Flowers & Landscaping
How to Grow Daylilies
Daylilies are easy to grow and care for, perennial, and drought-tolerant. Learn how to grow them in your garden and landscape.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a perennial plant that is easier to grow than the daylily. It’s a go-to for casual and experienced gardeners alike, thanks to its low-maintenance requirements and wide range of color choices. When not in bloom, daylily leaves add texture to the garden, much like a wide-leafed ornamental grass.
How to Choose Daylilies
From the small yellow plants you see grouped by the thousands in office parks to the tall orange “ditch” lilies growing along country roadsides, there are many sizes and colors to choose from. Some varieties have ruffled petals, while others have unusual colors (including purple). Plant a mixture of early-, mid-, and late-season types for blooms all season long, and look for “reblooming” varieties to get even more flower power out of your garden space.
Where to Plant Daylilies
There’s a reason you often see masses of daylilies planted along interstate roadsides: They are tough plants! For best results, plant daylilies in areas that receive six or more hours of full sun per day, in soil that isn’t constantly waterlogged. Daylilies put a on a big show when planted in masses, and are ideal for adding color along home foundations in front of shrub plantings, or to fill out a perennial garden.
When to Plant Daylilies
Plant daylilies in the late spring or early fall for best results. However, if you find a plant that you simply must have during a summer sale, bring it home and plant it immediately. Just keep an eye on it and water frequently during the first few weeks.
How to Prepare the Soil for Planting Daylilies
Daylilies are adaptable to a variety of soil conditions, but slightly moist, well-drained soil high in organic matter will give you better results. Prepare new planting areas with Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers. Mix 3 inches of garden soil into the top 6 to 8 inches of native soil. You can also improve the soil in individual planting holes by blending Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers with the existing soil in a 50:50 ratio. For magnificent results, you'll want to combine the power of great soil with just the right plant food, so be sure to read the "How to Feed Daylilies" section below.
How to Plant Daylilies
Daylilies are sold two different ways. They sometimes come as bare-root plants (also called “fans”), clumps that contain roots, leaves, and a growing stem. Most daylilies, however, come as container-grown plants. To plant either type, dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the plant’s root system. If planting a container-grown plant, settle the plant into the hole and fill in around the roots. If planting a bare-root daylily, make a mound in the planting hole with some of the soil mixture that has been removed. Spread roots on top of the mound and fill in around them. Make sure that, when planted, the crown of the plant (where the roots meet the stem/leaves) is just above the soil line and not buried. Water plants thoroughly, then mulch around them to keep the soil evenly moist.
How to Water Daylilies
You’ll need to water the plants every couple of days for the first few weeks after planting. After that, water once or twice weekly (depending on whether or not it rains) for the first growing season. During the second growing season and beyond, you shouldn’t need to water daylilies unless your area is experiencing drought (4 or more weeks without measurable rainfall). Once they’re established, daylilies are drought-tolerant.
How to Feed Daylilies
Starting a month after planting, feed daylilies with Miracle-Gro® Shake ’n Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food to help them continue to grow big and strong, thanks in part to natural ingredients that help feed plants above and below the soil. Shake the food evenly onto the soil. Work into the top 1 to 3 inches of the soil, then water to start the feeding. Be sure to follow labels directions for how much, and how often, to apply.
How to Prevent Pest Problems with Daylilies
While daylilies tend to be relatively problem-free, deer do like to munch on the flowers. If deer are a problem, spray plants regularly (following label directions) with Tomcat Deer Repellent. The essential oils-based formula creates a smell and taste they don’t like.
How to Deadhead Daylilies
Daylily flowers really do last for just one day. To keep plants tidy, snap off dead flowers the following morning. Once all of the blooms have opened on a bloom stalk, cut it down to the ground level. If foliage looks ratty partway through the summer, shear it back.
How to Divide Daylilies
Daylilies are clump-forming plants. As the plants age, clumps can become crowded, resulting in fewer blooms. Divide plants after flowering in early fall by digging up the entire plant. Shake the soil off and gently pry apart the roots, or use a sharpened spade to chop the plant into several pieces. (You’ll get more divisions the first way, but the second way is faster.) Re-plant right away.
How to Grow Daylilies: Recap
- Select early, mid, and late season bloomers for an extended flowering period.
- Plant daylilies in full sun.
- Prepare the soil by adding Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers.
- Plant daylilies in the spring or fall when the weather is mild.
- Water plants thoroughly at the time of planting and throughout the season if your region is experiencing drought.
- Feed plants regularly during the growing season with Miracle-Gro® Shake ’n Feed® Rose & Bloom Plant Food.
- Spray plants with Tomcat Deer Repellent to help keep deer away.
- Deadhead to keep the plants tidy.
- Divide daylily clumps when plants become overcrowded.
Ready to start growing daylilies? Click on any of the product links above for more information, to purchase the product online, or to find a retailer near you.