You planted daylilies for the first time last year. You can’t wait for the explosion of color to begin in early summer. Take care of your daylilies throughout the growing season to ensure healthy plants that bloom to their heart’s content and to your delight.
Spring Daylily Care
Daylilies often emerge as one of the first green spouts to peek through the cold ground. Check on them occasionally to make sure they’re not freezing. If an especially hard freeze is expected you might consider covering them. Although extremely hardy if the daylily has grown enough it could be susceptible to freezing.
Check your plants as soon as you can and prune out any dead foliage left from the year before. Fertilize with rotted manure or compost. Cover with a summer mulch such as bark, wood chips, coco bean, or whatever your favorite mulch is to keep weeds and grass at bay. Grass that grows among daylilies is difficult to remove as the roots become intertwined.
Summer Daylily Care
From early summer to late summer daylilies will grow and bloom in a riot of color. Each bloom lasts for just one day and should be removed to keep the garden or flower bed looking tidy. Take a daily walk through the garden and deadhead your daylilies. If you find seed pods remove them also.
A plant that is producing seeds or seed pods will expend so much energy in reproducing that fewer blooms will appear next year. Keep your daylilies in top blooming form by removing spent flowers before seed pods develop.
During the months of summer give your daylilies a drink of water at least once a week and more often if the year is a dry one or your soil is sandy. It’s best to water early in the morning before the sun is at its zenith.
Throughout the growing season check for aphids, spider mites and thrips. Spray a solution of soapy water over infested plants. If you live in the south and notice rusty spots on the foliage you may need to apply a fungicide.
If you live in the north and find a case of daylily rust you may do the same, however, the rust will be killed when the temperatures drop to freezing.
Autumn Daylily Care
For the fall, you might want to check your daylilies one last time before tucking them in for a long winter’s nap. Give them one more round of fertilizer about two weeks after they’ve finished blooming. You can either cut back all the foliage leaving a brown clump of matter or wait until spring to cut the foliage. It’s up to you.
Finally, cover your daylilies with a winter mulch of loose straw and whisper sweet dreams.
Daylilies are sometimes called the perfect perennial because of how easy they are to grow and how little they require when it comes to maintenance. They’ll bloom during droughts, but they’ll bloom even better with minimal care. Daylilies ask for little and yet present gardeners with beautiful blooms from early to late summer. What more could a gardener ask?
Want to learn more about daylilies?
University of Vermont covers Growing Daylilies
Oregon State University covers Winter Care of Perennials