How to Propagate Day Lilies with Seeds


Day lilies (Hemerocallis) are perennial flowering plants that are indigenous to regions in Asia. There are thousands of hybrids varieties of day lilies available for the home gardener to grow. Day lilies come in a wide assortment of colors, except pure white and blue. They are easy to grow and care for and they are hardy in USDA zones 2 to 10. When growing hybrid day lilies from seed, keep in mind they will most likely not grow true from seed.

Step 1

Remove the dried seed capsule from the day lily plant. Length of time it requires for a day lily seed pod to dry varies, but typically about six to eight weeks.

Step 2

Break open the dried seed pod and remove the shiny, black day lily seeds. Place the day lily seeds into a zipper-top bag, or a lidded plastic container. Set the bag, or container, into an environment that will stay about 35 to 40 degrees F for four weeks.

Step 3

Fill up a seed-starting tray with enough seed-raising mix to fill it to within 1/4 inch from the top of the rim. Use the bottom of a glass, a block of wood or other similar object to pack the germinating medium down until it is very well firmed down.

Step 4

Create 1/4-inch deep rows spaced at about 1 1/2 inches apart in the seed-starting tray. Use a 12-inch ruler, or any other like object which can create straight lines. Plant the day lily seeds in the rows at about 1 inch apart. Push the day lily seeds into the germinating media to set them firmly into the soil.

Step 5

Sprinkle approximately 1/4 of an inch of fine sand over the day lily seeds. Mist the contents of the entire seed-starting tray thoroughly with water. Place the seed-starting tray in a location out of direct sunlight but provide at least eight hours of light every day. The temperature range should be 60 to 70 degrees F.

Step 6

Water the contents of the seed-starting tray as often as needed to keep the sand moist. Germination of day lily seeds can begin in as soon as 10 days but can sometimes take as long as 30 days. Once the day lily seedlings have a pair of leaves, thin them down to one seedling to every 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Cut the spindly day lily seedlings off at the soil line, leave the hardy day lily seedlings.

Step 7

Transplant the day lily seedlings once they have grown to about 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Day lily seeds or pods
  • Zipper-top bag or plastic-lidded container
  • Seed-starting tray
  • Seed-raising mix
  • Glass or block of wood
  • 12-inch ruler
  • Sand
  • Sprayer bottle


  • The University of Kentucky: Propagating Day Lilies
  • Day Lilies
  • Plants for a Hemerocallis

Who Can Help

  • United States National Arboretum: Planting Zones
Keywords: planting day lily seeds, growing day lilies from seeds, propagating day lily seeds

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.