Daylilies

Daylilies are sold bare rooted, minimum of two fans

 

Brown Amy Gilliian
mascara margo Brook

General Characteristics

There are over 80,000 varieites of daylilies registerd by the American Hemerocallis Society, a testament to the fact they are easy to grow and equally easy to hybridize new varieites. Daylilies come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and color combinations. The general forms of daylilies are singles, doubles, spiders, and unusual forms. Other unique features are patterned eyes, sculpting, and ruffled and toothed edges. Many also have edges rimmed with darker or lighter colors.

Bloom times vary by variety ranging from early to mid and late summer. It is recommended to plant daylilies with varying bloom times in close proximity to extend the period of color in that part of the garden. Also some varieties are rebloomers. After completing their initial bloom period, the rebloomer will sprout new flower scapes for later in the season. It is good to include early and late blooming varieties to extend the bloom season as long as possible.

Daylily foliage is classified as evergreen, semi-evergreen, or dormant. Evergreen seldom go completely dormant in our climate. They usually show a little bit of green all winter. Whereas dormant varieties go completely dormant with all the above ground foliage dying off after the first hard freeze. While we have evergreens that do quite well in our Zone 5 gardens, dormant and semi-evergreen are considered a better fit for harsh climates. Generally the evergreen varieties do better in the deep South where they continue to grow all winter.

Most daylilies are clump forming. Starting with two fans, many will double or triple the number of fans each year. By the end of the fourth or fifth growing season, the clump may become so thick that it would benefit by being dug up and the fans divided. If a clump is not blooming like it used to do, it is time to divide it. Growth rates vary, so some will be slower to reach a dense clump size.

Daylilies are very easy to hybridize by applying the pollen from one variety to the stigma of another variety. This can be a fun project to undertake but does require a little knowledge of daylilies. An hour of on-line research on daylily hybridization will be all you need to get started. The major issue is to make sure you are crossing daylilies with similar chromosome sets. Daylilies are identifed for this purpose as either diploids or tetraploids. It does take a patient gardener to hybridize daylilies since it takes the plant (grown from seed) two years to mature enough to bloom. Consequently daylily enthusiasts watch these impending blooms with great anticipation after having cared for the plants for this long duration. While a seed pod may set anywhere from a half dozen to two dozen seeds, it is not uncommon that each seed will produce a unique looking bloom. You are never really sure what you are going to get which adds to the anticipation as the plants get ready to bloom for the first time.

Compared to many other perennials and annuals, daylilies are considered insect and disease resistant. However, they do require some care. Daylilies normally do not attract large infestations of insects. However, they can be attacked by spider mites and thrips, especially where there is a large collection of plants. The most widely known disease issue for daylilies is a rust fungus. This is a big problem for Southern growers where the temperature does not fall into the freezing range in winter. It is thought that temperatures below 40 degrees will kill the fungus spores and stop the spread of the disease. There are other diseases that can attack dayliles but a periodic spray of a general purpose fungicide will help to control most issues.

Observations from the 2010 and 2011 growing seasons show that daylilies like water. Many people noticed that daylilies bloomed longer and better with the abundance of rain. So during a dry spell, if you are able to water, it will benefit your plants.

 

Daylily Gallery (Images, Descriptions with Pricing)

 

Complete Daylily Description and Pricing List (PDF Format) Daylily Prices and Descriptions PDF

Opening this link may take some time to download due to the size of the file.

Daylily Terminology (as it applies to the Description List)
Disp = Display only this year. Not for sale.
Reg Year = Year cultivar was registered with the American Hemerocallis Society. 
Height = Height of flower scape.
Diam = Diameter of flower. 
Season= bloom season. EE is extra early (June), E is early, EM is Early mid, M is mid, ML is Mid late, L is Late, VL is very late (Aug - Sept). 
Ploidy = Number of sets of chromosomes. Dip is Diploid or 2 sets. Tet is Tetraploid or 4 sets. 
When hybridizing, cross a Tet with a Tet and a Dip with a Dip. Tets usually have larger, stronger flower scapes. 
Foliage= Dor is Dormant, Sev is Semi-evergreen, Ev is Evergreen. 
Rebloom = Indicates that the cultivar is listed as a rebloomer which extends the bloom season. Reblooming is very much dependant on the weather, moisture, fertilizer, etc. 
Frag = Fragrance. Some are listed as fragrant. VFr means very fragrant.
Branch-bud = Usual number of branches per flower scape and number of buds for flowers. In general, the more the better. 
Other terms: 
Spider = Skinny petals compared to the length. Some are very large diameter flowers. 
Extended bloom = Flowers that remain open 16 hours or more. 
Double = Rather than the usual 3 petals in front and 3 sepals in back, there are extra petals making a fuller look. 
Unusual form = Flower has some unusual characteristics, including petals and/or sepals that are pinched, twisted, or quilled.
Self = A daylily which is all one color with the possible exception of the throat or inner-most area. 
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