Growing Daylilies for a Low Maintenance Garden

Updated on May 23, 2016
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Kathy is an avid gardener who loves to grow perennials and vegetables in her zone 5 Ontario gardens.

Daylilies come in a wide variety of colours and are easy to grow in a range of conditions.
Daylilies come in a wide variety of colours and are easy to grow in a range of conditions. | Source

Pink Daylilies

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Are Daylilies the Perfect Perennial?

Daylilies are often referred to as the "Perfect Perennial" and I think this label is quite accurate. They are low maintenance plants that are available in a wide range of colours, require little attention, thrive in a wide variety of conditions and look great even when not flowering. They figure prominently in my front yard garden, as well as other areas of our yard.

The scientific name, or genus, for daylilies is Hemerocallis, which translates to "beautiful for a day" in Greek. Each flower on a daylily plant flowers for only one day, usually opening in the morning and closing up within 24 hours. However, each clump of daylilies usually has many stems, each with many flower buds, which results in a steady succession of blooms over a period of at least several weeks.

Yellow Daylilies

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Stella D'Oro daylilies.Pandora's Box daylily.
Stella D'Oro daylilies.
Stella D'Oro daylilies. | Source
Pandora's Box daylily.
Pandora's Box daylily. | Source

Advantages of Growing Daylilies

Daylilies are very easy to grow. They establish themselves quickly once planted, and will tolerate a variety of soil conditions. They are virtually disease and pest free and do not require much, if any, watering as they are very drought tolerant.

There are over 60000 registered varieties, or cultivars, of daylilies, with hybridizers developing many new variations each year. They come in a wide range of colours, to suit every gardener's tastes, including many shades of yellow, orange, pink, peach, purple, red, burgundy and cream. The only colours not available to date are true blues and pure whites.

Growing Characteristics
Hardiness Zone
Zones 2-11, depending on variety
Soil and Watering Requirements
Average soil, drought resistant
Sunlight Requirements
Full sun to partial shade
Bloom Time
Most varieties bloom in July and August, with some earlier and later blooming varieties
30 to 90 cm / 12 to 36 inches, depending on variety
Disease and pest resistant

Red and Burgundy Daylilies

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Red daylilies in my garden.Burgundy and yellow daylily in my front yard garden.
Red daylilies in my garden.
Red daylilies in my garden. | Source
Burgundy and yellow daylily in my front yard garden.
Burgundy and yellow daylily in my front yard garden. | Source

Dividing Daylilies

Daylilies will come back year after year, and the clumps will get larger and spread over time. Dividing your daylily plants is easy to do and is a great way to add beauty to other areas of your yard.

It's best to divide your day lilies either in spring when the plants are still small, or in fall when they have finished flowering. To divide them in spring, just dig up the clump and gently cut the clump down through the roots with a spade. Replant the divided clumps where you would like them, and water generously. The video below shows how to divide a larger clump of daylilies.

Orange Daylilies

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Growing Daylilies

Most varieties of daylilies thrive in full sun, but will also tolerate quite a bit of shade, as I've discovered in my shady front yard. Some of the darker reds and burgundies actually do better in some shade, as the dark colour absorbs the sun and can heat up the plant too much.

By planting a variety of different daylilies with varying bloom times, you can ensure a colourful display of daylilies in your garden through much of the growing season.

Daylilies truly are a wonderful perennial plant, and I highly recommend giving them a try in your garden.

Daylily Poll

Which day lilies do you like the most?

See results


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    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      Beautiful hub - you've really inspired me. Daylilies are so beautiful they look like they'll need a lot of work, so it's refreshing to hear otherwise. Thanks!

    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing, i love Day lilies, i love perennials! So they are a go to flower for me. Awesome hub!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      I love these. They are an easy to grow and easy to care for flower that add so much happiness to my yard.

      Thanks for sharing and congrats on HOTD Sending Angels your way ps

    • Evans4life profile image

      Evans4life 4 years ago

      Beautiful hub! I love flowers and have recently got into gardening. I may try these. Thanks for the info!

    • Faith A Mullen profile image

      Faith A Mullen 4 years ago

      Congrats on Hub of the Day, savingkathy! I love the way you put togeter and organized this hub. Beautiful photos.

    • craiglyn profile image

      Lynda 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love Day lilies, Stella D'Oro being one of my favourites because of it's long bloom time, right up until frost. I am in a townhouse now, so not really a huge garden, but I have managed to add Stella to the front garden. You have inspired me to add some other varieties to my small back garden next season. Thanks for this hub.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 4 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I invested in day lilies when we first moved in and what a wonderful investment.

      I have never had a sunny garden before so this is a special treat for me. I hand picked the day lilies from I stayed with their brand mainly and oh, my goodness what a delight! The colors are spectacular and the strength unbelievable.

      There is another site abundantdaylilies but I haven't purchased/planted anything from them as yet. This is next on my list.

      Wonderful plant and the colors today are simply endless.

    • expertscolumn profile image

      Stanley Soman 4 years ago from New York

      Congratulations on receiving Hub of The Day! I love lilies

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      Hey Kathy! Glad to see you with another HOTD! Yea!

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 4 years ago from Tumkur

      A well written, beautiful hub.Congrats for the pain taken by you.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello savingkathy, I think daylilies are a beautiful flower. They come in so many colors and have such interesting shapes to the flower. They're also very photogenic, as we can see from your pictures. Great Hub.

      Congrats on Hub of the Day. Well deserved for excellent tips on growing daylilies and for the wonderful visuals.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I love day lilies. I just wish they bloomed longer. I feel like I wait and wait for them to pop up and then they are gone in the blink of an eye. Congratulations on your hub of the day.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I have all kinds daylilies all over my yard. They are easy to grow. Congrats on your hub of the day.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      This is great information since I'd like to add more color to our back garden. Thanks for sharing! Congrats on your HOTD!!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Congratulations on HOTD! This really is a beautiful hub. I love the orange lilies. I didn't realize they were so low maintenance. Now I want to grow some, thanks!

    • samtebbutt profile image

      Sam 4 years ago from Ireland

      enjoyed looking and reading your article about daylilies.

      I have grown some lilies with limited success. What was surprising was how hardy they were against frost. Thank you great ideas here for the coming spring

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hello savingKathy. What a gorgeous hub, look at all the beautiful flowers, wonderful. I had clumps of Daylilies in a shady part of my garden when I lived in the UK, but here in Spain I can´t get them to flower and even the leaves when they come through seem very weak . Do you think I may not have planted the bulbs deep enough and they are coming up " Blind" as daffodils do when planted too shallow ?

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Oooh, such a lovely hub! Congrats on your Hub of the Day award and thanks for this look at daylilies and for sharing your flowers with us.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I think you can never have enough varieties of daylilies. It is amazing that there are so many different cultivars, isn't it?

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      This is a gorgeous hub. We have loads of daylilies and trying to expand to more varieties. It's amazing how well they do in harsh conditions. Had now idea there were 60,000 cultivars!

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Jill! I appreciate it. Happy New Year!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 4 years ago from United States

      I love that daylilies are available now in so many colors. Awesome hub! I pinned it.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      There's a lot of those orange ones growing in ditches and along the roads in many places near where I live. Some people don't like them, because they're too common but I think they're just as pretty as the rest of them!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Lubbock, TX

      Daylilies remind me of where I grew up. Every summer, there would be miles and miles of the orange ones along the highways! When I get my own yard, I'll be planting some of these. Thanks for the information! :)

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Jackie. :-)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Great photos, I love Daylilies and do plan to have some next summer. ^

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That's great Bill! I'm sure you'll love their addition to your garden next summer, and for years to come. Happy New Year to you too!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You know, I have never grown these, but you have me inspired now. I'll pick some up in a couple months and turn them loose on our ever-growing garden. Great info, Kathy! Have a very Happy New Year!

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