How to Prune Day Lilies


Daylilies are a favorite among gardeners due to their dependability and the little care they need to thrive and bloom. Unlike some other perennials, daylilies are not pruned to shape. Rather, they are pruned to clean up their appearance and encourage more blooms. Just before winter, a heavier pruning is necessary in colder climates. Leaving your daylilies unattended could in fact encourage a habitat and environment suitable for small animals, pests and the spread of disease.

Step 1

Cut off the entire flower stem once the flower is finished blooming. This is a daily task for daylilies and is a practice that will help keep your garden looking fresh and beautiful. It will also encourage more blooms for those varieties that bloom more than once.

Step 2

Remove yellowing, dying and damaged foliage throughout the growing season (from spring until fall). This will help your garden bed maintain a clean and neat appearance. Do not cut off green foliage, even after your daylilies are finished blooming for the year. The foliage is still absorbing sunlight and converting it into energy for next year's plants.

Step 3

Prune the entire daylily plant in the fall after the first killing frost. Use pruning shears to cut the brown and yellow foliage to about an inch above the ground. Discard the debris to prevent disease from growing and to prevent animals and pests from nesting during the cool weather. If you live in an area where your daylilies are evergreens, skip this step and keep up with step 2.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand clippers
  • Pruning shears


  • Iowa State University Reiman Gardens: Daylilies
  • The Master Gardeners: Tips on Summer Care of Perennial Gardens
  • Clemson University Extension: Daylily
Keywords: prune daylilies, prune daylily plants, care for daylilies

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.