How to Divide Hemerocallis


In spite of the exotic beauty of its colorful blooms, Hemerocallis, or day lily, is a sturdy, tough perennial plant, so easy to grow that even beginners will look like master gardeners. The colorful flowers, in hues ranging from pale apricot to orange to bright red, rise on slender stems above clumps of pale green leaves. Hemerocallis does well in borders or flower beds, and is a good choice for a butterfly garden.

Step 1

Purchase Hemerocallis plants at a nursery or garden center. Plant them in early spring.

Step 2

Choose a sunny spot for Hemerocallis. Use a shovel or a garden tiller to cultivate the soil to 12 inches. Be sure the soil drains well, as soggy soil can cause the plant to rot. If rainwater tends to pool for more than four hours, amend the soil with 5 to 6 inches of organic material such as peat moss or compost.

Step 3

Remove the Hemerocallis from its container. Dig a hole with a trowel and plant the Hemerocallis at the same depth that it was planted in the container. Be careful not to bury the crown of the plant, which is where the plant joins the root.

Step 4

Water Hemerocallis deeply after planting. After that time, provide the plant with an inch of water every week during the growing season. Water at ground level, and don't sprinkle the foliage.

Step 5

Feed the Hemerocallis a granular fertilizer for blooming plants, and repeat every eight weeks until August. Spread the fertilizer around the base of the plant according to the directions on the back of the package. Immediately rinse off any fertilizer that lands on the foliage.

Step 6

Spread 2 inches of mulch around the Hemerocallis in early summer. Mulch like shredded leaves, pine needles or bark mulch will retain moisture and help to control weeds. Don't allow the mulch to pile up against the plant.

Step 7

Pinch off blooms as soon as they wilt so the Hemerocallis will continue to produce more blooms. Cut the blooms for indoor bouquets as often as desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Hemerocallis plant
  • Shovel or garden tiller
  • Organic material
  • Trowel
  • Granular fertilizer for blooming plants
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida: Hemerocallis spp.
  • Ohio State University: General Maintenance of Herbaceous Ornamentals
  • Iowa State University: Division of Herbaceous Perennials
Keywords: hemerocallis, divide hemerocallis, day lily

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.