How to Plant a Day Lily


Day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are popular perennial flowers that provide blooms all summer long. Red, orange, gold, melon, yellow, pink, lavender and cream flowers are trumpet-shaped. Each individual blossom lasts one day, but new buds open each day. Day lilies have clumps of smooth, grasslike leaves. The flower stalks reach 18 to 60 inches tall. Day lilies are used as landscaping plants, seasonal color spots, foundation plantings, borders, ground covers and containers. Plant your day lilies in the fall or spring while the weather is cool enough to encourage root growth.

Step 1

Remove grass, weeds and debris in your planting site with full sunlight or filtered shade. Dig the soil up to a depth of 24 inches with a shovel. This relieves soil compaction that could block water drainage.

Step 2

Spread 3 to 4 inches of peat moss, compost or well-rotted manure over the soil. Add 3/4 lb. of 3-1-2 fertilizer per 100 square feet. Mix these amendments into the soil and rake the soil level.

Step 3

Dig a hole with a hand trowel that is 12 inches deep and 4 inches wider than the day lily roots. Create a mound of soil at the bottom of the hole. Spread the roots out around the soil mound inside the hole.

Step 4

Adjust the height of the mound by removing or adding soil. Place the day lily so the point where the roots and leaves meet 1 inch below the ground. Fill the hole with soil. Do not compact the soil around the roots.

Step 5

Create a water ring around the day lily. Surround the soil with a 1-inch ring of soil to collect water. Fill the water ring with water once or twice a week until new growth starts. Plant the rest of your day lilies 18 to 24 inches apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • Divide your day lilies every four to five years. This will prevent the reduction of flowering due to overcrowding. Dig up the day lilies, separate the roots of individual flowers and replant them at the proper spacing.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Hand trowel
  • Day lilies
  • Water


  • The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Daylily Culture
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Daylilies for Florida
Keywords: planting day lilies, growing day lilies, planting Hemerocallis

About this Author

Karen Carter has spent the last three years working as a technology specialist in the public school system. This position included hardware/software installation, customer support, and writing training manuals. She also spent four years as a newspaper editor/reporter at the Willapa Harbor Herald.