DAYLILIES WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?
The daylilies orginated in both China and Japan where they have a long history of cultivation. The plants were utilized for many medicinal purposes such as using fresh boiled younger roots and eating them for a myriad of afflictions. Today with the help of hybridizers in both Great Britain and the United States we seen vast improvements from the wild ones grown in the Eastern world. The orginial color range was limted but now we have a vast range of colors and patterns
DAYLILIES PLANTING AND CARE
Daylilies are partial to full sun exposure for maybe six or eight hours during the summer. I know you say where in my garden am I going to find that much sunshine. These are the ideal conditions. However I have them growing and blooming with as little as four hours of sunshine. If you can control the shady area,it is best that it occurs in the afternoon when the temps will be much higher. You should keep in mind that,under these conditions,the plants may have a tendency to be leggy and taller than normal. If you can invision this,before your purchase,than you should pay particular attention to the height of the plant and purchase shorter ones. The darker colors adopt to shady conditions better and the pastel and lighter colored ones do best in Mr. sun at full exposure.
If you purchase them on line and have them shipped to your home,they will be bare root and dry. This is done to prevent mold from forming on the roots. The outside leaves will be dry and yellow because the new shoots will pop up from the center no need for alarm. These daylilies should be planted immediately upon arrival since they have been dug and shipped to you over an unknown length of time. It would be best if the plants were soaked in water for a couple of hours or overnight if planting is not immediately possible.
In the past and prior to planting I have usually trimmed the root system to eight to twelve inches which enables you to spread the roots out much easier in the planting hole. I also trimmed the tops,if this has not been done before shipping,to about six to eight inches in height. This prevents a start without flopping foliage.
The planting of daylilies can be either in the fall or spring. If you plant in the spring your plant will probably not have the full blooms that would result from a fall planting. The planting in the fall,I feel,is ok for those in zone 6 or higher but my bets are with spring in zones 5 or lower. You will have enough blooms to enjoy from the spring planting. go to spring bulbs to read about how to plant at least eight types of spring bulbs
A lot of gardeners enjoy mass planting of these flowers and it is really impressive if you have the room for this type of planting. The plants should be spaced 18 to 24 inches apart making sure you spread the roots in the hole with the crown,where the root and shoot meet,just barely below the surface. I recommend a one inch depth.
DAYLILIES REQUIREMENTS FOR SOIL,FERTILIZER,AND WATER
The beauty of the above daylilies is only achieved after the proper sunlight coupled with soil,fertilizer,and water, This beauty pictured here is one I am particularly proud of in my garden. The soil typically should be dressed with a generous amount of organic matter. This can be in the form of the bagged manure purchased at your local garden shop. I would mix this with about one-third peat moss and two thirds manure. It is best to work this into the soil to a depth of one foot. After you have dug your hole to about twice the width of the root system,I would add some 10-10-10 fertilizer at the bottom of the hole. Remember as noted above to keep your crown about an inch below the surface this will determine your depth and the roots will determine your width.
The application of fertilizer should be done once to your spring plantings and once in early season to your established garden plants. This is assuming you have the ordinary garden soil with the proper mix of nutrients. I would apply one pound of 10-10-10 to approximately 100 square feet of plantings. This actually boils down to one tablespoon around each plant.This will provide you with an excellent flower stalk and good flower blooming. There can be some variations in this application so I would also consult the instructions that were provided with your plant. As I have noted,in other areas of this web site,too much fertilizer is as bad as too little. It can result in overgrown plants which leads to much less flower production.
Watering a great deal during the first season is recommended. Daylilies will grow roots immediately and bloom sooner if the rule is carefully followed. After the clumps have had a season to establish their residency,then watering can be less frequently. They are very resilient when comes to water requirements. They have this fleshy tubereous root system which acts as a well in storing water. The critical stages of watering,if not enough is being supplied by Mother Nature,are spring and early on in the summer during the blooming stage.go to summer bulbs to catch more information on how to plant and work with summer bulbs
There are two things I should caution about when watering your daylilies. The first is make an effort not to water overhead which spots the flowers. The second being spot watering where not enough water is soaking into the ground for the plant to use. Water should at least be applied at a depth of eight to ten inches once a week depending on the amount of natural rainfall that has occurred. Position your watering device so water goes in at the base of the plant this is why a garden sprinkler is not recommended. In fact the best tool you could employ would be a good soaker hose.
I would like to point out that are two types of daylilies available. The small picture on the left is of the type called evergreen foliage and this particular plant grows best in the warmer zones of 6-9. The traditional one is referred to as dormant and is accustomed to the harsh winters and is best for zones 3-7 although can be grown in zones 8 and 9 with more precautions taken because of the severe sun and sometimes drought condition.The dormant variety loses its foilage in the fall.
DAYLILIES AND OVER WINTERING ADVICE
The first thing required of you is to remove the summer mulch to a space of one inch away from the plant crown. It is not adviseable to remove the old dead daylily foliage unless upon close inspection you notice black fungal spots(called sclerotia). This is a precursor to development of leaf spot fungi in the spring. The old daylily foliage assists in holding the winter snow and or winter mulch in the north. Daylilies should have about six inches of straw,hay or hardwood leaves covering them during the winter and it also depends on where you reside. This type of covering must be in place until mid April in the North and until mid February in the south.
If you remove the winter mulch early or get hit with a surprise additional cold snap and some new foliage has developed, wait for thawing to take place and remove the damaged leaves with a pair of scissors. I have been following what amounts to an old wives tale to not remove the mulch until maples and elems are in bloom. There are some schools of thought that newly purchased or divided daylilies should have additional insulation of up to ten or twelve inches. I think one reason for this is those areas that experience a thaw in January could fool the plants out of dormancy and begin to grow. This would not be good for the plant and it maybe cause enough to lose the plant.
In general daylilies are not impacted by many disease problems. The ones they do contract can easily be controlled. As mentioned above keep your summer mulch away from the crown late in the fall and early in the spring. This will prevent soil born fungal infection or spring sickness to attack your plants. It is difficult to treat effectively without resorting to chemical treatment. It will be necessary to apply a soil drenched fungicide labeled for ornamentals ask your local garden shop or nursery for assistance. Daylily rust is another disease that can attack your plants. There are a number of chemicals stocked by your local garden centers to help in getting rid of this infection. This rust can easily be noticed by capsule growths on the leaves and when you touch the plant a rusty like powder remains on your hand.
The insect pests that can attack your daylilies are aphids,thrips,and spider mites. If you want to learn more about these insects go to insects an read all about these pests This is not as much of problem on daylilies as on other plants but it is wise to check for these pests before a problem is in the works.
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