Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

Plant Guide

Hemerocallis Varieties

Common Name
Daylily
CA Native
Non-native
Plant Type
Perennial
Size
1' - 3' x 1.5' - 2'
Flower Color
Yellow, Orange, Maroon, Pink, Purple, Red
Bloom Time
  • Summer
Leaves
Linear, Lanceolate Leaves
Evergreen
Deciduous
Deer Resistant
Occasionally Damaged
Wildlife Value
  • Bees
Growth Rate
Moderate
Hardiness
Hardy
Adverse Growth Factors
None
Special Features
  • Low Maintenance
  • Showy Flowers
Water Use
  • Drought Tolerant
  • Low
Soil pH
6.5-7.5 (neutral)
Exposure
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
  • Shade
Soil Type
Loam
Drainage
Good Drainage
Description and Cultural Plant Tips

Hemerocallis is one of the most hybridized garden plants with colors in every shade but blue. The flowers of most species open at sunrise and wither at sunset. However, the blooms open over a long period so they add color to your garden for most of the summer. Daylilies can be used in perennial borders and look good with Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Nepeta, and many of the sages. They can be used as a border along a path or driveway. They can also be used in containers or massed to stabilize a slope or act as a groundcover. Many reblooming varieties are available, however, they require the removal of old flowers to perform at their best.

Good soil is a key factor in growing great daylilies. They do best with a pH between 6.5 and 7 (neutral to slightly acid). Adding organic matter to your soil will help to bring the soil pH into the proper range. Soils rich in organic matter will also encourage profuse blooming, although many of the older hybirds will grow well even in a sandy situation. Fertilze lightly once the plants are established but avoid mixes high in nitrogen. Daylilies are drought tolerant once they are established  and a summer mulch will help the soil retain moisture and buffer soil temperature. Daylilies should be divided every 3 -5 years and repeat bloomers every 2 years since new growth supports the rebloom.

Bees do frequent daylilies but they are not a hub for insect activity.

Daylilies are resistant to most insects and diseases. Thrips occasionally feed on buds or flowers, distorting the blooms and causing cork-like lesions on the flower spikes. Use insecticidal soap to discourage these tiny pests and remove affected parts of plant. Spider mites can infest the foliage during hot, dry weather. Wash them off with a forceful water spray regularly. Yellowing leaves and brown tips result from normal senescence after flowering.

 

Master Gardener Comments

I use daylilies in the mid-border of my pereninal garden. They are easy to grow, drought tolerant and always provide dependable color. If you have deer in the area you may as well forget these plants because the deer will wait until the bloom is about to pop and then eat the flower (like they do to roses).

Varietals

Hemerocallis 'Summer Wine' - plum wine with light yellow throat

Hemerocallis 'Rosy Returns' - everblooming pink with light yellow eye

Hemerocallis 'Joan Senior' - everblooming light yellow with lime green eye

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