How To Grow Daylilies
Daylilies are one of the easiest plants to grow — they are hardy perennials that require little maintenance and have almost no problems from pest or disease. They are available in a wide range of colors, sizes and shapes. They can be used as specimen plantings alone or in mass plantings for impact.

Use the information below to help you plan for your new daylilies. Complete planting information is included with every order. And always, if you have questions or concerns, please email or call us 502-834-0321 . 

Where to Plant

Sun: Daylilies love sun, full sun if possible, but will tolerate part-shade conditions - at least 6 hours of direct sun a day. Many darker colored varieties will benefit from partial shade in the hottest part of the day.

Soils: Daylilies will grow in a wide range of soils, from sand to heavy clay, with a wide range of soil pHs.  Clay soils can be improved by the addition of compost, humus or peat moss, or sand which will help make it more friable. Sandy soil can be improved with the addition of compost, humus or peat moss which will increase water retention.

Drainage: Well drained soil is preferred by daylilies. One way to achieve adequate drainage is to prepare raised beds.

Other plants: It is best not to plant daylilies at the base of shrubs or trees in order to avoid root competition for water and nutrients.   If you must, be sure to give them extra water and fertilizer to make up for it.   In the South, daylilies perform well under pine trees, benefiting from their dappled shade.

When to Plant

Spring or Fall planting is recommended, especially in hot areas. Spring shipments should arrive after the ground has thawed and danger of hard frost has passed. Fall shipments should arrive several weeks before freezing weather, although you can plant later if you will mulch the plants.  When planting in the summer you need to be sure to water regularly throughout the first growing season.

Preparing for your new daylilies

Daylilies aren't fussy but if you prefer to plant them in a rich soil you may work your ground in advance, incorporating organic material such as compost or well-rotted manure if possible.


Daylilies multiply at different rates and some will become crowded more quickly than other varieties.  When you notice a decrease in blooms it is an indication it is time to divide your daylilies.  Below is a general recommendation for spacing your daylilies:Small Flower & Miniatures: 16" to 24"

Large Flowers: 18" to 30"

For a closer bed or border: 12" to 18"

Some varieties increase very rapidly and will become crowded over time.  If you notice a decrease in blooms because of crowding you will want to divide your daylilies.

Caring For Your Daylilies

Water: Water is essential for good performance. In sufficient quantity, water helps ensure that you get as many blooms and as large blooms as possible. It is most important that daylilies get sufficient water in the spring, when plants are making scapes and buds, and in summer during bloom season. Daylilies can withstand drought conditions, but you will notice decreased numbers of blooms and smaller bloom sizes.

A general rule is to try and give your daylilies an inch of water every week - 3 or 4 long waterings to let the water soak in deep.

Fertilizer: Because each garden has different soils with different nutrient needs, we hesitate to recommend a specific fertilizer for you to use on your daylilies. In general, though, daylilies are not picky about their fertilizer, and for most home gardeners a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or a bloom producing fertilizer such as 6-12-12.  A single application in the spring approximately one month prior to bloom season is sufficient for most gardens, although some gardeners choose to fertilize again in the late summer or early fall.

Mulch: Mulching can be beneficial to your daylilies in several ways. It can help by improving your soil through the addition of organic material, by helping to retain moisture, and by helping to discourage weeds. It can also help keep soil cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  Shredded wood, straw and pine needles are just a few possibilities.  We discourage using rock mulch with daylilies.

Cleanup: Many daylily growers remove the day's bloom at the end of the day, called dead-heading, to give their gardens a neat appearance.  Because of the summer heat in our area, the foliage on our daylilies often appears somewhat ragged towards the middle to end of the summer. One practice we have found to be very useful to remedy this is that of trimming the foliage, with a weedeater, high-set lawn mower or clippers, to about 6"-10". This promotes the growth of fresh new foliage which keeps the plant looking nice until frost.

In winter in cold areas, the dead foliage can be removed and replaced with mulch or left to clean up after it naturally mulches itself in the spring.

Weed Control: There are no easy answers to weeds, as any gardener knows. Daylilies are good at keeping weeds down once they are established, but until then, mulch and hoeing are good weed-control methods. There are various herbicides available for use around daylilies, check with your local garden center or call us for more information.

Pests: Daylilies are not very susceptible to pests, and those that do bother them normally do only minor damage. Some of the more common pests are aphids, spider mites, thrips and slugs and snails. These pests may cause bumps on the buds, discolored leaves, bent or twisted scapes and ragged edges and holes on the foliage.  In the case of aphids or thrips, there are several sprays readily available at your local garden center.

Landscaping with Daylilies

Because of their low maintenance and because they do come back year after year, daylilies make great additions to any landscape. Use them as ground covers, to hold banks, as borders along fences and walks, and in decorative beds throughout the landscape. They also make attractive containerized displays.

Groupings: For the greatest impact in the landscape, plant your daylilies in groups of the same variety.

Season of color: By selecting daylilies that bloom and rebloom during different times of the season, you can extend your color.

Join the AHS: For more information about daylilies, consider joining the American Hemerocallis Society. Members receive quarterly issues of The Daylily Journal which contains many useful articles about daylily care and other daylily-related topics. Members also have access to other publications, videos, and slides and are invited to attend the Society's annual National Convention.

 Abbreviations & Descriptions

Abbreviations used in the plant descriptions are given below:

Tetraploids and Diploids: These terms designate whether a variety has eleven pairs of chromosomes (diploids) or twice as many (tetraploids). 

Dormants and Evergreens: Daylilies vary from dormant varieties (the leaves die completely to the ground in the winter) to evergreen varieties (the leaves try to grow whenever it gets warm) with various degrees of semi-evergreens in between. Gardeners from USDA zones 9 and 10, and other areas that do not have a cold period in the winter should buy only evergreen or semi-evergreen varieties. Northern gardeners in zones 4 or colder may want to stick with dormant varieties, although many semi-evergreen and evergreen varieties will grow well, especially if mulched. 

EE: Begins blooming extra-early season
E: Begins blooming early season
EM: Begins blooming early and mid-season
M: Begins blooming mid-season
ML: Begins blooming mid and late seasonwith your local garden center or call us for more information.
with your local garden center or call us for more information.

L: Begins blooming late season
RE: Varieties may have more than one set of bloom scapes, either one right after another or with a break in between. Southern gardeners can expect more rebloom because of their longer season.
D: Dormant
SEV: Semi-evergreen
EV: Evergreen
TET: Tetraploid (see above for more information)