The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,chairchair
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

Poem: The Lord God Planted a Garden, Written by: Dorothy Frances Gurney

spacerAs a back yard daylily enthusiast, I would like to share with you how I have cared for my daylilies over the past decades.

spacerDaylilies are so wonderfully forgiving they will tolerate many conditions. However, if you are looking for optimum results, think good drainage, full sun and a pH of neutral to slightly acid soil.

spacerBelow I also list a few wonderful daylily books that I have enjoyed thoroughly and would be happy to answer any queries you have about them.

spacerAlso included are links to other sites where you can learn about Dividing Daylily Clumps, Seeds, Hybridizing, Proliferations, and much more, along with a U.S.D.A. Zone Map and the Canadian Hardiness Zone Map.


If your hem (hemerocallis) fans arrive by mailorder, they are more than likely laying "bare root" in the box. Even shipments delayed for a week or more will bounce back to life and surprise you. They travel very well, feeding on the nutrients stored in their tuberous roots.

  • Immediately unpack your fans and soak the roots for at least one hour in a pail of water before planting.

  • Select a nice sunny spot for your daylily. A shaded area of your garden will also suffice as long as it receives four to six hours of sun a day.

  • Plant early in the morning or evening. Prepare a hole, a bit larger than the root area, and enrich soil if necessary. If you have no time for this, pot the hem in a one gallon container temporarily. I have found that potting weak and/or tiny looking plants gives them an extra special start. Potting is also a good idea if your plants have been received in the heat of summer, as they can be put in the shade for a couple of weeks to get established. There are usually a few of such plants on my picnic table during the summer months, and it's amazing how quickly they adapt and become robust with a little extra TLC.

  • Just before planting, in the garden or a pot, trim roots back 10% as it will promote growth. Also trim the foliage to 6" or 8" to divert energies to root development. Living in the North, it is important to establish additional root growth to anchor the plant well, prior to winter. If planted too late, it may suffer from frost heave. Here in the North I stop planting after Labor Day for that reason.

  • Starting at the bottom of the hole, mound up the soil in a pyramid. The roots of your new arrival can be opened up like a skirt and gently spread around the mound. Don't plant too deep. The crown should be no more than an inch maximum below the earth. The crown is where the foliage and roots meet.

  • After the hole has been refilled, tamp your daylily in place and water quite generously. I usually go around after supper and feed new arrivals with a good drink of water daily for about a week.

  • A mulch, such as pine bark chips, will help trap needed moisture and is worth its weight in gold snuffing out those dreaded weeds.

  • Don't be concerned if the outside leaves of the plants you receive die. Fresh new ones will soon appear as the plant settles into its new environment.


Most shipments of daylilies from commercial catalogs are two to three fans. Some cultivars will increase a lot faster than others. As a rule of thumb, I don't like to disturb a new arrival for at least two or three years, or until the fans have doubled in number. Whichever comes first. Small plants are easy to divide and a great way of increasing your stock.

  • Dig your plant up (Spring or early Summer is the best time) and gently remove as much earth as possible. For easier handling, cut foiliage back (if necessary) 6" to 8".

  • Place roots in a bucket of water for an hour or so. This will make it much easier to separate the entangled roots.

  • Pry fans apart with your fingers. This is somewhat like unravelling a ball of knotted yarn. Slow and easy does it. The longer the roots have been in water the more pliable they become and easier the task. Some daylily fans fall apart even without soaking whilst others are a struggle. A few damaged roots will not kill the plant but it's a great feeling of accomplishment if the separating process is "clean". Patience is the key here. Set yourself under the shade of your favorite tree and exercise those fingers! Oh what bliss it is, when those fans come apart without breaking.

  • Trim roots back slightly and pot up or plant a.s.a.p.

AHS Youtube Channel:
DIVIDING Daylily clumps & PLANTING Daylilies,
Growing Seeds and a lot more

Top videos to learn the easy way, watching how it's properly done. Keep checking for added videos.

A picture's worth a thousand words. Please click to see this well presented site:
Pictorial Guide to Dividing Daylilies
by Nancy Oakes of P.E.I.

See how a top grower, Dan Hansen, crosses his daylilies and how he handles/harvests daylily seeds when mature.

Are you interested in crossing daylilies and are searching the net for some "know how"? Bill Jarvis has it all clearly mapped out in six easy-to-learn steps. Click on the following url and once on his website, click on "hybridizing". An excellent resource.

Curious about those little plantlets growing on the scapes of your daylilies? This article written by Lee Pickles, a renowned U.S. hybridizer, is included in Tom & Kathy Rood's Grace Gardens webpage. An excellent resource.

U.S.D.A. Zone Map
Looking through catalogs and wondering what exactly is "your" zone for hardiness? Check it out at:

The Canadian Zone Map can be viewed at:

Wonderful Daylily Books:
(All available online at Amazon)

"Daylilies, The Perfect Perennial" by Lewis & Nancy Hill
"A Passion for Daylilies"by Sydney Eddison
"Hemerocallis, The Daylily" by R.W. Munson, Jr.
"Daylilies, A 50 Year Affair" Anniversary Book of A.H.S.
"The Gardener's Guide to Growing Daylilies" Diana Grenfell
"Daylilies for the Garden" Graeme Grosvenor
"Color Encyclopedia of Daylilies" Ted Petit & John Peat
"The Daylily" Ted Petit & John Peat
"Landscaping With Daylilies" Oliver Billingslea

"Illustrated Guide To Daylilies" (edition 2016) Oliver Billingslea
"The Open Form Daylily"newFall 2016 Oliver Billingslea

more on the way....wheelbarrow
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