Every year I think my garden won’t have its usual daylily magic. Maybe it’s too dry, too cold, too hot, but each year, come June, the daylilies spring into action sending up large scapes covered in buds.
Some people poo-poo growing daylilies, and I think that’s because they are so easy to grow in a hot summer climate. Probably one of the easiest flowers ever. Gardeners are a competitive bunch, and some of us don’t want to grow what’s easy.
I say, “Ha!” Why not have some plants that are simply successful? Why make everything so hard?
Can you make your daylilies bloom better? Sure you can. If you feed them a high nitrogen fertilizer in spring, they will respond by growing larger clumps and thus, more flowers. You can also cause problems for yourself by deciding to buy or move daylilies in the hot weather. That’s a sure way to lose some of them to rot. Still, I sometimes buy a few in June when the others are blooming. I can’t seem to help myself. However, I don’t plant these in the garden. If the seller sends them to me, I plant them in containers in the shade where they have great drainage and are less susceptible to rot. I then transplant them into the garden in September when the heat is less intense. April, May, and September are good months to move daylily plants and divide them.
Most daylilies are sold as single or double fans. A large established plant is called a clump. If you want an expensive cultivar, it will cost you plenty for a single fan. I saw some 2020 introductions that were $400 on one hybridizer’s site. That’s too pricey for me. Single fans are more susceptible to plant loss and rotting too. At least with a double fan, you have two chances to kill it.
If you simply must move or plant a daylily when it’s hot outside, place a children’s umbrella over it to shade the clump or double fan. Oklahoma tends to be less windy in summer, but you may need to stake your umbrella.
This week, on our podcast, Carol Michel and I talked about daylilies, cucumbers, and Beatrix Farrand. Come give us a listen. Each podcast is about 30 minutes long. Just long enough to drive into work or walk on the treadmill.
Daylilies are blooming abundance in my garden right now. Once established, it is hard to keep a good daylily down. I have over 200 cultivars, but my garden isn’t really a daylily garden. I am far too interested in other plants.
Yet, each June, daylilies steal my heart again. Can’t you see why?