directions even if you are putting it back into the same hole–it will help the divided daylilies acclimate faster.}

To transplant the daylilies, prepare a spot by loosening the soil and digging a hole about 10″ deep. It’s best to plant them with a bit of compost that you have worked into the soil in the newly dug hole. Space each transplant at least 18 inches apart. When you set the daylilies into the hole, make sure to fan out their roots before you cover them with dirt. Back fill the hole completely with dirt, and then pat down and water in well.

Daylilies grow CRAZY fast, so you may find that you need to repeat the dividing process every 3 years or so to keep them looking spiffy.

Now go divide and conquer.


Daylilies & Irises: How To Divide & Transplant

Multiply & Keep Plants Healthy With These Tips

Best Time For Daylilies:

  • Best done in the Spring and early Fall to give the plants a few weeks to adjust before the weather becomes extremely hot or cold.
  • When doing this in the Fall, at least 6 weeks before the first frost date is a general rule.
  • Those with severe winters (especially zones 3 & 4) are at greatest risk of losing plants over the winter, so Spring is a better time to do it.
  • In hot climates (for example zones 9 & 10) more plants are lost in the summer months due to heat stress, so dividing in the Fall is a better option.

How Often:

  • The old fashion orange flowering varieties are very vigorous and should be divided every couple of years to prevent over crowding. The newer varieties are not as vigorous and can be left for a longer period of time.


  • Try to separate the fans with as little damage as possible to the fan and its roots. Use a screwdriver, serrated bread knife or a hand saw to cut apart the fans at the base or crown. You can try to slice between them with a shovel, or use two screwdrivers prying apart in opposite directions.
  • Cut back the foliage by at least half.
  • Dig up the entire clump, including about 6 – 8 inches of soil surrounding the clump (many of the roots grow out from the center).
  • Wash off as much dirt as possible.
  • Find where the fans are connected at the crown of the plant – that is where you carefully cut or pry them apart. Some fans are not connected, you merely need to disentangle their roots. Breakage or cutting of some of the roots is inevitable, but try to preserve as much as possible. If a fan snaps off of the crown, the leaves will not grow new roots. But it is possible that the crown, if the roots are attached, will sprout new leaves.
  • Replant each fan at least a foot apart. Dig a hole that will accommodate the roots, and make a mound in the hole so that the crown sits on the mound, just below ground level, and the roots spread out and down from the crown.


  • When receiving fans, soak them in water for 2 hours and then plant as soon as possible. If you can’t do so right away, keep them in a cool, dry place. They can be planted Spring through Fall, but no later than one month before the first hard freeze in your area.
  • For the best blooming, choose an area that receives 6 hours of sun per day. Dark colored varieties will last longer if given afternoon shade.
  • To maintain a healthier plant or to transplant part of a variety to a new location, dividing may be the answer. When the clump (the root area next to the ground) becomes dense, with over 15-20 fans, it may be divided. To do this, dig up the clump and wash off the dirt. Cut the leaves back so that they are approximately 6 inches above the roots. Use a shovel or fork to gently break the fans apart. The most desirable transplant size is 2-3 fans.

Irises In The Garden

Best Time For Irises:

  • Late July or early August is the best and they should be dug and divided every few years to prevent them from over crowding.


  • After digging the roots or rhizomes, remove the segment with leaves from the older segments. This is the current seasons growth and is the portion of the plant which is kept and reset. Always discard any which are weak or diseased.
  • Set the divisions in a hole large enough to easily accommodate the attached fibrous roots. The top of the rhizomes should be level with the soil surface. Firm the soil down well around the divisions, cut the tops back to 6 inches and water in well.

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