The name daylily comes from the fact that each individual flower only lasts for one day and a maximum of one and a half days. But since there are a lot of flowers, that’s not a problem. Daylilies bloom from May, depending on the variety. There are early, medium and late flowering varieties. If you mix these well, you will have plenty of flowers for months, right into October. Depending on the variety, the flowers are either smaller and funnel-shaped, octopus-shaped or large, baroque-filled or have a frizzy edge. There are also clear differences in the colors. The dominant colors are yellow, orange and red. However, pastel-colored varieties in cream, apricot and rose and two-tone varieties with a clearly separated flower center are also very popular.

Did you know that …?

What many flower lovers don’t know is that daylilies can be eaten. They are particularly good in salads, but they are also not to be despised as a vegetable side dish. Their taste ranges from fruity sweet to slightly spicy.

The grass-like clusters of the daylilies are between 30 and 60 cm high. Even when flowering is over, the foliage stays beautiful until autumn. There are no empty spaces in the bed. However, you should give them enough space.

Particularly beautiful varieties

The variety of daylily varieties is enormous. There are approximately 65,000 cultivars including deciduous, evergreen, and semi-evergreen varieties. There is something for every taste. However, it is not ideal to plant too many varieties next to each other so that it doesn’t get too colorful. However, you can choose similar colors, but the flower size and shape vary.

Warning: There are 13,000 daylily growers in North America alone. New hybrid breeds come onto the market every year, each more beautiful than the other. However, in our Central European climate, these varieties are rather blooming and not sufficiently hardy and therefore not ideal for our gardens. You can try such a variety, but those who value flowering reliability should stick to tried and tested varieties. I don’t have any of the expensive varieties here. Although these are really particularly beautiful, they are nothing for the normal gardener.

  • ‘Always Afternoon’ – very large, pink flowers with dark red eyes and a ruffled edge, very compact, long flowering from June to August, about 60 cm high (USA)
  • ‘Moonlit Masquerade’ – large cream-colored flowers and deep purple eye and light border, height approx. 75 cm (USA)
  • ‘Black Dancer’ – large, slightly double, dark red, almost black flowers with a yellow center, very willing to flower, becomes about 60 cm high
  • ‘Sammy Russel’ – pink starfish-shaped flower with a yellow center, medium high, about 60 cm
  • ‘Gräfin von Zeppelin’ – large orange flower with a copper-colored tinge and a broad brick to copper-red band, floriferous, height 95 cm (D)
  • ‘Berlin Lavender’ – violet flowers with unusually fine yellow margins
  • ‘Fooled Me’ – large, bright yellow flowers with dark red eyes and a subtle red border, (USA) has proven itself in Europe
  • ‘Bonanza’ – large yellow flowers with red eyes, approx. 60 cm high
  • ‘Janice Brown’ – rather small flowers in light pink with a noticeably darker eye and a clearly ruffled edge, blooms profusely and persistently, height approx. 55 cm (USA)
  • ‘Cosmopolitan’ – small raspberry- and salmon-colored flowers with frilled edges, miniature variety, only approx. 40 cm high (USA)
  • ‘Pink Damast’ – pink, large flower, very compact, large plant, up to 90 cm high
  • ‘Aten’ – large yellow flower, very large plant, up to 110 cm in height
  • ‘Pojo’ – very double, but small, orange-colored flowers, becomes approx. 70 cm high, protect in the first winter when planted in autumn (USA)
  • ‘Helene Stein’ – very dark red, almost black, large flowers with a yellow center, height about 80 cm (D)

The largest selection that I have found can be found at Under this link you can find completely new, rare and sought-after varieties. Prices well over 100 euros for a plant are not uncommon. For passionate collectors these are normal prices, for the “normal” garden owner they are a bit high. But there are also normal daylilies at moderate prices.

Care of daylilies

The daylily is popularly called the “lazy gardener’s perennial”. It owes this saying to the famous Potsdam perennial expert Karl Foerster and its ease of care. The daylily is a sure-fire success and hardly needs any attention or care. It is also very robust and healthy. Diseases rarely occur and pests hardly cause any problems.


If the location is ideal, there is hardly any time to spend on maintenance. The plants get along well with sun, but also with partial shade. But they shouldn’t be too shady, because the bloom subsides. The most beautiful flowers appear on sunny days after a warm, damp night. The plants emerge in all their glory. The flowers are then already open in the early morning hours.

  • Sunny to partially shaded location
  • The sunnier the chosen place, the more abundant the bloom
  • The dark-flowered varieties are an exception. They shouldn’t be exposed to the midday sun.

Plant substrate

Actually, daylilies thrive in almost all garden soils. But they have their favorites. By and large, the plants are absolutely adaptable and frugal. However, there are some divas among the daylilies. They prefer sandy, well-drained soils. Many American varieties are included. I have such soil myself and the perennials thrive very well. However, you should then fertilize a little more, because many nutrients simply run through the soil and are gone.

  • Tolerates dry and moist soils.
  • Tolerate calcareous and acidic soil
  • Best result in humus soil or soil enriched with compost


Planting is not difficult. You hardly have to pay attention to any special features. Miniature or small-flowered daylilies are also suitable for keeping in pots. The best time to plant them is in spring, but they can also be easily put underground in autumn.

  • Build a small hill in the planting hole, over which the roots are distributed and spread out on all sides.
  • The roots must be one to two centimeters below the surface of the earth.
  • Planting too deeply will delay flowering or may even fail.
  • Plant spacing 40 to 50 cm (depending on the clump size) from other perennials, 15 to 30 cm between each other
  • Planting that is too dense can also lead to failure of the flower

Watering and fertilizing

Daylilies have good storage roots. This means they can withstand dry periods very well. The plant doesn’t have to suffer. However, lack of water has an impact on the size of the flowers. This decreases, more or less strongly, depending on the conditions.

  • Sufficient water is needed between April and May for flowers to develop.
  • Water deeply.
  • Then it is time for a depot fertilizer with a 3-month effect.
  • Re-fertilization takes place in June / July
  • It should not be fertilized later.
  • Over-fertilization is harmful. The plants then have difficulty wintering.
  • Cover freshly planted daylilies with mulch so that the moisture remains longer
  • Compost in the spring is also beneficial for the plants.

To cut

You don’t really have to cut the daylily. For visual reasons, it is better to break away what has faded. In addition, the plant will otherwise develop seeds and that in turn robs it of strength that it should rather invest in the formation of new flowers. The leaves can be removed a hand high above the ground in autumn. This has the advantage that any fungal spores that may be present are also removed. However, you can also leave the leaves on the plant as winter protection. In spring you can then easily pull the leaves out of the ground. Muddy leaves must be removed at this time. So there isn’t a lot of work to do with the cut.


Most daylilies are hardy. However, some varieties from the USA are not quite as robust. They are drawn to beauty rather than toughness. There is no harm in covering these plants well with brushwood in winter. This is particularly recommended in areas where the temperatures are very low and drop for a long time. Young plants should also be protected.


The easiest way to multiply it is by division. This is how you get plants of the correct variety. However, it takes a few years for the perennial to grow large enough to share.

  • Division – only when no or only a few flowers are formed despite sufficient fertilizer
  • Division in spring or autumn. Shorten the roots and leaves to 10 to 15 cm!
  • After dividing, the daylily needs a lot of water, for at least two weeks, better longer, until it has grown on.
  • Sowing is possible, but the results are not true to the variety. New mixes are created, which can also be very interesting.
  • Many breeders use meristem propagation as tissue culture under sterile conditions. In this way, many new plants can be produced quickly. I am not a fan of this method. It is common practice in America.


The most dangerous disease for a daylily is crown rot. This can be recognized by the fact that the shoot stops and finally turns yellow. Just gently pulling on the leaves ensures that you have them in your hand. The entire leaf substance is soft and rather mushy. The only thing that helps here is to dig up the entire plant and cut away whatever is rotten that can be found. It has to be cut right into the healthy tissue. The plant can then be replanted at a slight angle so that the water can run off the crown. Despite all the work, the success rate is very low. Affected daylilies often cannot be saved.


In principle, it is only the special Hemorcallis gall mosquito that troubles the plants. The pests who specialize in day lilies lay their eggs in the flower buds. The larvae then eat them from the inside out. The bud is crippled. The infestation can be recognized by the swelling of the buds and the brownish liquid that runs out when the bud is opened. If you notice the infestation, all affected flower buds should be removed. This is the only way to minimize reproduction and spread. Otherwise there are more problems every year, because the gall mosquito keeps reproducing. Put the infected buds in a sealable bag and dispose of them with household waste. The larvae can jump far.

Daylilies are beautiful plants and should not be missing in any garden. I can make about 10 different varieties, but all of them are normal specimens. During my research, I saw the best flowers. I didn’t even know what flower colors, patterns and shapes there were, absolutely fantastic. However, so are the prices. Since I’m not a collector, my daylilies are enough for me. I also find them very beautiful, but if you like, you can let off steam. Daylilies are, I can say from my own experience, absolutely easy to care for. They bloom reliably and have no quirks. They hardly need any maintenance. I can fully recommend daylilies.

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