DAYLILIES – A perennial favorite among gardeners

by CARLA BASS, City Editor


A naturalized bed showing a variety of colors.

Touching upon the topic daylilies last week, it was promised that more information would be given on enlarging your daylily plantings and how to have a longer blooming season for the area where you transplant them. The way to a longer blooming season is to mix your varieties to where some of your specimens bloom earlier than others. You will have a rotating change of colors within your daylily bed if you choose from the pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, purples, and wines that are available. You also have a choice in the standard daylilies and the dwarf varieties.



These I call ‘Heirloom’ due the heritage of mine through four generations

There are very good sources for getting the different varieties among the hundreds available. My favorite has always been swapping. Most of mine were not purchased by me, but shared with me from my grandmother, Bertha Moseley and her best friend, Willie Bell Hayes who enjoyed collecting different varieties. Both were known by many of you as teachers at Jefferson Junior High in the late 1950s thru the 1970s.


You may want to keep your daylilies in the same general area, but the steps remain the same. You would need to get an early start on your day, as you will be reconditioning the soil where they are already planted, so you will be digging, separating, reconditioning, and planting all in the same day.

Below are the steps you will go through in initially planting and transplanting daylilies.

  1.   Prepare a new location for your daylilies in a sunny or partially sunny location before you divide them to avoid stress during transplanting. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or manure to the soil and work it into the top 6 inches of soil with a tiller.
  2.   Cut the daylily foliage back to 4 to 6 inches tall. This prevents moisture loss while transplanting your daylilies.
  3.   Dig around the base of the daylilies immediately after blooming for the best results. Although they can be transplanted in the spring, divided daylilies may not bloom that year. Those transplanted after blooming typically bloom the following year.
  4.   Slide the blade of the shovel under the root ball, lifting it free from the soil. Large clumps can be tipped on their side.
    A variety showing the range of colors

      Wash excess soil from the roots with a garden hose. This allows you to check the roots for disease and makes dividing them easier.

  6.   Inspect the roots for any signs of disease. Healthy roots are firm and white or tan. Soft or discolored roots indicate disease and should be cut away with a knife and discarded.
  7.   Separate the root ball into sections — each containing two to three green shoots — with your hands. Although daylilies can typically be pulled apart with a little effort, they sometimes resist attempts at division. If this occurs, cut the roots apart with a sharp knife.
  8.   Dig holes twice the size of the root ball for each section in the prepared soil. Form a cone of soil in the bottom of each hole.
  9.   Position the daylilies into the holes, spreading the roots out over the sides of each cone. Fill in around just the roots with fresh soil.
  10.   Adjust the plants so that each crown — the area where the roots meet the stem — rests no more than 1 inch below the surface. Firm the soil around the plants to secure them.
  11.   Water the transplanted daylilies thoroughly to moisten the soil. Keep the soil moist until the roots are established and new growth appears.

The nearest locations for purchasing daylilies are The Lily Farm in Center, Glenda Mae’s Daylily Farm in Murchison, East Texas Daylilies in Athens and Blue Moon Gardens in Chandler. All are listed online with contact information.

Online catalogs available are: Gilbert H Wild, Ellies Daylilies, Homestead Farms Nursery, Roycroft Daylily Nursery, and the Iriswarehouse.


Print Subscription for Marion County & Surrounding Counties (Online subscription included)

Your online subscription will begin immediately. Print subscription will begin in approximately 1-2 weeks. Thank you for your subscription and for reading the Jimp!




Leave a Reply