Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Green Thumbs Love Day Lilies!

What grows without too much trouble, looks beautiful and makes gardeners all over the world smile?

You could answer with a multitude of plant names and I'm sure that some gardeners, somewhere, would agree with almost any suggestion.  The answer I'm looking for right now is Day Lilies!

With over 30,000 different cultivars, you know that the plant world has taken this plant and just loved it so much that developing a new cultivar is like finding gold.

Hemorocallis is the proper name for the genus of Day Lilies and comes from the Greek words Hemera (day) and Kallos (beautiful). So the Latin name is very appropriate and a straight translation. They are called Day Lilies because each flower usually lasts only one day.  One every stem though you can have 5 to 10 buds.  So they last a lot longer than one day.  July and August are the greatest months for Day Lilies.  They are  blooming like crazy during the summer months.
                                      Picture from my garden, please don't copy.

With over 30,000 different cultivars, it is highly unlikely that you will ever see all of these beauties in one place.  There are gardeners all over the world who use their gardening skills to breed new cultivars of Day Lilies in the hopes of bringing another beauty into being.

green thumbs love day lilies
Picture Wikimedia Commons


Developing new cultivars is not for the faint-hearted gardener.  It can take 3 to 5 years and sometimes longer to develop a new strain and then it must be tested to make sure it comes true to it's cross and does not revert back to one of the parent lilies.

When I first fell in love with Day Lilies, they just happened to be the most ordinary Day Lily. Ordinary in the sense that they are common and found all over the world.  They are just plain orange, but bloom with lots of buds on each stem, so they flower for a long time.  Most people call them Tiger Lilies.  

Today I have a few more Day Lilies that are quite beautiful.  I have fallen in love with one called Devil's Delight, that is a dark red/burgundy with a green throat.  Ruffled edges on the petals make it look like a ladies evening gown.  That root cost me a small fortune and looking at my pictures I realize I have never taken her picture.  Sorry, I would have loved to share her with you.

I have neighbors go by my garden asking me for a root of that particular Day Lily, but I am not so keen to share it.  

The other one that I really like is called Moonlight Dance ( see the picture above)  and she is yellow with a halo of darker orange and the edges are also the dark orange and ruffled as well.  They remind me of ballerina tutus.

This weekend June 24-26th there is a Day Lily Festival in Tennessee.  If you are close by, I would say go and be prepared to be awed by over 200 varieties of Day Lilies.


green thumbs love day lilies
Photo by Ken Oakes 

Why Grow Day Lilies?


As I was telling you earlier, there are so many Day Lily cultivars, that I'm sure no one has seen them all in one place at one time. Why are there so many?  Well I'd like to guess that it's partially due to the ease with which you can grow this plant. While it is originally from the Eurasian area, China, Korea and Japan, day lilies have found their way around the world and can grow in a variety of settings.
They can be large flowered with multiple petals, or large with singular petals. Some have stripes or rings, some are ruffled and others are not. Colors vary from the common orange, to dark reds, violets, pinks, yellows and everything in between.

Their root systems are so strong that they will get denser and denser as the years go by.

If you leave a clump of day lilies growing without any interference, it may take a pick ax to dig it out again. I tend to let mine grow for a year without disturbance, and then the next year, I will go in and remove some of the roots for planting elsewhere or sharing with friends and family.

The large strap shaped leaves look like a giant spider plant, until the spikes of flowers begin to show in mid-July. Then prepare yourself for some breath-taking beauty.

Some are scented and re-bloom later in the year as well, but not all of them. It's hard for any plant to be this beautiful and smell nice too! Whatever you don't get in scent is certainly made up for, by the depths of colors and intricacies in this plant.

Can I make some suggestions for your garden?


If you have never grown Day Lilies I would start with this one, The Stella d'Oro is a rebloomer, meaning that it will bloom more than once.  It is beautiful in it's golden color and it smells nice too! You will not be disappointed with this plant.


25 Bareroot Stella D'Oros Daylilies--1-2 fan











Do you want to learn more?


I only made one suggestion for your garden because I could not possibly choose the others for you.
Rather,  I would suggest getting this book, for some really nice summer time reading and dreaming.

You will enjoy seeing the multitudes of day lilies within the pages and the descriptions of what makes each one "special".  It will also open your eyes to at least 1700 different cultivars that are available.

This book will become bookmarked with your choices in colors and types of day lilies.  Leave it out in the open for your children to see, so next time there is a gift giving opportunity, they will know at least one thing that you would love to have in your garden. If you are inclined you could even use some sticky notes to mark out your favorites.........Sneaky, right?



The New Encyclopedia of Daylilies: More Than 1700 Outstanding 
Selections

I prefer to be this kind of sneaky and get something that I really want in my garden than to have my kids bring me cut flowers that will surely last only a few days.  This way, your plants will come back year after year becoming more beautiful with the passing of time.  They will be a living reminder of the gift given once and enjoyed ever after.




Just one word of caution, once you have one day lily in your garden, you will want more!  




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

13 comments:

  1. Daylilies are most definitely a beautiful flower for any yard. We have several varieties in our backyard. They great me every morning during the summer months. I don't believe I have ever seen your Devil's Delight. I'll have to seek one of those out myself.

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    1. She's a beauty for sure. Dark burgundy with a green throat going to yellow at the very base. I love that one, will take a picture this year for sure and post it for you.

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  2. Beautiful. At the moment, I am visiting family in Iowa and my daughter-in-law has day lilies growing around her mailbox out front. :)

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    1. Yes, my neighbor has them growing all around a tree in her front yard....it looks really pretty when they are in bloom. Even when they are finished blooming, it still looks nice.

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  3. Very nice...I always love Daylilies! You are right they are soo easy to grow.

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    1. Aren't they. Very encouraging for newbie gardeners.....

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  4. I've always wanted to try day lilies , but never got around to it. You motivate me. Many of my neighbors do have them.

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    1. Once you start Barbara, it will be hard to stop. I could get rid of all my grass and replace it with daylilies and be happy.

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  5. I am always surprised when the first of the daylilies bloom, which happened here within the last couple of weeks. I got my bulbs from a neighbor who has to thin hers out every year now, she has so many, and mine are really just getting going. Unfortunately, the deer love them as much as I do and tend to devour them just when they're at their peak. I guess the best way to counter that is to grow more and more of them so we can share!

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    1. Good thinking Susan. Some for you and some for them....

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    2. Better yet grow somethign with the day lilies that the deer don't like. Let me put my thinking cap on.....

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  6. We have day lilies in our yard. They grow everywhere in Ireland!

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  7. We have day lilies in our yard. They grow everywhere in Ireland!

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