How To Plant Daylily [ Full Guide ]

Daylilies are popular perennial flowers known for their vibrant blooms and low-maintenance nature. With a wide range of colors and sizes, daylilies are a great addition to any garden or landscape. Planting daylilies is a relatively straightforward process, but there are several key factors to consider to ensure they thrive. This comprehensive guide will take you through each step of planting daylilies, from choosing the right location to soil preparation, selecting the right plants, and planting techniques.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Daylily

  1. Choose the right location: Select a location with well-drained soil and full sunlight.
  2. Prepare the soil: Ensure the soil is loose, rich in organic matter, and has a slightly acidic to neutral pH.
  3. Select and purchase daylily plants: Choose healthy bare root or potted daylily plants from a reputable nursery or garden center.
  4. Planting: Dig a hole, place the daylily plant, backfill with soil, and water thoroughly.
  5. Care: Mulch the area around the plant, water regularly, and keep an eye out for any pests or diseases.

Now, let’s dive into each step in detail.

Choosing The Right Location For Daylilies


Daylilies thrive in full sunlight, so it’s essential to choose a location that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Without adequate sunlight, daylilies may become leggy, produce fewer blooms, or fail to thrive.

Soil Drainage

Good drainage is crucial for daylilies, as they dislike standing water. Select a planting site with well-drained soil to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot and other issues. If your soil has poor drainage, consider raised beds or adding organic matter to improve its structure.


Daylilies require ample space to spread out, so be sure to plant them at least 18 to 24 inches apart. This spacing allows for good air circulation, reducing the risk of fungal diseases.

Soil Preparation For Planting Daylilies

Soil Type

Daylilies prefer loamy, well-draining soil. A pH level between 6.0 and 7.0 is ideal for most daylilies, although they are adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. Before planting, it’s beneficial to test the soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels. Home testing kits are widely available, or you can send a sample to a local agricultural extension service for analysis.

Amending The Soil

If the soil pH is too low or too high, it can be adjusted by adding lime to raise the pH or elemental sulfur to lower it. Additionally, incorporating well-rotted compost, aged manure, or peat moss into the soil can improve its structure, drainage, and fertility. Aim to have a loose, friable soil texture to facilitate root growth and nutrient uptake.

Weed Control

Before planting daylilies, it’s essential to clear the area of weeds and grasses. Remove any existing vegetation and their roots to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Consider using a weed barrier or mulch to prevent weed growth after planting.

Selecting And Purchasing Daylily Plants

Choosing Healthy Plants

When selecting daylily plants, whether purchasing bare roots or potted specimens, look for healthy, disease-free plants with firm, white roots or well-established root systems. Avoid plants with wilted foliage, yellowing leaves, or signs of insect damage.

Reputable Sources

Purchase daylilies from reputable nurseries or garden centers that offer a wide selection of cultivars. Reputable suppliers are more likely to provide healthy, well-cared-for plants that are true to the labeled variety.

Cultivar Selection

Consider the desired bloom color, height, and bloom time when selecting daylily cultivars. With an extensive array of options available, from petite to towering, and colors ranging from pastels to bold hues, you can choose daylilies that complement your garden’s aesthetic and design.

Planting Daylilies From Bare Root Or Potted Plants

Planting Time

In most regions, the best time to plant daylilies is in spring or early fall. Planting in the spring allows the roots to establish before the heat of summer, while fall planting provides the plants with time to acclimate before winter. Avoid planting during the hottest part of summer, as it can stress the plants.


For bare root daylilies, soak the roots in water for a few hours before planting to rehydrate them. Meanwhile, if you have potted daylilies, gently remove the plants from their containers and loosen the root ball, teasing out any encircling roots.

Digging Holes

Dig individual holes for each daylily plant, making them wide and deep enough to accommodate the root system without bending or crowding. A general rule of thumb is to make the hole twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough to cover the roots with a thin layer of soil on top.

Planting Technique

Place the daylily plant in the center of the hole, ensuring the crown (where the foliage meets the roots) is at ground level. Backfill the hole with soil, gently firming it around the roots to remove air pockets. Water the newly planted daylilies thoroughly to settle the soil and hydrate the roots.


Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as bark chips, pine straw, or compost, around the base of the plants to conserve moisture, suppress weed growth, and moderate soil temperatures.

Daylilies are versatile, hardy plants that can thrive in a variety of conditions when provided with the right care and attention. By selecting an optimal location, preparing the soil, choosing healthy plants, and following proper planting techniques, you can enjoy an abundance of colorful blooms year after year. Whether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced horticulturist, cultivating daylilies can be a rewarding and enjoyable endeavor that adds beauty to any landscape. With the guidance provided in this article, you’re well-equipped to plant daylilies and nurture them to their full potential.

Mulching And Watering Daylilies

Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are beautiful flowering plants that are easy to grow and provide a burst of color to any garden. They are versatile plants that come in a wide range of colors and bloom patterns. Daylilies are known for their ability to tolerate various growing conditions and are low-maintenance plants. This makes them an excellent choice for both experienced gardeners and beginners.

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Planting daylilies can be done in various ways, whether you choose to start with bare root plants, potted plants, or divisions from existing daylilies.

Mulching is an essential step in daylily care as it helps to retain moisture in the soil, control weeds, and protect the plants from extreme temperature fluctuations. To mulch daylilies, follow these steps:

  1. Wait until the soil has warmed up in the spring before applying mulch. This is usually after the last frost date in your region.
  2. Start by removing any existing weeds or debris from the planting area.
  3. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips, straw, or shredded leaves, around the base of the daylily plants.
  4. Make sure not to cover the crown of the plant completely, as this can lead to rotting. Leave a small space around the stem.
  5. Water the mulch thoroughly after application to settle it and help it stay in place.

Watering is another crucial factor in daylily care, especially during the hot summer months. Daylilies have moderate water needs and prefer consistently moist soil. Here are some watering tips for daylilies:

  1. Water daylilies deeply once or twice a week, rather than providing frequent shallow watering. This encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil.
  2. Avoid overhead watering, as wet leaves can lead to fungal diseases. Instead, use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to water at ground level.
  3. Water in the early morning or late afternoon to minimize evaporation and give the leaves enough time to dry before evening.

Fertilizing Daylilies

Daylilies are not heavy feeders, but they benefit from occasional fertilization to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms. Here’s how to fertilize daylilies effectively:

  1. Before planting daylilies, incorporate compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. This will provide a good base of nutrients for the plants.
  2. Once the daylilies are established, you can apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 formula, in early spring.
  3. Scatter the granules evenly around the base of the plants, being careful not to let the fertilizer come into contact with the foliage.
  4. Water the plants thoroughly after applying the fertilizer to help it penetrate the soil and reach the roots.

Avoid over-fertilization, as it can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flowering. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the appropriate dosage and frequency of application.

Pruning And Deadheading Daylilies

Pruning and deadheading daylilies are essential tasks for maintaining the health and appearance of the plants. These practices help remove spent blooms, prevent the formation of seed pods, and encourage the production of new flowers. Follow these guidelines for pruning and deadheading daylilies:

  1. Deadhead daylilies by promptly removing faded flowers. This can be done by snapping off the flower stalk near the base or by cutting it with clean pruning shears.
  2. Deadheading not only improves the plant’s appearance but also redirects energy from seed production to vegetative growth and flower production.
  3. After all the flowers on a scape (flower stalk) have finished blooming, cut the entire scape down to the base. This prevents the formation of seed pods and encourages the growth of new flower scapes.

For pruning daylilies, the main objective is to remove any dead or damaged foliage and improve air circulation. Here’s how to prune daylilies properly:

  1. In early spring, before new growth emerges, remove any dead or damaged leaves from the plant.
  2. Cut the leaves back to the base, making sure not to damage the new emerging shoots.
  3. If necessary, thin out overcrowded clumps by removing some of the outer leaves or divisions of the plant.

Dividing And Transplanting Daylilies

Over time, daylilies can become crowded and form large clumps. Dividing them is necessary to rejuvenate the plants, maintain their vigor, and propagate new plants. Here’s a step-by-step guide on dividing and transplanting daylilies:

  1. Choose the right time to divide daylilies, which is usually in early spring or late summer when the plants are not actively blooming.
  2. Start by digging up the entire clump of daylilies with a garden fork or shovel. Dig around the outside perimeter of the clump, avoiding the center where the younger plants are.
  3. Once the clump is lifted, gently shake off any excess soil to reveal the individual fans or divisions.
  4. Use a sharp knife or garden shears to separate the clump into smaller divisions. Each division should have at least three to five healthy fans and a set of roots.
  5. Trim back the foliage on each division to reduce water loss and stress on the newly transplanted plants.
  6. Prepare the new planting holes by loosening the soil and incorporating compost or organic matter.
  7. Plant each division at the same depth as it was previously growing, with the crown (where the fans meet the roots) slightly above the soil surface.
  8. Backfill the hole with soil, firming it lightly around the division to eliminate any air pockets.
  9. Water the newly transplanted daylilies thoroughly to settle the soil and help the roots establish.

Planting and caring for daylilies is a rewarding experience that can add beauty and vibrancy to your garden. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your daylilies thrive and provide you with stunning blooms year after year. Remember to mulch and water the plants adequately, fertilize appropriately, prune and deadhead regularly, and divide and transplant when necessary. With proper care, your daylilies will flourish and become a standout feature in your garden. Enjoy the abundance of colorful blooms and the satisfaction of growing these versatile and resilient plants.

Choosing The Right Daylily Variety

Daylilies are popular perennials known for their vibrant and showy blooms. They are easy to grow, low-maintenance, and can add beauty and color to any garden.

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Daylilies come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and bloom times. When choosing a daylily variety, consider factors such as your climate, soil type, and the amount of sunlight your garden receives. Some daylilies thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade.

Before making a purchase, research the different daylily varieties and their specific requirements. Popular daylily varieties include Stella de Oro, Happy Returns, and Pardon Me, which are known for their reliable blooms and adaptability.

Preparing The Soil

Daylilies are adaptable and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions. However, they prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, it’s important to prepare the soil to ensure optimal growth and performance.

Start by removing any weeds or grass from the planting area. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller to improve drainage. Incorporate organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to enrich it with nutrients.

Planting Daylilies

Here’s a step-by-step guide to planting daylilies:

  1. Dig a hole that is wide and deep enough to accommodate the daylily’s root system. The hole should be large enough for the roots to spread out comfortably.

  2. Place the daylily in the center of the hole. Position it so that the crown (the area where the roots meet the foliage) is level with the soil surface.

  3. Fill the hole halfway with soil, gently firming it around the roots to eliminate air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly to settle the soil.

  4. Continue filling the hole with soil, ensuring that the crown remains level with the soil surface. Avoid burying the crown too deeply, as this can lead to rotting.

  5. Once the hole is completely filled, water the plant again to ensure good soil-to-root contact.

  6. Mulch around the base of the plant with a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw. This will help conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and insulate the roots.

Watering And Fertilizing Daylilies

Watering is crucial during the initial establishment of daylilies. After planting, water the plants deeply to ensure the roots are well-hydrated. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged. As the plants become established, they will require less frequent watering.

When it comes to fertilizing daylilies, they are relatively low-maintenance and don’t require heavy feeding. However, applying a balanced slow-release fertilizer in early spring, when the new growth begins, can help promote healthy foliage and abundant blooms. Follow the package instructions for the specific fertilizer you are using.

Dealing With Pests And Diseases In Daylilies

While daylilies are generally resistant to pests and diseases, there are a few common issues to watch out for:


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck sap from the leaves and stems of plants. They can be controlled by spraying a strong jet of water on the affected plant or by using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Slugs And Snails

Slugs and snails are often attracted to the tender foliage of daylilies. To control these pests, remove any hiding places such as leaves or debris. You can also set up beer traps or use slug pellets around your plants.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can cause yellowing and stippling on the foliage. They thrive in hot and dry conditions. Regularly spraying your daylilies with water can help prevent and control spider mite infestations.

Crown Rot

Crown rot is a fungal disease that can affect daylilies, especially if they are grown in poorly drained soil. To prevent crown rot, ensure that the planting area has good drainage and avoid overwatering.

If you notice any signs of pests or diseases on your daylilies, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent further damage. Consult with your local garden center or extension office for recommendations on appropriate pest control methods or fungicides.

Companion Planting With Daylilies

Companion planting involves growing different plants together in a way that benefits both the plants’ growth and repels pests. When it comes to daylilies, certain companion plants can enhance their beauty and provide additional benefits. Here are a few companion plants that pair well with daylilies:

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum X Superbum)

Shasta daisies complement daylilies with their white or yellow blooms, creating a stunning contrast in the garden. They also attract pollinators and beneficial insects, which can help control pests.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)

Purple coneflowers are not only visually appealing but also attract butterflies and bees to your garden. Planting them alongside daylilies can create a colorful and wildlife-friendly garden.

Hakone Grass (Hakonechloa Macra)

Hakone grass is a low-growing, shade-tolerant ornamental grass that pairs well with daylilies in shady areas or woodland gardens. Its delicate foliage adds texture and visual interest to the garden.

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Sedum (Sedum Spp.)

Sedums are drought-tolerant plants with succulent leaves and vibrant blooms. Planting them with daylilies can add variety and color to your garden while providing a low-maintenance and water-wise landscape.

Overwintering Daylilies

Daylilies are hardy perennials that can survive cold temperatures and overwinter in most regions. However, some precautions can help ensure their survival and promote better growth in the following seasons. Here are some tips for overwintering daylilies:

Cutting Back Foliage

In late fall or early winter, once the foliage of the daylilies has died back, you can cut it back to a few inches above the ground. This helps prevent the plants from becoming a breeding ground for pests or diseases during the winter months.


Applying a layer of mulch around the base of daylilies can offer insulation and protect the roots from freezing temperatures. Use organic mulch such as straw or shredded leaves and apply it after the ground has frozen.

Divide And Transplant

If your daylilies become overcrowded or you want to propagate new plants, the dormant period in winter is the ideal time to divide and transplant them. Dig up the clumps, separate the individual fans, and replant them in prepared soil.

Protecting Potted Daylilies

If you have daylilies in pots or containers, they are more vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Move the pots to a protected location, such as a garage or basement, or wrap the containers with bubble wrap or burlap to insulate the roots.

Tips For Caring For Daylilies Throughout The Year


Removing spent blooms, a process known as deadheading, not only improves the appearance of daylilies but also promotes continuous blooming. Simply snap or cut off the faded flower stalks at their base to encourage new buds to develop.

Dividing And Transplanting

Daylilies are prolific growers and can become crowded over time. Dividing the clumps every few years not only rejuvenates the plants but also allows for better air circulation and reduced competition for nutrients.

Spring or early fall is the ideal time for dividing daylilies. Dig up the clump, separate the fans, and replant them in prepared soil with adequate spacing for optimal growth.


Regular weeding is essential to prevent competition for nutrients and space. Carefully pull or dig out any weeds that may emerge near your daylilies. Mulching can also help suppress weed growth and conserve soil moisture.

Regular Inspection

Regularly inspect your daylilies for any signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. Look for yellowing leaves, black spots, deformed blooms, or any other abnormalities. Taking early action can prevent further damage and ensure the health of your plants.

Post-Bloom Care

After the daylilies have finished blooming, it’s important to remove the faded flower stalks and any seed pods that may have formed. This directs the plant’s energy towards root and foliage growth rather than seed production.


Growing daylilies in your garden can bring a burst of color and beauty to your landscape. By choosing the right varieties, preparing the soil, and following proper planting and care practices, you can enjoy the stunning blooms of daylilies year after year. Remember to water and fertilize the plants appropriately, monitor for pests and diseases, and provide the necessary winter protection. With a little attention and care, your daylilies will thrive and become a focal point in your garden.


What Is The Best Time To Plant Daylilies?

The ideal time to plant daylilies is in early fall or spring when the soil is warm and moist. This will give the plants enough time to establish roots before the extreme temperatures of summer or winter.

How Do I Prepare The Planting Site For Daylilies?

Choose a location that receives full sun to partial shade and has well-drained soil. Remove any weeds or debris from the area and loosen the soil to a depth of 12-15 inches. If the soil is heavy, you can mix in some organic matter to improve drainage.

How Deep Should I Plant My Daylily Bulbs?

Daylily bulbs, also known as rhizomes, should be planted about 1-2 inches deep with the top of the bulb sitting just above the soil surface. If planting in a sandy soil, the bulbs can be planted slightly deeper, and if the soil is heavy, plant them slightly shallower.

How Often Should I Water My Newly Planted Daylilies?

After planting, water your daylilies thoroughly and then continue to water them 1-2 times a week for the first month. Once established, daylilies are relatively drought-tolerant and only need to be watered during long periods of dry weather.

How Do I Care For My Daylilies After Planting?

Daylilies require minimal care after planting. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged, during the first growing season. Fertilize the plants in early spring and after the first bloom cycle with a balanced fertilizer. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms and remove any damaged or diseased leaves as needed. In colder climates, add a layer of mulch over the planting area to protect the bulbs during the winter.