How to Separate Daylilies


Daylilies are dependable low-maintenance flowers that thrive in gardens even when neglected. Each daylily flower only blooms for one day, but there are multiple buds on each plant, so flowering lasts for a month or more. After two or three years in the garden, the daylilies might become overcrowded. Separating and replanting the daylilies thins out the bed and also gives you additional plants so that you can extend the garden bed. Separating the daylilies also encourages them to bloom well each year, because overcrowded plants could stop flowering over time.

Step 1

Break up the soil around the daylily clump with a spading fork. Dig down slightly deeper than the root ball of the plant, then slide the fork under the roots and lift out of the ground.

Step 2

Shake off as much soil as possible from the root clump. Do not rinse the soil off with water, because doing so could cause root rot.

Step 3

Cut apart the root sections with a sharp knife. Leave some root tendrils and one fan of leaves attached to each section.

Step 4

Plant the separated daylilies into a well-drained, full-sun garden bed. Set the plants at the same depth they were at previously, so that the crown of the plant (where the leaves emerge from the roots) is level with the soil surface. Space the plants 18 to 24 inches apart.

Step 5

Water the daylilies immediately after replanting, soaking the soil to a 6-inch depth. Water the bed regularly until the plants are reestablished, keeping the soil moist throughout the root zone.

Things You'll Need

  • Spading fork
  • Knife


  • Purdue Cooperative Extension: Dividing Daylilies
  • University of Rhode Island Extension: Daylily Culture
Keywords: separating daylilies, dividing daylily plants, caring for daylilies

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.