The daylily is a member of the lily family, although it is not a true lily. Unlike the lily, it does not grow from true bulbs; in many ways it is closer to the amaryllis. Daylilies are easy to grow and colorful, and will brighten your yard for years to come. Here are some tips on how to care for your daylily.
Daylilies prefer well-drained, well-mulched, sunny locations, although they can tolerate everything from wet to sandy soil. While the daylily will grow in shade, it will not perform as well. Give plants with pale blooms six hours a day of sun exposure and slightly less for the darker reds or purples. If the flowers fade in the sun, or begin to wilt or burn, move them to filtered shade.
The daylily has long fibrous roots or thicker elongated tubers with roots at their bases. If they arrive dried from shipping, soak in water for at least 15 minutes before planting. Work some compost into the soil before planting and dig holes wider than the root mass. The crown of the plant, a white band on the foliage, should be planted just below the surface of the ground. Planting too deeply will result in poor performance. Gently firm the soil around the newly planted daylily, but avoid pressing too hard to prevent root damage.
Water the plant thoroughly and deep soak at least weekly until well established. Continue with regular watering throughout the growing season.
In the spring, mulch the plants well with peat or compost. Avoid over-fertilizing and watch the nitrogen levels, as too much nitrogen will cause more leaves and fewer flowers. Don't fertilize until the plants are well established to encourage root growth.
After blooming, remove spent blooms and seedpods to encourage re-bloom. Prune away dead or brown foliage as it appears. Pruning encourages new growth and should not be done within two months of the first frost.