How To Grow Daylilies
Care & Conditions
The daylily is a hardy perennial. They will grow almost anywhere and they flower from October to January and March to April. When you choose the correct variety for your particular location they may flower up to six months each year.
Where To Plant
The ideal position for your daylilies is in a sunny, well drained position. A minimum of half a day of sunshine is needed. Morning sun through early afternoon is ideal.
When To Plant
Daylilies can be planted all year round, but for best results plant them in autumn, spring and early summer.
General Garden Care
Keep the garden beds mulched to save water and weeding. Remove the scapes (the dead flowers) when flowering has ceased. Remove dying leaves from the plant. We highly recommend cutting back the foliage of the evergreen varieties by about two-thirds in the winter-time to encourage more luxuriant spring growth.
Check for aphids down amongst the new leaves (look for white flecks). Soapy water will control them temporarily.
Many people are put off by deciduous varieties. This is a great shame as many of our beautiful varieties are deciduous, meaning that they shed their petals after blooming.
Deciduous varieties have two main advantages: firstly for those living in colder climates the plants are protected during heavy frost or snow, and secondly the foliage each spring is extremely lush and fresh looking.
Dig your soil well to a depth of 30cm. If possible, add compost, old animal manures or blood and bone a month before planting. The soil does not have to be especially rich - a good average garden loam is best.
Plant daylilies 60-90 cm apart.
DO NOT plant deeply - just cover the crown.
Daylilies will respond well to moderate fertilisation. Apply well balanced organic fertiliser in September and March and blood and bone at times of planting.
Newly set plants need moisture so that they can grow a new root system. Mulch and water well at the time of planting.
During bloom season water twice weekly to maintain quality of blooms.
Do not over water in heavy clay soils.
Most of our lilies bloom at heights of between 80 cm and 100 cm. We have endeavoured to indicate in the gallery the plants which either have tall stems or are low growing.
We strive to run our property using organic methods for all the trees and flowers. We do not use insecticide sprays on our lilies. However, please note that at the end of winter there can often be a problem with slug and snail infestation on the new growth, particularly the deciduous varieties.
We recommend using your own methods of pest control.
Rust: We have recently experienced and had reports of rust affecting some varieities of daylilies. This is a relatively new phenomenon for daylilies in New Zealand. Rust is very weather dependent, with rainy overcast days being ideal for germination of the fungal spores that drift in the wind.
There are a variety of approaches that can be used to reduce the spread of rust. The first is general hygiene. In winter cut all the foliage off your daylilies, clean up all the debris from around the plants and ideally burn or bury the material. You can then cover the soil around the plants with a layer of mulch such as granulated bark to bury any spores on or in the soil. In spring or early summer trim away the badly affected leaves before the flower stalks appear. The new growth may be healthy even after an infestation, especially if weather conditions have improved.
As for spraying to control rust there are several products you could use, though some may give better control than others. Organic fungicides like neem oil, potassium bicarbonate (sold as Tui Eco-fungicide) and sulphur-based products (like Kiwicare Super sulphur) can be effective. Other fungicides reported to help include those containing myslobutanil, such as Yates Fungus Fighter, or Super Shield, which also contains an insecticide.
Spraying at regular intervals may be required if weather conditions favouring rust persist. It may also be worth spraying plants before they become seriously infected with fish or seaweed extracts, which are reported to strengthen cell walls and make leaves less susceptible to fungal infections; they will also provide nutrients to encourage strong growth.