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Daylily Basics

 

The beauty of daylilies is equally matched by their practical and tolerant ways

Each bloom of a daylily only lasts a brief time, but the continuous string of flowering will surely delight any beginning gardener. These perennials are an all-time favorite of experienced growers who know that the daylilies will not fail through many difficult situations.

There are many varieties from which to choose, and prices will vary accordingly. When ordering in lots, choose plants that will complement each other and that will have staggered blooming seasons.

Not all daylilies are created equal, so it is important to plant those that will grow best in your region. You'll have choices: evergreen, semi-evergreen, and dormant. Those that go dormant will do best in colder climates - in warmer areas, they may not flower as well. Evergreens and semis do best in warmer areas. When shopping on-line it may be beneficial to purchase from those businesses that have established themselves in your region.

Daylilies can thrive in less than ideal growing environments. They'll grow in sandy or clay soil and can even survive some drought under a full sun. Even under a hard freeze (and with a little mulch), they'll return bigger and better than before. That's not to say they would prefer the perfect conditions: well-draining soil, full morning sun, and proper fertilization. But, if you have a tough spot where other plants simply die off, the daylily may be your answer. In blooming season, they should have more water.

Plant your daylilies so that the crown is just slightly below the surface (deeper in colder climates). In the hole itself, create a mound in the center. Set the crown on the peak of the mound and spread out the roots. Fill in with dirt. If the soil is moist, do not water for about a week. Once new growth sprouts from the middle, begin a watering regimen. Larger varieties should be placed about 2-1/2 feet apart and the smallest about 12 inches. Do not use a heavy mulch, especially near the base of the plant - that area should be able to dry out somewhat.

While daylilies are fairly disease and pest resistant, be on the lookout for spider mites, thrips, and aphids.

Not only are daylilies tough, they serve double-duty with their amazing mat-like root system. They're perfect, in other words, where soil erosion can be a problem.

About every three years, it is necessary to divide the plants.

 

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