How to Cut Back Day Lilies


Daylilies, a popular flowering garden plant, require little maintenance during the growing season. Available in an array of colors, daylilies flower in the late spring to summer. To keep the garden neat, cut daylilies back as part of a fall garden cleanup. Those browning leaves look ugly in the winter landscape and aren't necessary for plant protection.

Step 1

Enjoy your daylilies during the summer while they bloom. During the bloom time, cut stems and bring them inside to enjoy fresh-cut flowers in the house. Pull off spent blooms or wilted leaves to keep the plant looking neat.

Step 2

Cut daylily stems back in fall, leaving 4 to 6 inches above the ground. Discard the clippings in a compost bin or garbage. If you accidentally scatter daylily seeds while cutting back the stems, you'll sow new daylilies throughout your garden.

Step 3

Mulch over the cut daylilies with a 3-inch layer of pine straw or mulch. This protects the bulbs during the winter. Clear away the mulch in the spring to find new growth emerging in your daylily bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden scissors
  • Garbage bin
  • Pine straw
  • Mulch


  • Willowbrook Acres: About Daylilies
  • University of Vermont: Growing Daylilies
Keywords: daylily care, growing daylilies, cut back daylilies

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.