How to Grow Daylilies


Lilies are graceful garden queens, with heads nodding gently over their green lance leaf skirts. The daylily is one of the simplest and most rewarding of garden lilies to grow, but must be maintained in order to ensure longevity. Daylilies grow on a rhizome. A fleshy root system that grows horizontally just under the soil, daylily rhizomes sprout new shoots to create flowering scapes or stalks.

Step 1

Plant daylily rhizomes during the mild temperatures of early spring or fall in a sunny or partly-shaded location with well-drained soil. The crown of the rhizome--where the foliage and roots meet--should rest just below soil level. Allow 18 to 24 inches between individual daylily plantings.

Step 2

Soak the ground weekly while the new plants are establishing root systems. Water consistently thereafter to produce better blooms.

Step 3

Add a slow-release, balanced fertilizer or a phosphorus/potassium-rich blend to aid in flower production. Apply to wet soil in spring and again in early summer, working the fertilizer gently around the base, or spray in liquid form, avoiding the blooms and foliage.

Step 4

Divide clumps of daylilies to avoid crowding every two to four years, depending on new growth. Using a garden fork, dig the entire daylily clump with roots attached and carefully cut the rhizomes into sections or fans, each with a set of leaves and a direct root. Re-plant as directed in step one.

Step 5

During the blooming season, maintain the daylily by removing spent blooms, scapes or stems, seed pods and dead foliage. Prior to winter, remove and discard dead foliage to maintain the winter health of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Garden fork/shovel


  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension, Daylily
  • University of Illinois Extension, HortAnswers, Daylily
Keywords: growing daylilies, maintaining daylilies, how to grow daylilies

About this Author

Desirae Roy began writing in 2009. After earning certification as an interpreter for the deaf, Roy earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Eastern Washington University. Part of her general studies included a botany course leading to a passion for the natural world.