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Daylilies: The Perfect Perennial

Daylilies, or Hemerocallis, can be seen everywhere during the summer. This family of perennials is extremely popular with gardeners and landscapers alike, and the benefits of growing daylilies have even earned them the nickname ‘perfect perennial’ with some people. Why are daylilies so popular? Several reasons come to mind:

  1. Daylilies are available in an entire rainbow of colours. Reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, and whites are all common, not to mention varieties with two-toned blooms. Daylily blooms also come in a variety of forms, from simple, single flowers to elaborate, semi-double varieties with ruffled edges. They are also available in a huge range of sizes, from dwarf varieties that stay under 12”, to clumps that can stand over 40” tall!
  2. Daylilies are able to survive in a wide variety of environments and can withstand some neglect. All Daylilies need at least partial sun, but can withstand the hot summer sun all day long as well. They are also reasonably drought tolerant once established. These characteristics make them reasonably easy to care for, even for a gardener with a ‘black thumb’.
  3. Daylilies have a long bloom time. While each individual bloom only lasts a single day (hence the origin of the name, daylily) each flower stalk is loaded with buds, and a single plant can produce multiple stalks. This means that many daylilies flower for several weeks in a row during the summer, with some varieties reblooming later in the season for a second splash of colour.

When growing daylilies in your garden, it’s important to make sure that they receive proper care and conditions so that they perform their best. Daylilies need a minimum of 4 hours of hot afternoon sun, but can tolerate (and will thrive) in a full sun location.

While Daylilies are drought tolerant once established, they will benefit from a deep watering once a week – regular watering will also lead to more blooms on your plant. Daylilies do not require significant fertilizing, though a dose of slow-release fertilizer applied once a year in the spring can be beneficial. Mulching around your daylilies will also yield benefits, as this will help the soil retain moisture and suppress weed growth.

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