Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Modern Hybrid Daylilies Produce Colorful Flowers for Many Weeks ; BALES & BITS

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Modern Hybrid Daylilies Produce Colorful Flowers for Many Weeks ; BALES & BITS

Article excerpt

Daylilies are one of the easiest to grow garden perennials and a very common in Southern Indiana landscaping. They survive under a wide range of conditions, are practically trouble-free, and can remain undisturbed for many years. Botanically, daylilies are called Hemerocallis, derived from the Greek word meaning "beautiful for a day." The name is somewhat misleading; even though individual flowers last only for a single day, new buds open daily, and the stalks bear flowers for several weeks.

Most people are familiar with the orange flowered clone "Europa," which has become naturalized along road sides, in old gardens, and in cemeteries. Our modern hybrid daylilies show vast improvements not only in size and flowering ability, but in color range, which now includes all but the truest blues.

Although often noted for its thriftiness under conditions of neglect, the daylily does respond to good care. The plants should be located in full sun or partial shade. They prefer a loamy soil, but they will grow in a wide range of soil types. Daylilies prefer good drainage and moderate moisture, but are able to grow under both wet and dry soil conditions.

Waterlogged sites, however, should be avoided. Natural rainfall usually provides ample moisture. However, excessive dryness does injure the plants and may cause some cultivars to drop their buds. During pro longed droughts, the soil should be thoroughly soaked to a depth of 10 or more inches and should not be watered again until it is dry. Fertilizer should be used sparingly.

Daylily foliage is bright green. The slender strap-like leaves grow 12-24 inches long and are visually effective from early summer until past first frost. The leaves arch from the crown of the plant, forming a mound of foliage.

The flowers are borne on slender stalks which arise from the center and may range in height from 1 foot to 6 feet. Usually much branched near the top, the showy, lily-like flowers open for 1 day only. Flower shape, size and color will vary with the individual cultivar. Bloom time is variable. Some cultivars bloom in early June, while others may bloom as late as August. …

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