Growing Daylilies

   

Daylilies are native of Asia, and were first Introduced to Europe in the 1500's. The Species name Hemerocallis literally means "beautiful for a day." Since 1900 about 40,000 varieties have been named in the United States; 13,000 of them are still for sale.

History - Growing - Planting - Uses - Diseases & Pests

 

Historical Information

From China the daylily was brought to Asia Minor where as early as 70 A.D. the Creek herbalist. Dioscorides referred to a form now called the lemon or custard daylily (H. flava). This lovely, fragrant daylily is still grown and prized in gardens today for its long-lasting light yellow blooms in early spring. Each individual flower remains open for only 24 hours, but a mature plant can produce hundreds of blooms lasting for a couple of weeks.

History

Growing

Seeding is not recommended. Plants take up to 3 years to bloom from seed.

Roots: plants in spring with the crown just barely below soil levels.

A mature plant can be divided at almost any time of the year that the ground be worked. It is a great temptation to divide and trade with other gardeners, but leave them for almost 4 years to become established.

Daylilies thrive in a weed free bed deeply dug to which organic matter such as compost or rotted manure has been added.

Daylilies produce more blooms if grown in full sun, but afternoon shading may prevent some of the red or purple coloured blooms from fading.

Daylilies are quite drought tolerant, but flower better if given a daily watering.

Daylilies are best mulched rather than cultivated so the roots are not damaged.

Planting

Daylilies are a main stay of the perennial border. They are excellent massed or used as a ground cover.

Daylilies work well to cover the yellowing foliage of spring bulbs such as tulips.

Daylilies make a striking display beside a pond or water feature. At the summer cottage daylilies have no equal. They require little garden care and the deer and rabbits do not consider them good food.

At maturity daylilies become true to type until then "juvenile" plants may produce misshapened flowers, double flower varieties may produce single or semi double blooms but their beauty is well worth the wait.

There are now over 40,000 varieties registered with 700 or 800 new ones added each year so just a few of your choices are:

Stella de Ora - 10-15 inches .Bright golden yellow flowers.

Christmas Day - 3 feet. Vermilian Red Blossoms with burgundy eyezone and golden throats.

Hot Toddy -25 inches . Deep pink with bright red ribs.

Uses

For centuries daylilies have been part of Chinese cuisine, much like the potato has been part of western gardens.

All parts of the daylily are edible. The barely emerging shots, the small root tubers, buds and blossoms. Like other vegetables daylilies may be eaten fresh, cooked or frozen.

The new tubers may be eaten raw or sauteed. The buds and flowers are used in salads, as a garnish, in soups, casseroles, and egg dishes. The Buds can be dipped in batter and deep fried.

Pinks, oranges and yellow blooms are preferred to the more bitter dark red blooms. Those with a strong fragrance are said to be of sweeter flavour.

 

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