Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Perennials

Fancy Daylilies (page 3 of 4)

by Dorothy J. Pellett

Pastels With Dark Eyes

Small Flowers
'Indy Charmer': lavender and white bitone (dark petals with light sepals) with purple eye; 18 inches tall; semievergreen; early to midseason.

'Siloam Ethel Smith': light beige-pink petals with rose eye; 20 inches tall; deciduous; midseason.

Large Flowers
'Paper Butterfly': peach with violet eye; 24 inches tall; semievergreen; early with rebloom. Lenington All-American Daylily Selections Award in 1998 for best performer over a wide geographic area; has been for sale for at least 10 years.

'Strawberry Candy': rose-pink with darker eye; 26 inches tall; semi-evergreen; early to midseason; very vigorous. Stout Silver Medal finalist in 1998 and the top ranked in 9 of AHS's 15 regions.

'Wineberry Candy': orchid with purple eye; 22 inches tall; deciduous; early to midseason; fragrant. L. Ernest Plouf Award in 1998 for best dormant and fragrant named variety.

'Forty-Second Street': light pink with rose eye; 24 inches tall; evergreen; midseason with rebloom. Ida Munson Award in 1998 for best double.

'Mount Helena': creamy petals with a rosy-purple band on petals and sepals; 26 inches tall; deciduous; midseason.

Planting and Maintenance

Daylilies tolerate a broad range of soil conditions but will always benefit from good soil and frequent watering. If your soil is sandy, amend it with well-rotted manure, compost, or other organic matter that will add and hold nutrients. Daylilies prefer full sun (about 6 hours per day) and well-drained soil. In hot, dry climates, they benefit from some afternoon shade.

In northern areas (zones 3 through 5), spring is the best time to plant; this allows plants to become established. In warmer regions, plant daylilies in early spring or late fall. In all areas, avoid planting in midsummer.

To plant, work the soil to a depth of 12 inches, and set plants no closer than 18 to 24 inches apart. Dig a hole, make a mound in the center, and set the plant on the mound with the crown at the soil surface or no more than an inch below. Firm the soil around the roots, and water well.

As growth begins in spring, feed lightly with a 5-10-10 granular fertilizer, then again in about 3 months. If heavy rains drench the garden, you may need to fertilize more often.

A daylily bed looks best when faded blooms are removed every day or two. Buds also open more easily when freed of old wilted blooms.

Pests and Diseases

Although pests are seldom a problem, consult other gardeners or your cooperative extension office to learn about any local problems. Aphids can cause malformed blossoms. Thrips do little damage to the plant, but they rasp petals within the bud; blooms open with white spots, particularly noticeable on dark-colored flowers. If needed, spray with insecticidal soap in early morning or late evening, not in hot sun.

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