Daylilies are the workhorses of the plant world. Dependable, tough, low maintenance, generally well behaved and the latest varieties are anything but dull! They have come a long way from the old orange daylilies that you see growing along the roadside and marking out the outlines of long gone homesteads, yet have retained that long lived tenacity from their orange ancestor.
Now you can get daylilies in almost any colour except blue and black and size from tall to dwarf and flowers that range from single spider-like petals to double frothy ones.
All daylilies flower best and longest in full sun but will do with some shade. They are drought tolerant when mature and will grow almost anywhere from boulevard beds to slopes to perennial gardens. They are best suited to more informal and natural style gardens and pair wonderfully with grasses and coneflowers.
As the name suggests, each flower lasts only a day with new ones opening up everyday. Hybridizers are striving for longer bloom periods and repeat bloom bloom periods. One of the latest is the “Never Ending” series, a smaller daylily that is supposed to bloom all season long from early to late summer and comes in a variety of shades.
As with all bloomers, be sure to cut off all spent flower stems to prolong the bloom period. If the plant sets seed (daylilies produce swollen seed pods), they’ve done their job and quit flowering. After all its hard work to look one’s best all the time!
There are hundreds of varieties of daylilies now and several nurseries that specialize in them across Canada and the US. Garden centres tend to carry only the latest or the most popular kinds so if you want something special, see who you can find in your area. For my readers in southern Ontario, there is Nottawasaga Daylilies farm near Creemore.
So be sure to add some of these summer beauties to your garden 🙂