In some dictionaries and other reference works, this plant may be referred to as a "day lily," but the spelling was consolidated into a single word in 1923 upon the recommendation of the American Joint Committee on Horticultural Nomenclature, as reported by the publication Standardized Plant Names, 1923 edition, Preface, p. x and p. 199.
is a daylily?
name for daylily is Hemerocallis
, most recently
considered to belong in the plant family Hemerocallidaceae.
Previously, many older works placed daylilies in the Lily
family, Liliaceae. Notice that the preferred spelling is "daylily"
as one word. Many dictionaries spell it as two words. The
is derived from two Greek words
meaning "beauty" and "day,"
referring to the fact that each flower lasts only one day.
To make up for this, there are many flower buds on each
daylily flower stalk, and many stalks in each clump of
plants, so, the flowering period of a clump is usually
several weeks long. And, many cultivars have more than
one flowering period.
is the daylily the perfect perennial?
is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial because
in a rainbow of colors and a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Able to survive
with very little care in a wide range of climates.
for all types of landscapes.
- Drought tolerant when necessary, with relatively few pest and disease problems in most gardens. See descriptions of pests and diseases that may be encountered .
to various soil and light conditions.
- Known to
bloom from late spring until autumn.
did daylilies originate?
The genus Hemerocallis is
native to Asia. Since the early
1930s, hybridizers in the United States and England have
made great improvements in daylilies. Originally, the
only colors were yellow, orange, and fulvous red. Today,
we have colors ranging from near-whites, pastels, yellows,
oranges, pinks, vivid reds, crimson, purple, nearly true-blue,
and fabulous blends. Many people
are familiar with only the common yellow or orange daylilies
which are often seen along roadsides. These daylilies
are cultivated forms of the wild types of daylilies which
and are growing as if they are wild. All the modern daylilies
have been developed through a complicated history of
hybridization among these and other wild types.
are the parts of a daylily?
can be characterized as a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial
with fibrous or somewhat tuberous roots. The daylily has
four fairly distinct growing parts.
- The roots
of a daylily are long, slender, and fibrous. Or, they
may be enlarged into spindle-shaped tubers with additional
roots at their bases. The roots absorb water and minerals
for use by the plant, and serve as storehouses for food
produced by the leaves.
- The crown
of a daylily is the stem of the daylily plant. It is
the solid white core located between the leaves and the
roots. The crown produces leaves and scapes from its
upper surface. The roots are produced from its sides
and lower surface.
- The leaves
of daylilies are long, slender, and grass-like. They
have a prominent center rib on the underside. The
leaves are arranged opposite each other on the crown,
giving a flattened appearance which causes the plant
to be referred to as a "fan." Multiple fans of a single plant
form a "clump."
- The scape
of a daylily is a leafless stalk which bears the
flowers. Most have two or more branches, each bearing
several flower buds. Below the branches, the stalks
have a few leaf-like "bracts." Sometimes, a small plantlet
grows at the junction of a bract and the scape. This
is called a "proliferation" and can be
rooted to produce another plant.
- See also the Daylily
Dictionary: Parts of a Daylily - Image Map -
just click on the terms.
are the flower colors of daylilies?
daylilies have a remarkably diverse color range, especially
considering that the wild types from which they have been
bred were only in shades of yellow, orange, fulvous (i.e.,
dull reddish yellow), and rosy-fulvous. Today, the only
colors notably lacking are pure white and pure blue. Needless
to say, hybridizers are avidly pursuing these two colors.
- The outer
portion of the daylily flower is considered to be the
basic color of the flower. The present daylily color
Brown, Apricot, and Peach are thought to be variations
of pink plus yellow. Near-whites are found among the
palest tints of yellow, pink, lavender, or melon.
shades from the palest lemon, through bright yellow
and gold, to orange.
shades of scarlet, carmine, tomato-red, maroon,
wine-reds, and blackish-reds.
pale pink through rose-pink to rose-red.
pale lavender and lilac to deep grape or violet.
- Melon or Cream-Pinkfrom
palest cream shades to deep cantaloupe shades.
- The center
area of the daylily flower is called the throat. In most
daylilies, the throat color differs from the rest of
the flower. Usually it is a shade of green, yellow, gold,
orange, apricot, or melon.
- Like the
throat, the stamens may be a different color from the
basic flower color and the throat color. Or, the stamens
may be of matching color. Usually they are light yellow
to greenish. The anthers at the tips of the stamens are
often darker in colorsometimes
color patterns are found in daylily flowers?
Most of the
following terms are illustrated in the Daylily
just follow the links. Modern daylilies
display a complex variety of color patterns that
were unknown in the original wild types. The patterns
- The simplest
pattern in which the flower segments (i.e., petals and
sepals) are all the same color (e.g., pink and rose).
The stamens and throat may be different.
- The flower
segments (i.e., petals and sepals) are a blend of two
or more colors. The stamens and throat may be different.
- The flower
segments have an intermingling of three or more colors
(e.g., yellow, melon, pink, and lavender). The stamens
and throat may be different.
- The petals
and sepals differ in shade or intensity of the same basic
color. The petals are the darker shade (e.g., rose pink),
while the sepals are lighter (e.g., pale pink). A Reverse
sepals which are darker than the petals.
- The petals
and sepals are of different colors (e.g., red and yellow
or purple and gold). The petals are the darker of the
two colors. A Reverse Bicolor has sepals which
are darker than the petals.
- Eyed or Banded
- The flower
has a zone of different color or a darker shade of the
same color located between the throat and the tips of
the flower segments.
is an Eye if
the zone occurs on both the petals and the sepals.
is a Band if
the zone occurs only on the petals.
is a Halo if
the zone is faint or only lightly visible.
is a Watermark if
the zone is a lighter shade that the rest of the
- Edged or Picoteed
- On some daylilies,
the edges of the flower segments are either lighter
or darker than the segment color. The width of
the edge can range from a very narrow "wire-edge" to
as much as 1/4 to 1/2 inches.
- The segment
tips, or more frequently just the petal tips, are a different
or contrasting color from the body of the segment (sometimes
for as much as one third of the length).
- The surface
color of the flower appears to be unevenly distributed
over the background color of the bloom rather than being
is Dusted if the color appears to be finely
misted onto the surface.
is Dotted if the colors are clumped into
terms used to describe uneven coloration include: Flecked, Flaked, Speckled,
- This is the
center vein running lengthwise through each flower segment.
In some cultivars, the midrib is different in color from
the rest of the segment. The midrib can be flush with
the surface, raised above it, or recessed.
- Tiny crystals
in the flower's cells reflect light, especially in the
sun, to give the flower a sparkling or glistening appearance
as if sprinkled with gold, silver, or tiny diamonds.
What flower forms are found in daylilies?
Daylily blooms have a wide array of different forms or shapes. Currently, the AHS officially recognizes the following forms for exhibition purposes: single, double, spider, unusual form, and polymerous flowers:
Daylily flowers that have three petals, three sepals, six stamens and one pistil.
Double daylilies come in several different forms. 'Hose-in-Hose' doubles have extra whorls (layers) of petals so that there appears to be a flower within a flower. 'Peony type' doubles have petaloid (petal-like) tissue on the stamens inside the normal petal whorl.
A flower whose petals have a length-to-width ratio of at least 4 to 1 (i.e., 4:1). Length is measured with the segment fully extended. Width measurement is taken as the flower grows naturally.
A class of daylilies based exclusively on the shapes of the petals or sepals. These shapes include Crispate (pinched, twisted, or quilled), Cascade, and Spatulate. One or more of these shapes must be displayed on at least 3 petals or 3 sepals.
Polymerous is an adjective used to designate a daylily with more than the normal number of segments in each floral whorl, i.e., more than the normal three sepals (usually four or five) in the outer whorl and more than three petals (usually the same number as sepals) in the inner whorl.
This term is used where the daylily in question has been registered correctly as exhibiting 2 or more of the forms spider, unusual form, polymerous, or double. Examples of a multiform daylily would be one that is both a spider and an unusual form, or a polymerous double.
Form characteristics that are collected on the current registration form, but that are not currently used for exhibition classification.
Other descriptive terms of daylily form or shape characteristics are:
A term used to describe three-dimensional structural features involving or emanating from the throat, midrib or elsewhere on the petal surfaces. Sculpted forms belong to one of three different groups: Pleated, Cristate (formerly Crested) and Relief.
When viewed from the front of a bloom, the flower appears round. Segments tend to be short, wide and stubby, and generally overlap, giving a full appearance. See also: Recurved
When viewed from the side of a bloom, flowers are perfectly flat except for the concave throat.
When viewed from front of bloom, flower segments have no definable shape. Segment placement may be irregular, widely spaced or floppy.
When viewed from the side of a bloom, flower segments flare, but the ends of some segments roll back or tuck under. When the sepals are all recurved, and the petals are not, the result is a triangular form, when both sepals and petals recurve, the result is often the round form.
When viewed from front of bloom, flower segments tend to be long and pointed. There is space between the segments, and the shape looks like a three-pointed or six pointed star.
When viewed from the front of the bloom, the flower segments form a triangle. The sepals generally recurve.
When viewed from side of bloom, flower form resembles a true lily. Segments rise from throat in an upward pattern with little flare.
other characteristics are used in describing daylilies?
Other characteristics often used in describing daylilies
- Texture refers
to the surface quality of the tissue structure of the
daylily bloom. There are three main types of texture
creped, and ribbed.
is the thickness of tissue structure, or the ability
of the flower to withstand the elements. Substance varies
from delicate (i.e., a thin, fragile appearance, but
still durable) to heavy and leathery.
- There are
three categories of bloom size in daylilies:
- Miniature. Flowers
that are under 3 inches in diameter.
- Small. Flowers
that are from 3 inches up to 4 1/2 inches in diameter.
- Large. Flowers
that have blooms 4 1/2 inches and over in diameter.
- Flower scapes
are classified as follows:
- Low. The
scapes are from 6 to 24 inches high.
- Medium. The
scapes are from 24 to 36 inches high.
- Tall. The
scapes are more than 36 inches high.
- Daylily scapes
with no branching have slender shoots with a
cluster of buds at the top. Branching allows
one scape to bear from 10 to 100 buds. Branching
may be described as multiple (i.e., a number
of side branches) or "three-way" with
"three" (or other appropriate figure)
indicating the number of branches per scape.
There are three types of branching:
Branched, where the branching occurs only
near the top of the scape.
Branched, where the branching begins near
the top of the foliage.
Branched, where the branching extends into
- Most daylilies
bloom for a single day, beginning in the early morning
and lasting until the evening. There are three terms
necessary to describe the normal and the atypical bloom
habits found in daylilies:
which is the normal day-blooming daylily type.
where daylilies open late in the afternoon, remain
open all night, and close the following morning
or early afternoon.
where individual daylily blooms remain open at
least 16 hours. Both diurnals and nocturnals may
be extended bloomers.
bloom from early spring until frost, depending on the
coldness of the climate. To indicate when a particular
cultivar blooms during the season, daylily growers use
the following terms and abbreviations (or symbols):
Early (EE). These daylilies are the first
to bloom, and vary from March or April in the
extreme South, to May or June in the North.
(E). These daylilies bloom three to five
weeks prior to the mass of bloom at midseason.
Midseason (EM). These daylilies bloom one
to three weeks before the height of bloom of
(M). These daylilies bloom at the peak of
the daylily bloom in your own garden. This ranges
from May in the South to July in the North.
Midseason (LM). These daylilies bloom one
to three weeks after the height or peak of bloom
in your garden.
(L). These daylilies bloom when most others
have finished blooming, usually four to six weeks
after the peak of the season.
Late (VL). These daylilies are the last to
bloom, often late in the summer in the South,
fall in the North.
(Re). These daylilies bloom more than one
time during a single season. Some of these bloom
early (e.g., May or June) and then repeat in
the fall. Others have a succession of bloom periods,
one shortly after another for several months.
are the foliage traits of daylilies?
of daylilies include color, size, habit, and cold-hardiness
- The foliage
of daylilies can be blue-green to yellow-green or any
shade in between.
- Daylily leaves
vary considerably from slender and grass-like to husky,
wide, and nearly corn-like. The leaves may arch, or may
stand nearly erect. The length of daylily leaves ranges
from as little as 6 inches to 36 inches or more.
- The winter
behavior of the daylily foliage is called
"the foliage habit." For registration
purposes, the foliage habit is loosely categorized
as dormant, evergreen, and semi-evergreen.
- Dormant. The
leaves of these daylilies die completely back as
winter approaches. They stop growing and form resting
buds at the crown, and the foliage dies down naturally
and gradually. In the spring, the resting buds
have a distinctive spear-like appearance as they
- Evergreen. These
daylilies retain their leaves throughout the year.
They do not form resting buds. Instead, they continually
produce new leaves unless cold weather prevents
growth. In mild climates, the leaves of evergreens
remain green all winter. In the coldest climates,
the foliage of evergreens nearly always is frozen
back, but the crown survives if it is hardy (or
- Semi-Evergreen. Today,
the term semi-evergreen is used to describe any
foliage behavior which is not readily classed as
simple evergreen or dormant. Originally, the term
semi-evergreen (or conversely, semi-dormant) was
used to describe those daylilies which retained
many of its leaves and appeared somewhat evergreen
when grown in the South, but lost all its leaves
and went dormant when grown in the North.
- The cold-hardiness
of daylilies is quite variable. Some are iron-clad hardy.
Others are extremely tender. Cold-hardiness is not determined
by the foliage habit. Evergreen, dormant, and semi-evergreen
can be anything from extremely cold-hardy to extremely
tender. To avoid risk of losing a cultivar, choose daylilies
which others have already grown successfully in your
is the difference between diploid and tetraploid daylilies?
Plants all have a basic complement of chromosomes.
Most plants are diploid
have two identical sets of chromosomes in each cell. Polyploids
are plants with more than two sets of chromosomes. A tetraploid
is only one of a whole series of polyploids. Triploids
have three sets of chromosomes, tetraploids have four sets
of chromosomes, et cetera.
daylilies are heralded by some growers as having a number
of advantages over diploids. In the tetraploid:
tend to be larger.
of the flower tend to be more intense.
tend to be sturdier and stronger.
of both flower and foliage tend to be heavier.
vigor in leaf, stem, and flower tend to be greater.
possibilities tend to be greater because of an
increased number of chromosomes
continue to charm growers with their exquisite flower
form, grace, and color.
pink daylilies are still more prevalent in the
and double daylilies are still more prevalent in
the diploid ranks.
daylilies are easier to cross than tetraploids.
diploid daylilies have been converted to tetraploids,
thus advancing the tetraploid lines.
are more diploids than tetraploids.
is the right daylily for my garden?
To find the
answer to this question, you must know yourself and your
reason for growing daylilies. New gardeners tend to focus
exclusively on the daylily bloom. With experience comes
discretion. Tastes develop and garden requirements surface.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before
making a daylily purchase.
the flower sunfast or does it fade in the hot sun?
the cultivar rebloom?
the cultivar exhibit extended blooming habits, or does
it finish blooming by early spring?
the scapes low, medium, or tall?
this my kind of flower?
performance characteristics should I look for in a daylily?
a daylily, consider foliage, vigor and stamina, scapes,
branching and buds, and flower substance.
in foliage is important for contrast in color and texture
in the total garden picture. Consider the following:
is best judged when you are not unduly influenced
by the beauty of flower.
must have an attractive appearance.
should be of a type that is compatible with your
- As to vigor
and stamina, the daylily plant should:
the ability to grow and multiply under good conditions
without being invasive of adjacent areas by underground
quickly, thrive, and grow stronger each year.
easy to transplant.
be susceptible to crown rot or spring sickness.
should have the following qualities:
scape must have adequate strength to support
the buds and flowers (i.e., you should not have
to stake the scape because of wind, rain, or
height of the scape and the size of the flower
should be in good proportion to the thickness
of the scape.
- When evaluating
branching and buds on daylilies, remember the following:
scape should branch so that the buds are not
all at the top of the scape.
should not open all together or be poorly spaced.
should be wide apart to allow buds to develop
normally without touching and hampering the opening
of the fully developed flower.
and bud count should not be so sparse that flowering
ends after a few days.
- Good balance
means that the overall daylily plant has a pleasing
relationship between the foliage and the placement
of branches, buds, and flowers. Remember:
foliage and tall scapes with scant high branching
often appear poorly balanced.
should be placed on how the scape relates to
the rest of the plant, regardless of height.
substance is very important when selecting your daylily.
Consider the following:
tissue should not be thin, and should not wilt,
brown, or melt at the edges.
the flower fades during the day, substance should
be retained reasonably well.
flower that opens early in the morning should
remain presentable in the evening.
- Color has
a strong emotional appeal. Consider the following:
people find merit in colors that are clear, bright,
soft, vibrant, distinctive, and pleasingly blended.
Well-defined markings can add much to the beauty
of a flower.
dingy, streaked, dull, and faded colors can seldom
be considered an asset. Irregular markings are
usually considered a flaw, but a few hybridizers are working with spots and streaks and getting some interesting results.
- Llike many things, some colors and patterns are currently popular, and something new is always being looked for and pursued. For instance, getting bands of color within eyes or green on petal edges are currently areas of interest.
form, along with color, sets one flower apart from
variations in form are favored equally by many
daylily collectors; a particular form is favored
flowers, dissimilarity of segment shape (except
in informal types), and lack of uniformity in
placement of flower segments are undesirable
aspects of form.
refers to the surface quality of the flower. Consider
varies from cultivar to cultivar - from
the very smooth satiny waxy finish to velvety,
creped, pebbled, diamond-dusted, and glistening - to
name a few.
whether flower quality suffers by its texture
or is enhanced and beautified by it.
and distinction are two essential factors for any worthwhile
daylilies are being sold that do not possess
that special quality called beauty.
old saying is true; beauty is in the eye of the
- When buying
a new daylily, ask these questions about distinction:
the daylily that special quality that sets it
apart from others of a similar kind?
the color, pattern, or special blending of colors
different or rare?
the form and texture unique, different, and beguiling;
is it something special?
the daylily have the qualities to make it a star
in your garden?
do I obtain daylilies?
can be obtained from commercial sources, friends, and
- Commercial Sources
- Many commercial
nurseries and individual daylily growers sell daylilies.
Consider the following recommendations:
nurseries and AHS Display Gardens in your area
during the daylily bloom season and see which
cultivars appeal to you and which ones grow well
the American Hemerocallis Society publishes
an Available Source List of daylily growers in
the spring issue of the Daylily
commercial daylily growers listed in the Available
Source List offer color brochures listing their
daylilies. Many mail their brochures free to
members of the American Hemerocallis Society.
number of commercial daylily growers now have
WWW Home Pages on the Internet.
Sales and Auctions
- Local and
regional daylily societies often hold plant sales and
auctions. Auctions are held at meetings or by mail.
There is even an auction at each AHS National Convention.
daylilies usually multiply fast and need to be divided
periodically, daylily fanciers often share some of
their increase with new growers.
much do daylilies cost?
range from as low as $3 to as much as $500 for a single
- Do not
be scared off by the high price as there are thousands
of excellent daylilies in the $3 to $10 price range.
- Only the
newest daylilies or significant advances in breeding
bring prices of $100 to $300.
Some recent tetraploid conversions in very limited supply
demand the highest prices.
- New growers
should venture cautiously into high-price expenditures
that might bring disappointment because of high expectations
based on high price.
is the right time to plant daylilies?
- In the
North, spring planting is normally preferred. Fall
planting in colder climates can prove fatal for daylilies
because they often do not have adequate time to form
new roots and to begin to anchor themselves before
winter comes. Experienced gardeners, however, can plant
in the fall provided they:
the hardiness of the plants
some preventative measures such as mulching.
the time of the year after which it is not safe
to plant in their location
- In the
far South, early spring or very late fall are the most
desirable planting times. Please be aware that daylilies
planted in July, August, or September when temperatures
and humidity are extremely high (i.e., over 90°),
face a high probability of rotting.
is the best place to plant daylilies?
You need to
consider four things in determining where to plant your
- Sun or Shade
- Most daylilies
do best in full sun. They will tolerate part-shade
conditions, but require a minimum of six hours of direct
sun per day.
yellow cultivars, many shades of pink, and delicate
pastels need full sun to bring out their lovely
red and purple cultivars benefit from partial
shade in the hottest part of the day because
dark colors absorb heat and do not withstand
the sun as well as lighter colors.
- Like most plants, daylilies show maximum performance in soils with good aeration, fertility and microbial activity. The ideal soil holds sufficient moisture to sustain the plants, yet is at the same time well-drained. These characteristics can be improved in soils that have too much sand or clay by amending with compost.
- For maximum performance, daylilies should be planted in well-drained soil. In some regions raised beds may be beneficial where drainage is a problem. However raised beds should be approached with caution in cold winter regions as being elevated can make the plants more vulnerable to temperature extremes and fluctuations. Note also that raised beds generally require more irrigation during the summer.
with Other Plants
- Daylilies may not do well near or under trees that compete for moisture and nutrients. They are often reported to do well under pine trees, however, and each situation should be assessed individually. Plants that must compete with tree roots often do better if supplied with extra waterings.
do I plant my daylilies?
When you receive
your new daylilies, use the following technique for planting
Plants Are Received
- New daylily plants received bare-root by mail may be "parked" in damp sand or other suitable media until they can be planted. Many daylily enthusiasts like to soak the roots for a few hours or overnight in a bucket of water, however others do not agree with this practice. Some gardeners also include a weak fertilizer in the soaking water, but this isn't necessary and, if too strong a solution, may actually be detrimental.
- Make sure
that your daylilies are clean and healthy before planting
- The soil
where you intend to plant your daylilies should be
worked into a good loose condition to a depth of at
least 1 foot.
a hole larger than the root mass.
a mound in the center of the hole.
the plant in place with the roots spread on all
sides of the mound.
plants should be planted about as deep as they
grew originally. The original depth can be determined
easily by the band of white at the base of the
foliage which indicates the part of the plant
which was underground.
not set the crown (i.e., the point where foliage
and roots join) more than 1 inch below the surface
of the soil.
the soil around and between the roots as you
cover the plant.
the soil and water well.
sure that there are no air pockets; this can
cause the plant to grow poorly.
all the water has soaked in, finish filling in
the soil, leaving a slight depression around
should be spaced no less than 18 to 24 inches apart
on each side.
of your daylilies with some type of permanent marker
so as to identify them. A plant loses much of its value
when its identification is lost.
do I care for my daylilies?
The wise daylily
gardener will apply a proper cultural program which includes
watering, fertilizing, mulching, possibly spraying, grooming,
controlling weeds, and sanitation.
- Water is
essential for good daylily performance.
supplied in sufficient amounts, almost certainly
increases the number and size of daylily blooms.
daylilies, watering is most important in spring
when the plants are making scapes and buds, and
in the summer during the bloom season.
benefit more from deep watering, which reaches
8 to 10 inches into the soil, than from a succession
of brief, surface waterings.
1: Overhead watering during the heat of the day
will cause any open blooms to spot and/or wilt.
2: Watering in the evening can also cause spots
on the next day's blooms.
3: Be careful not to over water.
grow in a wide range of soils and conditions.
determine the nutrient needs of your soil, take
a soil sample and have it analyzed. Contact your
local county agricultural agent for instructions.
can do well over a relatively wide soil pH range
and adjustment of pH need only be considered
if the plants appear to be doing poorly. A soil
test as recommended above should always be conducted
before amending with sulfur or lime.
the average home garden, a single fertilizer
application in the spring is usually sufficient,
although even that may not be necessary every
extremely poor soils or on light or sandy soils
which tend to leach badly, more frequent application
may be required. Consult with your local agriculture
office for recommendations suitable to your soil
although not essential in every area, generally does
contribute to better daylilies by improving the soil
and helping retain moisture.
- Keep your
garden neat and tidy.
gardeners remove the day's blooms at the end
of the day to give their gardens a pristine appearance.
you hybridize, expect to leave the pollinated
blooms on the plants until the blossom sheds
and the tiny seed pod is formed.
- The most
effective weed control measures for the home garden
are mulching and hoeing.
sanitation measures lead to healthier daylilies.
the spring, dead foliage and debris should be
cleared away from around your daylilies.
the growing season, damaged or diseased foliage
should be removed.
the end of the bloom season, cut off the bloom
scapes to within a few inches of the ground unless
you are hybridizing.
pests affect daylilies?
do have some pests, but many do only minor damage. Some
diseases also affect daylilies, they too are listed below.
have their own specific aphid which feeds only on daylilies.
are most active in cool weatherspring
and fall in temperate zones, and all winter long
in the subtropics.
daylily aphids is not as easy as with other kinds
of aphids, which are usually vulnerable to such
soft controls as soaps.
order to reach daylily aphids inside the fans,
a pesticide with at least a mildly systemic action
not use the pesticide Kelthane, which is known
to harm daylilies.
mites are among the most common daylily pests.
mites are most active in hot, dry weather.
can get some control of spider mites just by
hosing them off as needed.
do not use the pesticide Kelthane; it is known
to harm daylilies.
species of thrips are know to infest daylilies.
thrips by starting early in the growing season
with a pesticide having either a systemic or
long residual action.
repeat, do not use the pesticide Kelthane.
- Slugs and
snails feed on the young, tender tissues, causing ragged
edges and holes.
feed at night and hide during the day in cool,
moist places, such as in mulch, under rocks and
bricks, and in dead foliage.
helps to control slugs and snails. Otherwise,
control requires using pesticides which are targeted
specifically at these pests.
- There are
other pests that attack daylilies.
What diseases affect daylilies?
Most gardeners with a mix of different plants intermingled
in their gardens should have little trouble with diseases
in daylilies. However, large collections with many plants
of a single genus are more likely to encounter problems,
especially if those plants are acquired from a large
number of different sources.
Environmental conditions and gardening practices inevitably
play a role in the development of diseases. Some cultivars
may also be less adaptable to different conditions/climates,
or less resistant to certain diseases, than are other
Older, inexpensive daylily cultivars that remain in
wide circulation may be a better starting choice for
the inexperienced gardener/daylily enthusiast than more
recent introductions not yet tested under a wide range
of conditions in many different gardens.
Some daylily diseases and disorders are relatively easy
for the home gardener to identify. Others, such as the
various forms of crown and root rots, are more difficult
and if these become a concern it is advisable to seek
a professional laboratory diagnosis. It is important
also to know what is normal, for instance a new daylily
collector may mistake "summer dormancy" for
plant death or disease.
The major daylily diseases and disorders of concern
- Caused by a fungus (Puccinia hemerocallidis)
- Orange-yellow powdery spots on leaves and scapes
- Orange-yellow spores mark white tissue when leaves
- Leaves may die back but the plant as a whole should
- Some cultivars more susceptible than others, but
since this is a new disease in North America this information
is currently being collected
- Provide good air circulation and planting distances
and minimize overhead watering
- Avoid excessive nitrogen and inadequate potassium
- Unlikely to persist where all foliage dies back
in winter (or roughly Zone 6 and colder) although may
be able to do so where there are plants of the alternate
- Appropriate fungicides may be used
Crown and Root Rots
- Plant yellows and may collapse, leaves may pull
out easily, affected tissue is often mushy and plant
may die. Signs of a fungus may be visible, e.g. "shoestrings" for
Armillaria rot, and "mustard seeds" for southern
blight (Sclerotium rolfsii), otherwise exact diagnosis
requires submission to a diagnostic laboratory
- Foul smell may, or may not, be present
- May involve a combination of factors such as nematodes,
bulb mite or other pest damage, fungal and/or bacterial
pathogens (disease causing agents), weather conditions,
gardening practices, soil aeration and moisture conditions
- Some cultivars may be more susceptible than others
- Of particular concern in warmer climates but may
also occur elsewhere
- Ensure adequate soil aeration and drainage
- Avoid or correct areas of poor air circulation
- Avoid too much or too little water and don't over-estimate
water needs in periods of high humidity (check soil
moisture before watering)
- Avoid over-fertilizing-Avoid over-amending with high
water-retentive organic materials
- Remember that high temperatures increase transplanting
stress and try to avoid if possible
- Don't plant too deep
- Let wounds from dividing air-dry in the shade before
- Remember that plants in pots are subject to more
extreme root/crown temperatures (and therefore stress)
than those in the ground
- Treatment differs according to causative agent/s
so get laboratory diagnosis of persistent rot problem
- Caused by a fungus (Aureobasidum microstictum)
- Brown spots, yellow streaking, and die-back of foliage
but not death of plant
- May require injury such as pest or frost damage
in order to infect
- Appropriate fungicides may help
- Foliage is twisted, bending, stunted and discolored
on some fans in early spring
- Affected fans may, or may not, recover and bloom
normally that season
- Exact cause is unknown
- Probably not a disease
- Not caused by cold damage following shoot emergence
- May involve a combination of contributing factors
possibly including, but not necessarily limited to,
bulb mites and the leaf streak fungus.
For more detailed information on these daylily disorders,
including images, see the AHS Daylily Dictionary. Start
with the diseases entry page:
other sources of daylily information are available?
View the complete list of publications available from the American Hemerocallis Society (AHS). is available on the AHS Portal HERE. Publications such as The Daylily Journal and the new Landscaping With Daylilies (shipping in early summer 2012) offer more detailed information about daylilies..
there is a vast body of knowledge available about daylilies.
- View Daylilies in Garden Settings
- The best
and most natural and pleasant way for a beginner, or
anyone, to learn about daylilies is by looking at them.
- The Daylily
spring publishes a list of approved American
Hemerocallis Society Display Gardens.
are now more than 150 of these AHS
Display Gardens across
the United States where you can view modern daylilies
from a variety of hybridizers.
there are thousands of other commercial and private
gardens in the United States and around the world
with representative collections of daylilies.
the American Hemerocallis Society
- Join the
AHS and learn more about daylilies.
quarterly the Daylily
view color photographs and read timely articles
provide much information about daylilies.
a Local Daylily Group
live in and join a local daylily group.
- Local daylily
groups hold informative meetings throughout
the year and most hold daylily shows and
sales and publish newsletters.
- Each Region
holds an annual Regional Meeting and publishes
- From meetings
and personal contacts at the local and regional
level and from reading local newsletters, you can
gain valuable knowledge about daylilies.
- Each year
the American Hemerocallis Society presents awards to
the best daylilies in a number of categories.
annual award winners are presented in the Winter
issue of the Daylily
can view the Current
and Previous Winners on
this AHS WWW site.
listed in the winter issue of the Daylily
the Stout Silver Medal winner, Award of Merit winners, Honorable Mention
winners, and the Specialty Award winners. The Junior Citation winners are listed in the Spring Daylily Journal.
Award of Merit winners are proven and
well-tested, dependable cultivars that
grow in many parts of the country. They
must receive votes from eight of the
Society's fifteen regions and be among
the top twelve vote-getters in that year's
Honorable Mention winners are newer promising
daylilies. They must have grown and proven
well in at least four AHS regions and received
a minimum of 20 judges' votes.
Junior Citation winners focus attention on
new and unregistered daylily cultivars.
About the Most Popular Daylilies
- Each year
at the regional level, the AHS conducts a popularity
poll among its members.
spring issue of the Daylily
fifteen favorites from each region.
newsletters may carry more of their own favorites.
can view the Recent
Regional Poll results
on this AHS Web site.
Your Public Library
- Most public
libraries have books about gardening and specifically
local telephone book lists public libraries.
can view a list of Popular
Daylily Books on
this AHS Web site.
the Information Highway
- The Internet
provides a vast amount of information about daylilies.
in the ever-popular rec.gardens newsgroup
where you can discuss all garden issues.
you are an AHS member, join the E-mail Robin where you can instantly discuss daylily
issues with daylily enthusiasts from around the
world by way of the Internet.
to the various Internet
Search Engines and
search for daylilies or any other gardening subject.
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