Daylilies are a popular perennial flower prized for their wide range of colors and prolonged bloom time. With proper planning and timing, you can establish daylily plants that will provide enjoyment year after year.
Ideal Growing Conditions
Daylilies thrive when planted in the following conditions:
Soil temperatures above 60°F for best growth
After the threat of frost has passed in spring
Before peak summer heat arrives to reduce transplant stress
When soil is moist but well-drained and not waterlogged
Timing planting carefully around these optimal conditions will set your daylilies up for success.
Recommended Spring Planting Dates
Spring is the prime time to plant daylily tubers or divisions. The ideal planting windows vary based on USDA Hardiness Zone:
Zones 3-4: Early to mid April
Zones 5-6: Mid April to early May
Zones 7-8: Mid March to mid April
Zones 9-10: February to March
Aim to plant approximately 6-8 weeks before average summer high temperatures arrive in your area. This allows enough time for root establishment before heat and drought stresses set in.
Fall Planting Guidelines
Daylilies can also be planted in early fall:
Zones 3-4: Early to mid September
Zones 5-6: September to early October
Zones 7-8: October
Zones 9-10: Late October to early November
If planting in fall, choose healthy, vigorous plants and irrigate well until they become dormant for winter. Mulch over the crown after the ground freezes.
Avoid Summer Planting
Planting daylilies during the peak heat of summer should always be avoided. High temperatures and drought conditions will:
Stunt the plants’ efforts to establish new roots after transplanting
Cause excessive moisture stress, increasing dieback
Worsen transplant shock, leading to higher losses
It is best to hold off planting daylilies until temperatures begin cooling in early fall instead of attempting summer planting.
Acclimating Daylilies Before Planting
For the best transplanting results:
- Set new daylily plants in a shaded holding area for 1-2 days prior to planting
- Water the roots thoroughly before actually transplanting them into the garden
- Plant in the evening or on a cloudy, overcast day to avoid wilting
- Water the plants immediately after planting to remove air pockets and settle soil
Taking these steps will help reduce transplant shock and losses in newly planted daylilies.
Step-By-Step Planting Instructions
Follow these tips when planting daylilies:
- Prepare the soil by mixing in 2-4 inches of compost and applying a balanced fertilizer
- Space plants 18-24 inches apart, either in groups or staggered rows
- Dig holes at least twice the width of the root ball
- Place plants at the same soil level they were previously growing
- Backfill the holes with surrounding soil, tamping down gently
- Water thoroughly until the soil is moist but not saturated
- Apply 2-3 inches of organic mulch like wood chips or pine straw around plants to retain moisture
Proper planting depth and adequate water are vital for daylily establishment.
Caring for Daylilies After Planting
To help your new daylily plantings thrive:
- Water plants 1-2 times per week during the first 2 months, then reduce frequency
- Apply a balanced flower fertilizer every 4-6 weeks for the first year
- Weed, replenish mulch, and maintain an open structure regularly
- Leave foliage intact over winter to provide insulation in cold zones
- Divide large clumps every 3-5 years to encourage vigorous blooming
Proper follow-up care after planting will keep your daylilies beautiful for years to come.
Key Tips for Planting Daylilies
- Choose the ideal spring or fall planting time based on your hardiness zone
- Avoid planting during heat of summer to reduce transplant stress
- Give new plants time to acclimate before transplanting
- Space plants appropriately in fertile, well-draining soil
- Water thoroughly at planting and provide supplemental irrigation the first year
- Apply mulch, fertilizer, and weed regularly to aid establishment
- Leave foliage in winter for protection in cold regions
- Divide mature clumps every few years to maintain performance
With the right planting time, methods, and follow up care, daylilies will thrive for many years as a low maintenance, long-blooming garden flower.