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
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
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
De Oro' - Blooms for up
to 5 months!!
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)
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
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.
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
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.
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
- Cut 1 cup daylily buds in
half lengthwise, and soak in
water to cover for 1/2 hr.
- 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.
- Heat 2 tablespoons peanut
oil in wok or heavy skillet.
- 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.
- Add marinade and daylilies.
Reduce heat to medium. Cook
5 min. Serve over Chinese noodles
Some of the content provided