Every year about this time I receive calls related to how to grow daylilies.
Daylilies can be grown successfully in all areas of Georgia. They are frequently seen growing under adverse conditions. However, this does not mean that they thrive on neglect. Those who specialize in growing daylilies are aware that nice foliage, quality flower, and repeat blooming are dependent on proper culture.
To achieve good growth and flowering, plant daylilies where they receive full sunlight for at least half of the day. Many varieties grow quite well if they receive sun during the earlier part of the day and are partially shaded from the late afternoon sun.
Daylilies will grow in a variety of soils ranging from light sandy types to heavy clays. Areas used for daylilies should be spaded or tilled deeply to improve the physical conditions of the soil. Remember, do not plant daylilies in poorly drained soils.
If necessary, daylilies can be planted during any period of the year. The best time to plant them is early fall when soil temperatures favor root growth, encouraging early establishments of plants.
Daylilies are often purchased and transplanted during the flowering period. The main advantage of moving during flowering is that color selection is possible at this time. Dig clumps at this time with as many roots as possible. Handle them carefully to allow as much of the soil as possible to remain around the roots.
Plant daylilies 18 to 24 inches apart to prevent crowding. Dig individual holes several inches wider than the root system and at least 12 inches deep. Construct a cone-like mound of soil in the bottom middle of the planting hole. Set the plant with roots spread over the top of the mound and trailing downward. The height of the mound should be adjusted so that the plant is planted as deep as it grew originally.
Mulching is a desirable practice in daylily culture. Mulching aids in water retention during hot summer weather, maintains cooler soil temperatures, controls weeds and increases water penetration. Mulch should be two inches deep after settling.
Daylilies grow better when fertilized.
They respond well to a 5-10-15 or 6-12-12 fertilizer. The first application should be applied in the early spring at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet. A second application should be applied in mid-summer with the same rate as the first application.
Daylilies are one of the best perennials that can be selected for Georgia gardens.
Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706)265-2442.