It’s as easy to transplant daylilies as it is to grow them, and by following a few tips they’ll be thriving in their new location in no time. Daylilies are extremely tough plants; they tolerate drought and will grow in nearly any light or soil conditions, but after a few years in the garden, overcrowding will cause diminished bloom. Take this opportunity to dig and divide for further use in your garden or to share with gardener friends.
Daylilies are so tough they can be transplanted at any time that the ground can be worked, even in the heat of summer. Transplanting and dividing in spring or fall, however, when temperatures are cooler, will result in the strongest root growth.
Daylilies will flower best when transplanted to a site that gets full sun; that is, six or more hours a day, although they will bloom even in light shade. A bit of afternoon shade will prevent the flowers from fading too quickly. They prefer a slightly acid soil, but will perform with nearly any soil pH. They don’t like overly soggy soils, however, so if drainage is a problem, consider using raised beds. Be sure to amend the new planting site with plenty of organic matter and to thoroughly weed the area. Perennial weeds and grasses can be difficult to remove once daylilies are established.
Starting about twelve inches out from the base of the plant, dig up the clump. Knock off any loose soil, then rinse off the rest so the roots can easily be seen. Examine the clumps and, using a sharp, clean knife, cut away any portions that show signs of disease or rot. To divide, gently pull clumps apart, leaving each section three or four stems and a good portion of root. Dig the new hole twelve inches deep and a few inches wider than the root system. Make a mound of soil in the center of the hole so that the transplant will sit at its original planting depth, and spread the roots over it. Refill and gently firm the soil, then water well. Space plants eighteen to twenty-four inches apart.