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Lakeview Daylily Farm Title

Daylily Planting & Growing Guide for North Carolina

Daylilies are very hardy perinnials. Most people find them very rewarding—they’re easy to grow and your garden is different literally every day! Daylilies grow very fast in the spring; during bloom season they don’t grow much at all; then, in August and September they begin growing again.

How do you plant daylilies?

Plant them the same depth they were planted in our garden. If there’s a ball of soil with your plant, cover them to the top of the soil line. For bare root plants, look for the coloration changes at the base of the plant.

Do daylilies need full sun?

They’ll do best in full sun, but many will do very well in partial shade. Most vigorous plants do better in partial shade than their peers. Darker colors that will burn out in the sun don’t fade as fast in the shade.

What about fertilizer?

Begin in February and use complete fertilizer 10-10-10, 19-19-19, or 8-8-8. We use 8-8-24 in our garden. The very best is 13-13-13 Nutricote, but it’s very pricey at about $55 per 50# bag. You’ll want to fertilize a minimum of twice per year in February and August; with Nutricote, you can fertilize every 70 days. Do not use fertilizer during the bloom season.

What about watering?

We irrigate every day; however, this is not necessary for the home gardener. Generally, you’ll need to water only when your daylilies are getting established or during drought. During wet years, it will not be necessary to water; established flowers will live during droughts.

How do I lessen the effects of leaf streak, rust, and root rot?

This is probably the most important factor in growing beautiful daylilies! Keep the pH of the soil up around 6.5–6.8. When used properly, lime will control more diseases for its cost than anything on the market. Most North Carolina soils tend to be acid. In this area, they are often around 5.2. We urge gardeners to get a soil test (free) from NC Department of Agriculture’s Agronomic Division on Reedy Creek Road in Raleigh. We suggest that you take several samples from your garden. If you plan to plant near concrete, that area will likely have a higher pH than an area near pine trees. Keep your samples separate and mark them so you’ll know where you took each sample. When you get your results, a note will tell you how much lime to add to your soil.

How do I keep the weeds out of my daylilies?

Use mulch—pine bark (watch the pH very carefully—its pH is often around 3.2), shredded leaves, hardwood bark, tree chips, shredded newspaper. Mulch holds in moisture and makes weeds much easier to pull. Unless you have more than 0.25 acre, hand weeding is quite adequate. If you have many weeds, add more mulch—right on top of the weeds.

What about Round-up?

If you spray it on daylilies, they will die!

When do you need to divide daylilies?

Early spring (before bloom season) and September are most productive. Dividing during the heat of the summer makes dayliles tend to rot.

How do I divide my daylilies?

Run your finger down as far it will go toward the base of the division. Take a knife and get the cut started there. Break them up by hand by wiggling in a circular motion so the roots will come apart. If you have trouble with some varieties, try letting the plants wilt slightly (about 2 hours—dig them, shake the soil off) before dividing because crisp plants tend to break easier.

©Noel Weston 2003


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Lakeview Daylily Farm, 1000 Benson Road, Garner, NC 27529
Phone: 919.362.1436 (office voice/fax) • 919.413.5168 (Noel's cell)