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How to Keep Daylilies Blooming

By Thomas K. Arnold

Daylilies are a beautiful and relatively low-maintenance addition to any garden. Once they are planted, they fend for themselves quite well, remaining green year-round in areas with mild winters and sending up stalks with bright yellow to orange blooms from the spring through the summer. However, the blooms don't last long--daylilies owe their name to the short lifespan of their flowers. To keep daylilies blooming, it is imperative to remove dead flowers and developing seed pods, in effect tricking the plant into thinking its flowers have failed it so that it will send up new blooms in their place.

Snap off dead flowers using your fingers (make sure you're wearing gardening gloves) as soon as they begin to wilt. Take care to also snap off the ball-shaped seed pod at the flower's base. It should easily separate from the stalk, which likely has more buds waiting to develop once the old flower growth gets out of its way.

Use your clippers to cut the stalk down an inch or so above the base if there are no more blooms on it. Cutting down stalks that are still green will fool the plant into thinking it has lost a vital part of itself and you should soon see a new stalk. Cutting down brown, already-dead stalks won't have any impact.

Amend the soil in which your daylily lives with manure or compost frequently--and don't forget to water. Keep in mind that all flowers need food, and the way they eat is to absorb nutrients from the soil through water entering their roots.

Consider moving your daylily to a sunnier location if you're still not getting as many blooms as you'd like. Daylilies in shady areas, or even areas with partial shade, tend to bloom less than those in full sun.

 

About the Author

 

Thomas K. Arnold is publisher and editorial director of "Home Media Magazine" and a regular contributor to "Variety." He is a former editorial writer for U-T San Diego. He also has written for "San Diego Magazine," "USA Today" and the Copley News Service. Arnold attended San Diego State University.