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More info about Daylilies

Daylilies comprise the small genus Hemerocallis of flowering plants in the family Hemerocallidaceae. The scientific 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. The genus Hemerocallis is native to the countries in the temperate parts of AsiadotJapan, Siberia, Korea, China, and Eurasia.
They are not true lilies. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset, possibly replaced by another one on the same stem the next day. Some species are night-blooming. Daylilies are not commonly used as cut flowers for formal flower arranging, yet they make good cut flowers otherwise as new flowers continue to open on cut stems over several days. Their large showy flowers have made them popular worldwide. There are over 60,000 registered cultivars. Only a few cultivars are scented. Some cultivars rebloom later in the season, particularly if their developing seedpods are removed.
The daylily is sometimes referred to as the perfect perennial because it is:
* Available 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.
* Suitable for all types of landscapes.
* Drought resistant and almost disease and insect free.
* Adaptable to various soil and light conditions.
* Known to bloom from late spring until autumn.
The flower consists of three petals and three sepals, collectively called tepals, each with a midrib in the same or in a contrasting color. The centermost section of the flower, called the throat, has usually a different and contrasting color. There are six stamens, each with a two-lobed anther. After pollination, the flower forms a pod.
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:
* Diurnal, which is the normal day-blooming daylily type.
* Nocturnal, where daylilies open late in the afternoon, remain open all night, and close the following morning or early afternoon.
* Extended, where individual daylily blooms remain open at least 16 hours. Both diurnals and nocturnals may be extended bloomers.
Daylilies can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zones 1 through 11, making them some of the most adaptable landscape plants. However, 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 climate.
Daylilies grow best in full sun. They will tolerate light shade, but flower best with a minimum of six hours of direct sun. Light shade during the hottest part of the day keeps the flowers fresh. Daylilies should not be planted near trees and shrubs that are likely to compete for moisture and nutrients.
Daylilies can be planted almost any time the soil can be worked. Till the soil deeply before planting. Work in well-rooted manure or compost to increase organic matter. Apply fertilizer based on a soil test. Contact your local Extension office for soil test information. Dig a hole large enough for the roots without bending or crowding them.
The plants like an adequate supply of water (1″ per week) and you will be rewarded during the later half of the season if this is supplied, especially with repeat bloomers. They are not fussy about soil, but if your soil is extremely heavy clay, the addition of sand plus compost will be of benefit. If, on the other hand, your soil is so sandy it will not retain moisture, the addition of compost will also help. Daylilies prefer slightly acid (pH 6 to 6.5) well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. They are however, very tolerant and will grow in almost any soil except poorly drained soils. If drainage is a problem, plant daylilies in raised beds.
Your plants can remain in place for several years, and as long as they continue to bloom well, do not need to be divided. If the bloom diminishes or the clumps become too large, they can be divided to provide you with new plants. Daylilies grow rapidly to form dense clumps. Division is not essential but may revitalize flowering if the plants have become crowded. Division is the usual way to increase your supply of daylilies. Dividing is usually done following flowering, but plants will tolerate division throughout the entire growing season.
The best time to transplant or divide plants is early spring or immediately after flowering. Plants divided in the spring may not bloom the same summer. Divisions should have two to three stems or fans of leaves with all roots attached. Make divisions by digging the entire plant and gently pulling the fans apart. Cut the foliage back, leaving only five or six inches. Place the plant in the soil so the crown (the portion where the stem and root meets) is one inch below the ground line. Water thoroughly after planting. A winter mulch of straw or shredded leaves helps ensure against winter injury for unestablished plants.
Daylilies look best if given some grooming through the year. During winter, remove any rotted or damaged foliage from around evergreen daylilies. Remove spent blooms and seedpods after summer flowering to improve appearance and encourage rebloom. When all the flowers on a scape (the daylilies’ flowering stalk) are finished, cut off the scape close to ground level. Remove dead foliage from daylilies as they die back in the fall.

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