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How to Cut Down Daylilies for Winter

Summer is here image by swanem from

Day lilies provide a dependable and attractive grouping of both green foliage and blossoms throughout the summer months. As the summer winds down and autumn comes knocking, a gardener begins the task of cleaning up the remnants of summer and preparing for the harshness of winter. One clean-up task is to cut down day lilies for winter. Because some day lily varieties turn brown as the growing season ends, a tidy gardener often wants to remove this growth to keep the yard looking neat.

Wear gardening gloves to protect yourself as you pull the spent foliage. Carry the bucket to the day lily site to collect the foliage.

Pull dead foliage up directly from the point where it connects with the crown of the day lily plant with your gloved hands. Throw this foliage into the bucket to discard it.

Cut back the remaining foliage with the pruning shears so it is 2 to 3 inches above the soil level. Discard this foliage in the bucket.

Cut Day Lilies Down For Winter

Summer-flowering day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) provide blooms for several months. Most day lilies grow as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10. Cut down the remaining flower stalks after all the flowers have finished blooming in fall. Cut near the base of the stalk using clean shears. Pull or trim off dead leaves as soon as they yellow and turn brown, removing them completely from the plant. Stop watering and feeding the day lilies so they go dormant, then resume regular watering in spring when growth resumes.


Do not cut back the foliage until it browns because day lily plants often continue to look quite attractive throughout the autumn season.

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