Daylilies: Getting Through the Dog Days of Summer

In order to bring you new flowers every day during the bloom season, Daylilies need lots of water. While our area is prone to afternoon thunderstorms, they are usually not long enough to provide the moisture your plants need. On a typical hot summer day, the water will evaporate before it has a chance to soak into the soil sufficiently. A long , slow drink of water is in order.

Many gardeners like to use soaker hoses or drip irrigation devices to water their Daylilies. Most prefer to water in the evening as well. Sprinklers are okay but can cause unsightly blotchy spotting on darker colored blooms or on nocturnal varieties (blooms that open the night before). Regardless of your method, water long and gently so the moisture soaks deep down into the soil. A healthy layering of mulch will help your soil to retain moisture.

There seemingly are as many opinions of how to fertilize as there are the number of cultivars. Daylilies don’t require much in the way of fertilizer. Dry 5-10-10- or water soluble fertilizer applied once or twice a season is usually enough. If your Daylilies appear to be tired just not doing well, an application of fertilizer will more than likely perk them up.

An often overlooked factor when talking about Daylily performance is the importance of removing seed pods that begin to develop this time of year on many varieties. Unless you are a hybridizer, you don’t want your plants wasting energy on seed production. This is particularly true of reblooming or continual varieties such as the popular Stella De Oro and Happy Returns. Both varieties set pods at the blink of an eye and if the pods are allowed to remain, the rebloom will be disappointing.

The little care that Daylilies do require is well worth the effort. You will be delighted with the results.

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