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How to Harvest & Plant Daylily Seeds

By Melody Lee ; Updated September 21, 2017

Daylilies (Hemerocallis species) are low-maintenance flowering perennials. Although they prefer moderately moist soil, they will grow almost anywhere, except in standing water. They grow best in full sun to partial shade, but dark colors fade out in strong sunlight. Early season daylilies begin blooming in March, while late season daylilies start blooming in May. Daylilies bloom from four to seven weeks. Seedpods form after the flowers die, and ripen in six to eight weeks. Daylily seeds are easy to harvest and grow. The seeds germinate in 10 to 14 days. Daylily plants flower two years after germination.

Collect seedpods when they are ripe – they will be dry and brown, and the top will be splitting open. Peel the pod from the seeds and discard any debris.

Fill small pots or multi-cell trays with potting soil to within 1 inch of the tops. Place three or four seeds in each pot or cell. Cover with 1/8 to 1/4 inch of potting soil.

Water the seeds with a watering can. Cover the pots or trays with clear glass or plastic and set in a shady location. Do not let the soil dry out.

Transplant the seedlings to larger pots when they are 4 to 6 inches tall. Fill the pot halfway with potting soil. Set the root ball of a seedling in the pot at the same level it was planted in the smaller pot. Fill around the root ball with potting soil and tamp down firmly.

Set the pots of daylilies in a semi-shady to shady location and water well with a watering can or water hose.

Transfer the daylilies to the garden when the roots are well established. This should be done in the spring or fall. Choose a location with well-drained, moist soil in full sun to partial shade.

Use a trowel to dig a hole wide and deep enough for the root ball of a daylily. Set the plant in the hole with its crown (where the roots and stems meet) at ground level. Spread the roots out and push soil into the hole around the roots with your hand. Tamp the soil down firmly.

Spread excess dirt evenly around the plant. Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch around the plant. Water well with a watering can or water hose.


Things You Will Need

  • Small pots or multi-cell trays
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can or water hose
  • Clear glass or plastic
  • Slightly larger pots
  • Trowel
  • Mulch


  • The flowers of seedlings will not look exactly like the flowers of the parent plants, but will have characteristics of each. Named varieties and cloned daylilies must be vegetatively propagated to produce the exact same flowers.

About the Author


Melody Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 30 years of gardening experience. She currently works as a writer and copy editor. Her previous jobs include reporter, photographer and editor for a weekly newspaper.