This is the time of year to be thinking about daylilies (Hemerocallis-meaning beautiful for a day) as this is when they are starting to bloom. Daylilies make a great addition to any perennial garden, as they are easy to grow, require very little fertilizer, bloom from now until frost, and only need to be separated every 5 to 7 years. They come in just about every color but blue and are relatively disease and insect free.

Plant your daylilies in an area that receives at least 6 hours of sunshine or more after adding some composted material to the soil, but only if the soil is very sandy. Daylilies can tolerate soils that are both, dry or damp. Avoid areas that remain soggy. Once established in your garden, daylilies require no continual watering and no fertilizing, in fact too much nitrogen will turn the leaves yellow.

The best time to plant daylilies is anytime during the summer on into the early fall season which will give the root system ample time to get established. Make sure not to plant the daylilies too deeply as this will cause browning of the foliage and a lack of vigor. Get the root system in the ground along with no more than 1% of stem for best results. If you use any fertilizer, make sure it is low in nitrogen and high in phosphorus or potassium (the last 2 numbers on the bag). Use the dry types rather than the mixable powders.

In past years the most popular variety of daylilies has been the Stella De Oro, which is bright yellow, but we have had request for other varieties and colors and so that is why our selection is vast.

When planting your daylilies remember that with most perennials, planting in groups of three gives you your best show. Mulching around your plants is a very good idea, especially during the first couple of years, for best winter protection. While most perennials need to be divided every year or so, daylilies should not be tampered with for at least 5 to 7 years. Their best blooming times follow after the second year and continue for the next several years. After year 7 you may want to divide your daylilies simply by digging them up and cutting them into smaller divisions with a large, sharp knife. Each division should include several strong fans or crowns then cut the fans (leaves) back to 8 to 10 inches. Re-plant as earlier instructed.

The Waynedale News Staff

Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & Greenhouses

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