The daylily is often called "the perfect perennial," due to its dazzling colors, ability to tolerate drought, capability to thrive in many zones and requiring very little care.
The following post was submitted by Greenstreet Garden staff member, Maggie Wiles.
Daylilies are perennial plants. The name Hemerocallis comes from the Greek words “hēmera” (day) and “kalos” (beautiful). This name alludes to the attractive flowers of this genus, which typically last no more than 24 hours. The flowers of most species open in early morning and wither during the following night, replaced by another one on the same scape (flower stalk) the next day.
Exceptional varieties will produce well-branched scapes with an abundance of buds thereby extending the length of bloom of each plant. More than 35,000 daylilies have been named, officially registered, and marketed with many newly developed plants introduced annually.
Daylily flowers come in many colors, shades and color combinations. Some are very full and round, others have wide petals with ruffled edges and borders. Others, called spiders, are spidery in shape; doubles have double the number of petals and sepals. Many are nocturnal and very fragrant.
Although daylilies tolerate drought, they perform best in moist, but well-drained soils. Remove seed pods after bloom to prevent seed production. Plants producing seed are likely to have fewer flowers the following year.
Insect control measures usually are not necessary. Annual fertilization may be helpful in producing more flowers. A spring application of manure or compost is beneficial each year.
Established daylily clumps often produce 200–400 flowers in a season. Bloom time extends from early to late summer. Each plant blooms for 30–40 days. With the large number of cultivars available, it is possible to have continuous bloom throughout the summer…who could ask for more!