The day lilies came with the house and they were already established when we moved in, so I didn’t pay much attention to their care. It showed. I used to take day lilies for granted because they are so ubiquitous in public and commercial outdoor spaces people see them as care free.

That they are to a certain degree, but very few plants thrive on total neglect. Day lilies will survive anywhere but if you want them to bloom you need to feed and water them, just like you would any other plant. Any all purpose fertilizer balanced for flower and fruit will encourage them to bloom. Also, despite the fact that they will survive in even the most arid of conditions, they really like their site boggy and only look their best if watered regularly.

As anybody who ever grew these lovely plants can attest, they are prolific propagators and will fill out all the space available to them in record time, but after that they don’t appreciate the overcrowding and won’t bloom anymore. Keep them thinned, that will provide you with a lot of new plants for some time, until you have populated your entire garden with day lilies.

Day lilies will do just fine in the shade but they bloom abundantly only in full sun. Mine are mostly in part shade and for this reason they like to pace themselves.

Mulching will keep their roots cool in summer and improve their performance in the garden. It will also inhibit weeds and make the plants behave themselves by stifling some of their over enthusiastic new growth, a blessing for the gardener who likes his or her flower bed neat and tidy.

As far as plant division is concerned, they must be about the easiest plants to propagate, they will root anywhere and pick up where they left off with nary a sign of transplant stress.

Because of their voracious spreading habit day lilies are not the most gracious of neighbors to the other plants in the flower bed, which explains why they are usually relegated to populating inhospitable corners or filling large empty spaces.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: and, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.