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How to Divide Daylilies in Spring

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Daylilies, a low-maintenance plant, grow and multiply quickly. Divide the plants every two to three years through separation of the root system to prevent overcrowding and improve plant growth. A clump of daylilies should be divided once it reaches a size of 15 to 20 fans. Divide daylily plants in the spring season before the temperatures become too hot. Plant daylilies in well-draining soil in a location that receives a minimum of six hours of sun a day.

Separate the plant's fan sections while it is still in the ground. Use a screwdriver to pry the root crowns apart or a serrated knife to cut the fans at the root crown. Cut the green foliage fans to approximately 6 inches in height once the roots have been separated and prior to digging up the plant.

Dig up the entire daylily plant clump with a sharp shovel. Include 6 to 8 inches of surrounding soil so the entire root structure comes up in the clump. Place the plant clump in a shaded location while making plant divisions to prevent the roots from drying out in the sun.

Gently remove soil from the root crowns. Locate the point where the green fan foliage connects to the crown of the plant and gently divide the fan sections with the accompanying root. Retain two to three fan sections per division for best results.

Discard fan foliage that has separated from the root. It will not grow. Keep the root section; this can be planted.

Dig a hole in the new planting location that is deep enough for the root section. The crown top should sit just below the ground level. Plant each daylily division a minimum of 1 foot apart.


Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Serrated knife
  • Plant pruner
  • Sharp shovel


  • Store uprooted daylily plants in a cool, dry location if they can not be planted immediately. Soak daylily fans and root crowns in water for two hours when you are ready to plant.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.