Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are perennial clumps with leaves, a crown, flowers and roots. They originate from China, Japan and Korea and currently there are more than 60,000 registered cultivars, many with fragrant flowers. Daylilies start blooming in late June and continue right on through July. The blooms only last 24 hours, then die allowing new blooms to take their place right on the same stem. The fact that they die so quickly is why they are never used as a “cut-flower” in floral arrangements.
The yellow daylilies that you see along the highways and near railroad tracks are actually known as the Tawny Daylily, imported from England during the 17th century. This lily started out as a garden lily but soon spread to everywhere and now many people think of it as a “native” wildflower.
Daylilies range in colors from yellow, orange and pale pink to reds, purple and lavenders…and even greenish tones, almost black and white. But no one has ever come out with any lilies in shades of blue, although there is a variety with a spot of cobalt blue. Besides colors, other considerations include height, scent and ruffled edges.
After 3 years or so, daylily clumps should be dug up and divided back to clumps of 3 shoots then re-planted in the ground for the following season. Usually this is done in early September and by doing this division during late summer, you can be sure you will have bigger and better daylilies next summer. Most active greenhouse growers always plant daylilies as well as hosta, iris and perennial hibiscus in September so that you, the customer, get the best plants in the spring.
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