All About Daylilies
Daylilies: Stars of the Summer Garden
Daylilies are the gardener’s dream come true! Luscious flowers come in a kaleidoscope of colors, blooming from early summer to early fall. Easy to grow and long-lived, most varieties are hardy throughout the United States and southern Canada (Zone 3- through Zone 9). Plus, thrive in a wide range of conditions— from cool hollows to dry hillsides.
An Ancient Plant Becomes A Gardener’s Delight
All the daylilies we grow in our gardens are descended from just seventeen species of ‘original daylilies’ that are native to eastern Asia, primarily in Japan, Korea, Mongolia and China, where they were also cultivated for many years.
These seventeen species (which are only distantly related to ‘true’ lilies, or Lilium) are grouped into the single genus Hemerocallis, which means ‘lovely for a day’ - a reference to the fact that each individual flower blooms for just a single day. About 400 years ago, plant explorers introduced a number of these daylily species to Europe and eventually to North America.
One introduced species is the familiar ‘Orange Daylily’ (Hemerocallis fulva) that now blooms with ease along country roadsides all across North America. But beware: in some states it is considered invasive. And it's not advisable to plant Orange Daylilies in your garden since, with the help of their strong underground runners, they will soon overrun everything else. They are, however, a perfect choice for hiding ugly building foundations and filling ditches.
Another introduced species is the old-fashioned ‘Grandma’s Lemon Daylily’ (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus) which still can still be found growing around the old farmsteads and cellar holes in the mountains of New England. With its early bloom time and lovely lemony fragrance, a small patch of Lemon Daylilies makes a welcome addition to any garden.
Today: A Multitude of Cultivated Varieties
Over the last seventy-five years, these seventeen daylily species have become the basis for hybridizers everywhere to try their hands at creating new varieties of daylilies. Depending on their native habitat, daylily species exhibit a variety of traits that can be exploited by hybridizers.
For instance, some species come from the mountains, meaning they will be quite hardy and will most likely go dormant in the winter. Others dwell in low lying areas and, while less hardy, keep their leaves year-round.
Some species have quite tall flower stalks (scapes), whereas others are extremely short. And their flowers range in color from pale yellow to strong orange and reddish, all the way to deep maroon.
Daylily hybridizers, both professional and amateur, have created the array of cultivated varieties of daylilies that are available to gardeners today. These include multi-colored extravaganzas as well as daylilies with extra-long bloom times. It is estimated that the number of different cultivated varieties (or cultivars) of daylilies now runs in the hundreds of thousands!
Daylilies Make Your Garden Come Alive
One of the easiest ways to energize your garden is to combine daylilies, with their huge blooms, and other favorite perennials that will bloom at the same time. And, with their striking flowers, daylilies create a dramatic textural contrast when grown alongside ornamental grasses and other perennials. Their strappy green foliage makes a garden look full and lush throughout the season.
Some varieties of daylilies are quite petite, so that two or three plants grouped together would make a lovely accent near the front of the border. Plant these with other short plants such as Nepeta (Catmint), Blue Fescue and Blue Oat Grass to produce a beautiful, enduring contrast of both color and texture for the front of the border.
Other daylilies have flower stalks that grow over 30 inches tall, and these will stand out in the middle of the border alongside Echinacea and Rudbeckia, all mixed in among some clumps of airy ornamental Grass. The whole composition can then be completed with a backdrop of taller Switch Grass.
American Meadows Flower Power Daylilies
The latest advances in daylily hybridization has brought us a whole range of new varieties which bloom multiple times in the course of the season - vastly increasing the number of flowers that each plant creates each season. These are known as repeat blooming daylilies, or reblooming daylilies.
With these new daylilies, plus a little extra care (additional fertilizing and the removal of spent leaves and seed capsules, plus irrigation during dry periods), gardeners can enjoy flowering daylilies all season long.
At American Meadows, we are incredibly excited to bring you twelve different re-blooming daylily varieties with beautiful colors and amazing flower production. After a few years, as your plants mature, you can look forward to enjoying hundreds of blooms on a single plant over the course of a single season.
A rainbow of colors to excite your imagination
Our Flower Power varieties come in a multitude of gorgeous colors to stimulate your creative genius.
For instance, all our single-colored Power Bloomers—Space-coast Early Bird, Lacy Doily, Heavenly Pink Fang and Bakabana— grow less than 2 feet high and introduce soft warm colors like pink, peach and yellow to the garden.
Or how about creating a long-blooming multicolored extravaganza by planting some or all of these multi-colored beauties en masse:
|Night Whispers||Red with yellow throat|
|She’s Got the Look||Pale pink fading to creamy center|
|Simmons Overture||Pink outside, burgundy then yellow throat|
|Moroccan Sunrise||Crimson red with yellow throat|
|Magic Dancer||Crimson red, burgundy and yellow throat|
|Irresistible Charm||Red frilled outer rim, yellow and red center throat|
|Lavender Tutu||Yellow frilled outer rim, peachy lavender then yellow throat|
|Entrapment||Lilac with yellow highlights|
The award-winning ‘Little Business’ Reblooming Daylily will energize your garden with striking blossoms – which just happen to be a hummingbird’s favorite color! ...Learn MoreLittle Business Reblooming Daylily Little Business Reblooming Daylily Hemerocallis Little BusinessAs low as $75.98Per Bag of 12The award-winning ‘Little Business’ Reblooming Daylily will energize your garden with striking blossoms – which just happen to be a hummingbird’s favorite color! With a compact form, this is a great choice for small low-maintenance gardens. The eye-catching 3-inch flowers are saturated raspberry red – each with a lime green throat and yellow anthers. Its wide grass-like foliage provides graceful texture in the garden. By the end of the season, ‘Little Business’ will bloom again, adding those warm red tones to the autumn garden. (Hemerocallis)
Our Low Maintenance Daylily Collection features six popular eye-catching Daylily varieties. Bright summer blooms feature all the colors of a vivid summer sunset, from soft white to c...Learn MoreLow Maintenance Daylily Collection Low Maintenance Daylily Collection Hemerocallis$109.32 Sale $101.99Per Collection of 18Our Low Maintenance Daylily Collection features six popular eye-catching Daylily varieties. Bright summer blooms feature all the colors of a vivid summer sunset, from soft white to clear yellow, bold orange, and peachy pink, and brilliant red. A mix of sizes will give your planting interesting variety, and graceful arching foliage adds attractive texture all season long. Spreading gently over time, Daylilies are a great garden investment! Collection of 18 bare root plants.
‚Purple D‚Oro‚ Reblooming Daylily is a standout variety bred from its namesake, the ever-popular and bloom-packed ‚Stella D‚Oro‚. With lavender-pu...Learn MorePurple D'Oro Reblooming Daylily Reblooming Daylily Purple D'Oro Hemerocallis Purple D'Oro$22.65Per Bag of 3'Purple D'Oro' Reblooming Daylily is a standout variety bred from its namesake, the ever-popular and bloom-packed 'Stella D'Oro'. With lavender-purple flowers that delight throughout the summer and finish the season strong with a second wave of blooms come fall, 'Purple D'Oro' is an easy care plant that asks little of the gardener. (Hemerocallis)
‚Frans Hals‚ Daylily adds a riot of color to the landscape in spring, reblooming again in fall. Boasting big, bi-colored flowers that alternate rusty crimson inner petals...Learn MoreFrans Hals Daylily Daylily Frans Hals Hemerocallis Frans Hals$15.99 Sale $13.59Per Bag of 3'Frans Hals' Daylily adds a riot of color to the landscape in spring, reblooming again in fall. Boasting big, bi-colored flowers that alternate rusty crimson inner petals and yellow throats, with sunny yellow outer petals, 'Frans Hals' is content with a wide variety of conditions. A spectacular sight when planted in a large group or drift. Attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. (Hemerocallis)
About the Author: Judith Irven is an accomplished Vermont landscape designer and garden writer, and she delights in helping people everywhere create beautiful gardens. You can visit her online at: OutdoorSpacesVermont.com.