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How to Grow Daylilies

 

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Genus Hemerocallis

Daylily "Stella Bella"Daylilies are a clumping perennial with attractive arching sword shaped leaves and tuberous roots. They can be deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen. Plants come in a range of sizes from small to tall, and flower sizes range from miniature to singles or doubles up to 15cm across. Hardy, permanent, and easy to grow, Daylilies are one of the finest investments you can make in long-lasting garden beauty for minimal effort.

They have an attractive lily-shaped trumpet flower that stands above the foliage. The Flowers come in a wide variety of colours from yellows, oranges, reds, white, pinks, maroons, purples and many gorgeous bi-colours. The flowers may be fringed and some are fragrant.

Most daylilies do exactly what they say, flower for one day only, but don't let that put you off, because new buds keep developing in succession on emergent stalks producing a long run of flowers through summer to autumn. Many have 5-9 flowers from each corymb that open day by day over about 2 weeks before another stem emerges. One plant in my garden had over 50 blooms in a flowering season.

Daylilies are a useful plant for herbaceous borders, mixed garden beds, rockeries, around water features, grown in tubs or containers, used as a ground cover, mass planted on sloping banks or retaining walls and general problem areas where little else grows happily. Plant in big drifts across the garden, up the driveway, or flanking a fence. When daylilies planting in a group or border space plants about 50cm apart. In the garden they look good placed in the middle of a garden bed surrounded by perennials in a similar colour scheme.

An easy plant to grow, daylilies are generally trouble free and adaptable to wide range of soils - just plant and forget them. They'll multiply on their own. To plant daylilies dig a hole slightly larger than the root mass, Mound some soil in the centre of the hole and place plant on top. Fill in the hole with the remaining soil so that the crown of the plant is just below the surface, then tamp down firmly. Water, then mulch. Don't overwater while the plant is becoming established.

In summer they like ample moisture while in bloom. Mulch well to provide a cool root run and apply blood and bone, compost and animal manures during spring and summer.

Plants can become overcrowded over time causing the plant to produce fewer flowers. Dig them up every 3 or 4 years and divide the clumps into smaller plants very early in spring or autumn by pulling apart or cutting with a strong bladed knife after shaking off the excess dirt. Not only will you get more plants, but the bloom power will increase after division. Replant the sections spaced 15-20" apart in enriched soil to give a new lease of life.

Daylilies make a good cut flower lasting about a week in a vase or used to add flair to mid to late summer cut-flower bouquets.

Hybridising Daylilies

The ease of hybridising daylilies is a major attraction for the enthusiast. Daylilies are propagated by seed or division. To produce your own hybrids, and if you are not worried about getting exact colours, then grow from seed. Sowing stratified seed at around 20C (68F) can quickly yield a large number of hybrids and cultivars for the garden. To perpetuate these hybrids divide established clumps during winter.

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