phone 770-954-9862 
Wilson Bros Nursery is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 7 DAYS A WEEK!
All About Daylilies  


Here's everything you always wanted to know about this ultimate, widely adapted, low maintenance, easy to grow perennial flower.

Gardeners can't get enough of daylilies, and it's easy to understand why. Other flowers may be as beautiful, but no other plants are as rugged, widely adapted, or versatile. Daylilies are gorgeous, and they are survivors - perfect plants for both the connoisseur and the weekend warrior.

The Plant
Originally from Asia, daylilies have adapted to the challenging and varied climates of the United States with all the vigor of its best native plants. They grow in all U.S. regions, including ours, and thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 through 9.

Daylilies have arching, straplike foliage. Flowers are borne on tall stems, called scapes, that rise above the foliage. They are available in a range of sizes; some varieties such as Stella De Oro which blooms for up to fove months grow at or just above 12 inches tall; others reach 3 feet. (Note that the height given in plant descriptions usually refers to the height of the flowers; the foliage may be significantly shorter.)

'Stella De Oro' - Blooms for up to 5 months!!


The Flowers
True to its name, each daylily flower remains open for only one day, but each flowering scape contains numerous buds. A new bud(s) open on each scape (stem) every day.

The color range of daylilies is astounding. Nearly every shade of every color can be found on varieties of daylilies. Many blossoms are bi- or tri-colored, and some have striking "eyes" - zones of different colors surrounding the throat. Single daylilies have six petals, while double varieties have a second set of petals, often ruffled. In the Far East, daylily flowers are used in recipes and can be eaten raw or cooked. They are often found as a dried food in stores.

How to Use Daylilies
Daylilies are stalwarts of the perennial border, but they shine in other spots, too. Vigorous daylilies grow thickly enough to choke out most weeds, making them an excellent low maintenance ground cover. They excel at holding the soil on steep slopes and other erosion-prone spots. Plant them on banks and roadsides or along waterways. Use dwarf daylilies in rock gardens, in containers, or as edging for flower beds. When planting several daylily varieties, we often arrange them in drifts of a single variety for a natural look.

Planting and Care
Daylilies grow best in full sun, ideally 6 hours or more daily. However, in hot and dry climates, they will appreciate a little afternoon shade, as well as irrigation during bloom. Also, many of the deep reds and the paler shades hold their colors better in partial shade. In any zone, daylilies will perform reasonably well with half a day's shade - they just won't bloom as vigorously.

Daylilies grow well in a wide range of soils. You can plant them successfully almost any time the ground can be worked. To plant bareroot daylilies, work the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Dig a hole, then make a mound of soil in the center. Mix in a good composted soil ammendedment such as Claycutter or mushroom compost at a 50/50 ratio with the soil removed from the hole. Set the plant on the mound with the crown at the soil surface. Firm the soil around the roots, and water well. We usually space daylilies 18 to 24 inches apart.

The ideal time to transplant or divide your planting is in spring as the shoots begin to emerge, or immediately after bloom, however, we install dayilies yaer-round - even in winter when there is no foliage above ground.

When transplanting daylilies you have divided, set the plants at the same height they grew at previously or slightly higher to allow for settling. Firm the soil, then water. Some cultivars can grow for 20 years without requiring division, but others may need division every second or third season. You'll know it's time to divide when flower production beings to decline.

Daylilies are basically trouble-free, easy-to-grow, and carefree. They are adaptable to many soil conditions, thrive in full sun to light shade, and are cold hardy, heat and drought resistant. They are usually pest resistant and virtually disease free.

Many of the varieties we stock at the nursery are "Repeat" bloomers, indicating that they will bloom more than once. These repeateras put a a show for several weeks, take a rest and for a few weeks and then come back on stage to put o another show.


Cooking With Daylilies...Yes, Cooking!

If you have an abundance of daylilies, and would like to try them for dinner, simply gather the unopened flower buds when they are nearly full-sized, rinse in cool water, and slice into salads. Or, drop in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain, season with butter, and serve like green beans. You can use them in the famous 'Green bean, cream of mushroom soup', topped with french-fried onion ring casserole, substituting daylily buds for the green beans.

For another easy dish, simply dip the buds in a batter of 3/4 cup beer and 1/2 cup flour. Fry in hot oil till lightly browned. Drain and serve sprinkled with salt as an appetizer or luncheon dish, with a bowl of fresh salsa. Or substitute water for the beer, fry, and sprinkle with powdered sugar as a dessert.

A few buds tossed into soups or stews will help thicken them, and add a subtle flavor. It will be a consistency similar to that of okra in gumbo.

Or, try Stir-Fried Chicken with Daylily Buds:

  1. Cut 1 cup daylily buds in half lengthwise, and soak in water to cover for 1/2 hr.
  2. Combine 1 Tablespoon light soy sauce, 2 Tablespoons red wine, 1 teaspoon sugar in large bowl. Add 1 lb. skinless chicken strips, sliced thinly. Allow to marinate 15-20 minutes, then remove chicken, reserving marinade.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in wok or heavy skillet.
  4. On high heat, toss in chicken, stirring frequently, until cooked. Add 4 green onions, sliced diagonally in 1" pieces, 1/2 cup green pepper strips, 1- 5 oz. can sliced water chestnuts (drained). Cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add marinade and daylilies. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 min. Serve over Chinese noodles or rice.

Some of the content provided by NationalGardening.com.


Other 'All About' Pages

Free Garden Designs

Gardening 'How To'

Plant Files

Tips for the Month
Topics of Interest

D-I-Y Projects
FREE Designs
Map to Nursery
Receive periodic tips and reminders, new product reviews, valuable coupons and more! Sign Up
Other All About Pages
Annual Flowers
Birds & Wildlife
Butterfly Gardens
Container Gardens
Container Water Gardens
Cottage Gardens
Crape Myrtles
Landscape Edging/Borders
Fall Blooming Plants
Lawns / Lawn Grasses
Grasses - Ornamental
Groundcover Plants
Hedge & Screen Plants
Japanese Gardens
Landscaping Terms
Organic Gardening
Perennial Plants
Rock Gardens
Shade Gardens
Spring Bulbs
Summer Bulbs
Water Gardens / Ponds
Japanese Maples