Caring for Day Lilies


The scientific name for daylilies, Hemerocallis, comes from the Greek words meaning "beauty" and "day," referring to the fact that each daylily blossom lasts only a single day. The daylily, a hardy, sun-loving perennial, boasts blooms in nearly every color but black or blue. Once established, daylilies require little care, and suffer from relatively few pest and disease problems. While the flowers are quite hardy, proper care will ensure healthy blooms throughout the growing season.

Step 1

Water your daylilies so they receive about 1 inch of moisture per week during the growing season. Water deeply from the base of the plant to a depth of 8 to 10 inches in the morning. Watering later in the day can cause spotting on the blooms.

Step 2

Sprinkle a slow-release fertilizer, high in nitrogen, over the soil in early spring. Apply at the strength indicated on the package directions. A single application should suffice for the entire growing season.

Step 3

Apply a layer of mulch to your daylily bed, making sure to keep a few inches around the base of the plant clear. Mulch, while not required, helps retain soil moisture, regulate temperature and improve the overall quality of your soil.

Step 4

Prune away damaged or diseased foliage throughout the spring and summer. Clean your pruning shears with rubbing alcohol after removing diseased branches and leaves to prevent spreading the disease to other parts of the plant.

Step 5

Trim the flower stalks, called bloom scapes, to within a few inches of the ground in the late fall, after the growing season. Clear the flower bed of debris and dead foliage in early spring as your daylilies begin to grow again.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not water your flowers from the top during the day, as overhead watering can cause the blossoms to wilt and spot.

Things You'll Need

  • Slow-release fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Pruning shears
  • Rubbing alcohol


  • American Hemerocallis Society: Frequently Asked Questions
  • American Hemerocallis Society: Frequently Asked Questions, Page 2
  • Champion Daylilies: Daylily Care
Keywords: daylily care guide, caring for daylilies, growing daylilies, day lily care

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.