Grow

Daylilies

New gardeners are often assured that, even if they can’t grow any other plant, they’re sure to have success with daylilies. However, while it’s true that daylilies are amazingly tough, like any other plant they’ll perform much better if they’re given some basic good care.

Why are they called daylilies? Because each flower opens in the morning and closes at sunset. This doesn’t sound very long but, fortunately, the buds cluster together on top of the stems and, as each individual bloom finishes, another one unfolds. It’s said that an established daylily clump can produce up to 400 blooms over one spring, summer and autumn season.

Daylilies do best in a sunny spot with moist, well-drained soil. They’ll survive, but always look a bit miserable, in dry conditions so it’s best to try and provide them with a source of extra moisture. Think, for example, about digging some Yates Waterwise Water Crystals into the soil before planting. The stored moisture in the crystals will help get the plants through dry periods.

Because daylilies come originally from a wide area covering parts of Europe and Asia, they’re adaptable to a range of climates. Some of them are evergreen while others are deciduous (which means they lose their leaves completely in winter). When you’re buying plants always check if they’re evergreen or deciduous. If it’s the latter it can be rather unnerving if the plant disappears at the first sign of cold weather.

Daylily blooms come mostly in shades of yellow, orange, pink, maroon and red, some with bi-coloured flowers that provide extra contrast. One little known fact about daylilies is that they’re edible (they’re often sold in Chinese markets). One of the easiest ways to experiment with eating the blooms is to pick them in the bud stage and toss them into stir- fries or soups. They have a nutty flavour and a faintly mucilaginous quality.

Caring for daylilies


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