Hemerocallis are easy plants, but a little care when you plant them will reward you with stronger, healthier plants in years to come. Here are some handy tips
Daylilies will grow well in most soil types in full sun or partial shade. The addition of organic material when planting is always a good idea.
5–6 hours of sunshine a day will ensure good flower formation.
Plenty of water in the spring and leading up to the flowering period will encourage plenty of blooms on your plant.
Make sure that where you plant them is not waterlogged in winter.
They are resistant to most pests and diseases.
The time to lift and split the plant is when it becomes less floriferous – this could be 5 or 6 years.
A mature plant will flower very freely over a long period. Although each bloom lasts only a day we have counted over 30 flowers on one plant on one day.
A mulch in spring will conserve moisture in the soil and a feed with any good fertiliser is beneficial.
Daylilies are really resilient to most pests. They may have a little slug and snail chewing in early Spring but once they start growing away strongly the damage ceases. The only problem that remains is the fact that molluscs seem to enjoy hiding in the foliage and using it as a base to go on night attacks on other more vulnerable plants!
The Gall Midge
There is one insect peculiar to daylilies that has been a problem in some parts of England – this is the Hemerocallis Gall Midge. This minute fly is on the wing in May and it injects its eggs into the tiny emerging buds. As the eggs hatch and turn into little wrigglers the growing bud deforms – it becomes very swollen at the base and rather oozy. These buds must be removed at first sight and wrapped up well and disposed of. DO NOT put them on your compost heap, remove them from your property preferably in the household waste.
This pest has spread across the country from South east England. There is currently no surefire cure to this problem but good housekeeping and judicious use of some treatments does help keep the problem under control.
Remove infected buds immediately and dispose of as previously mentioned. If those buds are left on the plant, the larvae will crawl down the stem and hibernate in the soil overwinter. They will then pupate and take to the skies the following Spring.
Bio Provado Bug Killer can be used, there is no positive evidence that it prevents damage but many people feel it does help.
Garlic drench is proving effective, in fact garlic is proving to be a bit of a wonder bulb in many areas. The recipe is shown below. Just remember to spray regularly – about once every 5 to 7 days, repeat after rainfall. This is also proving an effective control for slugs and snails on Hostas, Delphiniums and other plants that suffer from mollusc attention
Recipe For Garlic Drench
2 whole garlic bulbs
2 pints water
Either lightly crush or cut the bulbs in half. Place in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, simmer for about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool the liquid then strain into a bottle and keep in a cool place.
When you are ready to water or spray, put 1 tablespoon per gallon of water in the watering can or sprayer, then water the foliage thoroughly.
ADVICE: Keep windows open and extractor fans on full! I suggest cooling the saucepan outside. It is best to dispose of the soggy bulbs either straight into your composting system or well wrapped and into an outside refuse bin!