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October 7, 2017


Every spring my daylilies bloom for several weeks. This year they are having a second bloom. Is it the extra wet summer or perhaps the Miracle Grow I sprayed on them several months ago? I'm enjoying the double blooming.



I am assuming you are doing a good job watering, as many perennials are going dormant early in these horrid dry conditions. Through daylily breeding, they are actually developing quite a few new varieties with two seasons of blooms. That may be the reason, or it could be the unusually mild year we have had and the early growth this spring.  I have heard from gardeners with errant blooms on iris, hydrangeas and now daylilies. Whatever the reason, enjoy them.  It should not hamper their blooms next spring.


May 1, 2017


Will roundup hurt your daylilies?  Are daylilies of the grass family or the lily family?  I am trying to kill the Bermuda grass that is growing in them and want to kill the grass but not hurt the daylilies. 



While many resources still put the daylily in the lily family, it has its own family—Hemerocallidacae.  Round-up or Glyphosate will hurt daylilies—it is a non-specific killer, it doesn't matter if it is a grass broadleaf plant.  I think what you are referring to is the grass specific herbicides like Poast or Fusilade--commonly called Grass-b-gone, Ornamec, or Over-the-top.  Those can be used around daylilies which are not members of the grass family.  The key is to use them as the grass is beginning to grow in May not once it is well established, because then you have a lot of dead grass to contend with.


April 22, 2017


I have a patch of the old orange day lilies I have heard them called ditch lilies.  I also have a strip of ground down my drive way that stays wet to damp due to my neighbor watering there almost every day.  My drive is about 2' below their yard.  Would these day lilies be good plant in this strip?  The strip is about 25' long and these day lilies spread at a very rapid rate.  I have had good luck transplanting them.  If the day lilies are not a good option, do you have a suggestion?



Hemerocallis fulva is the variety you are talking about and if you have one spot that you can contain, they will definitely multiply and hold the soil.  The problem can be that they grow almost too well.  If you have other plants nearby they will usually take over and can interfere with other growth.  As long as you know the risks and limitations, it will serve your purpose.  You could use other varieties which will be a mix of colors but may not be a vigorous.



September 3, 2016

QuestionI have a question about the division of the day lilies.  When should you divide them? Can I do it now or do I wait until it gets cooler.  I live in Cabot.


AnswerDaylilies can be divided in the fall as they are going dormant or in the spring as they are emerging.  

 June 1, 2016

QuestionMy daylilies (Stella d’or) have not bloomed this year. I planted them three years ago in a bright sunny spot in the front yard (southern exposure).  The first summer they didn't bloom much, but last year they were fabulous.  This year the foliage is green and thick but there are no buds.  Both years I cleared away the dead foliage before the new sprouts emerged.

AnswerThe two reasons daylilies don’t bloom is if they are in too much shade or if they are too crowded.  We normally dig and divide them every three to five years.  Stella's are typically  prolific bloomers, especially early in the season.  Once they begin blooming, they often set so many seed pods, that the blooming slows down, unless someone is deadheading them.  If they are too crowded, go ahead and dig and divide.  This is not the ideal time, but you may salvage enough of the growing season, that they can recover and begin to bloom. Normally we would divide in the fall as they are going dormant, or in the spring as they are emerging. 

 May 1, 2016

QuestionMy daylily plants get full sun, but they have way less flowers than they did when I planted them three years ago.  They are huge plants with a lot of leaves.  Why are they not blooming? Should I fertilize?


AnswerMany perennials, including daylilies will not flower well if they get too crowded. We typically recommend digging and dividing them every three years.  I would say your plants are too crowded.  It would have been preferable to have dug them as they emerged earlier this spring, but since they aren’t blooming now anyway, dig them up and separate them. Replant with two to three crowns per division, and then fertilize with a general fertilizer.  Hopefully, they will rebound and set some flowers later in the season, but if not, they should bloom nicely again next spring.

August 2012

QuestionI have quite a few different kinds of plants and shrubs- Hosta, hydrangeas, day lilies, caladiums, azaleas, heuchera, lorapetalums, etc. They are shaded, semi-shaded and in the sun. I have set up a "drip" system on a timer and with adjustable heads, so I can vary the amount of water (but not the frequency) to each plant. Can you recommend a reference source where I can get precise information for watering? Most instructions I have seen are very vague.

 AnswerUnfortunately I don’t think such a guide exists, since there are so many plants out there, and so many variables. Variables include the type of plant, the type of soil—rich, deep soil or pitiful rocky soil; slope of the yard, amount of sunlight or shade the plant gets, age of the plants, and plant spacing. Of the plants you mentioned, hydrangeas, hostas and azaleas would be the most water needy, but again amounts will vary by how much sunlight they receive, your soil, and how much space you have between plants. Caladiums will need more water in the sun than in the shade, and I find that loropetalums are pretty drought tolerant once established. Daylilies can definitely take dry conditions, but it will impact blooming. The key is to really learn your landscape. I have beds in full sun in which some plants wilt regardless of how much I water when temperatures exceed 100, and I have some old established beds with hollies, aucuba and camellias that seem to take what life throws at them.

July 2012

QuestionI recently picked a mess of dry seed pods off some lily type flowers. I would like to plant the seeds and am hoping you will tell me if this will work. For some reason, I thought day lilies came up from bulbs!


AnswerMany bulbous type plants, including daylilies, tiger lilies and even daffodils and tulips set seeds as well from the spent flowers. It takes a while to get a blooming plant from a seed of a daylily or Asiatic lily, but it is doable. Just lightly cover the seeds with soil and be patient. It usually takes two years before you see a flower, but you will get plants much sooner. A quicker method of propagation is to divide the plant. Many gardeners like to experiment. If you have a lot of daylilies, they will cross pollinate so you will get a different bloom.

March 2012

QuestionCould you please tell me what plant I could use as a border for my flowerbed? Right now I have monkey grass and I really don't like it. Is there something I could plant that stays low and doesn't spread everywhere. If I keep the monkey grass, is there anything I can spray on it that will kill the bermuda grass but not hurt the monkey grass.


AnswerIn full sun, candytuft is a nice low growing perennial that makes a good border or edging plant, but it does need to be pruned after flowering. Dwarf daylilies, prostrate rosemary and thyme are also good choices. In the shade you can use heuchera or small ferns. Make sure there is a border between your landscape beds and lawn, or the grass will constantly encroach. Grass specific herbicides such as Grass-b-gone, Over the top, and Ornamec will kill grass without hurting most broadleaf ornamentals, including monkey grass (not a true grass, but actually in the lily family.)

June 2005

QuestionOnce before you printed a hint about how to make Stella de Oro lilies bloom again once their first blooming period is over. My Stella daylilies bloomed only fair this year. They now have what look like pods at the tops of the stalks. I wonder if I should cut them back or leave them alone. I would appreciate your help with any info you can give me.

 AnswerWhile Stella de’oro daylilies are touted as ever blooming daylilies, blooming will definitely be curtailed if you allow the seedpods to remain after bloom. Although most daylilies set seedpods following bloom, Stella’s seem to be prone to an abundance of them. While they are busy making seeds, less energy will go into new blooms. It is best to deadhead the spent blooms at least every two weeks to keep them setting more flowers. This needn’t be as time-consuming as it sounds. Simply snap off the spent flowers or beginning seed pods whenever you pass the plant. Fertilize after the first peak of blooms, and then again six to eight weeks later. Water as needed. Following these recommendations should give you almost continuous blooms. Another thing that reduces blooms is overcrowding. While Stella’s don’t get overly tall, they can grow quite wide. If they are too crowded, blooms will be small and sparse. Division can be done either spring or fall.

June 2008

QuestionI have a small flower bed, 4ft. X 8ft. max that has been taken over by the Bermuda grass in our lawn. When I cleaned it up this spring I put wet newspapers all through out and up close to the plants that are there and then mulched well with cypress mulch. The bed has some hostas, day lilies and a peony bush. This is our fifth summer in this house, the grass was sodded when we built the house, and little did we know how it would spread. I thought maybe this fall I would dig up my plants and treat the area and the border around it with something to kill it off. Any suggestions or help you could give me would be appreciated.

 AnswerBermuda is a tenacious weed and often seems to grow better where we don’t want it. There are some grass specific herbicides you can use and now is an ideal time to use them. The key is to let the grass green up and start to spread and then treat. Brand names include Grass-b-gone, Over the Top, Ornamec and Vantage. This will kill the grass without damaging your daylilies, hostas or peony. Once the grass is killed, pull out the dead grass and mulch well. Keep a buffer zone between your lawn and flower beds to give yourself an area to keep clean.

July 2006

QuestionI need a good sidewalk border that will look good all year round with some.


AnswerDo you really need plants running the length of the sidewalk, or can the lawn be enough? If you think you need some type of planting, make sure there is a distinct border between lawn and plants. Many times you see monkey grass or daylilies flanking a sidewalk and they are a mess of grass and plants. A buffer zone that can be edged or weed-eated can help. You didn't mention if you had sun or shade. If you have sun, perennial verbena can be a nice addition, but usually won't live more than 3-4 years. Stella d'or daylilies can bloom for a long period of time and are only dormant for a month or two in the winter and candytuft is an evergreen perennial with beautiful white spring flowers. Monkey grass (Liriope) is evergreen and takes sun or shade, but isn't particularly colorful unless you go with a variegated form. You could always do a mass planting of low growing shrubs, but they usually aren't necessary the entire length of the sidewalk. For shade plants, try ajuga with great colorful foliage, heuchera--many different colored varieties to choose from and they are evergreen, or pachysandra an evergreen groundcover.

July 2008

QuestionI have 12 Stella De Oro daylily plants in my front yard garden. When we first moved into our home in September of 2006, the builder planted most of the daylilies towards the front of my garden. The plants have really grown and produced lots of beautiful flowers this year, but the location of the plants covers some of the other shrubs and flowers in my garden. I would like to relocate some of the plants to the back of my front garden and maybe even divide some and place them in the backyard. When is the best time to relocate and divide these plants?

 AnswerDaylilies are tough plants and would probably survive a move at any time, however, the best time to dig and divide would be in the fall as they are going dormant or in the spring as they are emerging. Moving them now would be tough on you and the plant. If you can, wait until fall.

May 2007

QuestionI think I need to divide my hosta's and daylilies. What is the best time to do this and the best method?


AnswerHosta’s and daylilies can be divided either in the spring as they are emerging or in the fall when they go dormant. We typically divide perennials based on their season of bloom. Spring blooming plants are best divided in the fall, and fall ones in the spring. Those that bloom in the summer can be divided either spring or fall. You can dig up the entire clump, and then using a sharp serrated knife cut through the root ball, making sure you have at least a crown or two per division. Then replant.

July 2006

QuestionI have some lilies in my yard that have finished blooming. Is it okay to cut the stalks now or do I need to wait like one does for daffodils?


AnswerLilies should be allowed to grow until the foliage begins to die back. This is the time period where they are rejuvenating themselves and replenishing their food supplies. Once you see the foliage beginning to yellow, you can cut the leaves back.

February 2005

QuestionI have a fairly large garden of assorted plants in my back yard but am by no means a savvy gardener. Could you please tell me when is the best time to thin out my daylilies?


AnswerDaylilies can be thinned either in the spring as they are emerging or in the fall as they go dormant. Many daylilies started poking up foliage a month ago, and some of it has been zapped a bit by winter weather. They are tough plants, though, and should bounce back just fine.


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