Region 13

Daylilies in Louisiana & Arkansas
American Hemerocallis Society

Daylily Growing Tips

Daylily Growing Tips for Louisiana
Clarence Crochet, Prairieville, LA

Daylilies come in many colors, from white, pink, orange, gold, lavender, purple, and to the darkest red. There are also many types of blooms, from the large flowers, to the intermediate, to the miniatures. There are also single and double blooms. There are various foliage heights and heights of flower also, from the minis to tall types.

Planting time for daylilies can be done almost any time in Louisiana, but spring and fall plantings are more desirable because the weather is not too hot at these times.  Fall is the best time to divide clumps and rework your daylily beds.

Daylilies grow well in many types of soil. They also benefit greatly by growing in soils that are well drained and which contain a good amount of organic matter. Add composted cow manure, compost, composted pine bark mulch or other organic matter to the soil every three years in daylily beds.

In Louisiana, it is almost a necessity to raise daylily beds above the surrounding soil surface. Do this by adding topsoil and also sand if the soil is mostly clay. Remember to use accompanying organic matter with any addition of sand or soil. This mixture should be tilled into the soil to a recommended depth of 12–14 inches, minimum of 8-10 inches.

Check soil for the pH reading, or better, have it done by L. S. U. soil lab through your county agent. Many large garden centers may be pick-up points for the Soil Lab and can assist you. Daylilies like a pH of about 6.5.

Space daylily plants at least 18” apart and divide the subsequent clumps every three years. Do not crowd the plants in the growing beds.  Undivided clumps will result in a decreased number of blooms.

Plant so that the crown (where the roots meet the leaves) is just under the soil surface. Make a mound in the soil (as you would for a rose bush) and drape the roots over the mound. Cover the roots with soil, just covering the crown of the plant.

Watering. After planting, if the soil is normal (not too dry or too wet), don’t water for about 8-10 days. In this time the plant will begin to "green up" and show growth in the middle of the plant. If needed, this is the time to water. Water regularly, of course, in dry weather. The usual 1-inch per week is sufficient. (Our average rainfall in South La. has been 50-60 inches a year.)

Winter mulch is desirable. Three to four inches of pine needles, old bagasse (chopped sugar cane stalks), pine bark mulch, seedless grass clippings, or seedless grass hay will protect the plants from freezing, if applied in the fall or early winter. This, of course, also inhibits weed growth and development. It also helps to conserve moisture in the soil. .

Daylilies have three serious plant pests - - - aphids in the early spring, spider mites in dry weather, and thrips during bloom season. There are a number of good aphid killers: Malathion, Spectracide, & Diazinon are three. Mites can be controlled with several applications of Spectricide. Also a specialty product labeled Pentac is effective but difficult for home gardeners to obtain. The product Kelthane is NOT recommended for use on daylily plants. Thrips are controlled with Spectricide, Malathion, or Diazinon.

Most daylilies should be fertilized after the active growth has begun in the early spring. A much lighter application can be made after most of the flowers have bloomed. Good daylily plant fertilizer should be used: Milorganite is a good organic granular that can be applied in early spring and just before bloom start. While the fertilizer ratio 3:1:2 is best, one can use a balance fertilizer i.e. 8-8-8, 12-12-12, or 13-13-13. One control release product that has proven very successful in our gardens is Nutricote. Lately there has been some renewed emphasis placed upon liquid fertilizer applications. This is the quickest acting of all.