Do Daylilies Spread

Daylilies grow more and more crowded as they quickly form larger clumps, which finally prevents them from blooming as well. Every few years, you might want to divide your daylilies, especially if you observe fewer flowers.

How soon will daylilies grow?

A hardy perennial, daylilies can withstand prolonged neglect and yet add vibrant splashes of color to the landscape. I am aware because I have abused daylilies. It’s simple to forget that they can flourish with some assistance because they thrive in poor soil, severe weather, inadequate light, and bone-dry circumstances. The plants will thrive with only minimal maintenance, and you’ll soon discover that your garden needs more. Given how simple it is to reproduce daylilies, this is hardly a problem.

Daylily plants come in a variety of sizes, from small, feathery clusters to big, fans of green leaves, and the flowers offer a rainbow spectrum of colors that bloom over a lengthy period of time. Because of these variations in color and size, I’ve discovered that sometimes when I plant, I do so with an artistic goal in mind, but as the plants grow, I find myself wanting to move them around and grow more of the ones I particularly enjoy. A blessing in those circumstances is simple propagation.

There are just two main methods for growing daylilies. By seed is first. The flowers dry after flowering and pollination, at which point a tiny, green seed pod forms at the base. The seed pod will develop over the course of a few months, and as it reaches maturity, it will turn brown. Eventually, the brown pods will break open. There will be shiny black seeds inside. These immature seeds should be sown in the fall for natural winter cold or they should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for approximately a month in order for them to germinate. They are prepared to seed outside in the spring after this cooling off phase.

It’s a gamble to collect and plant daylily seeds in your garden. You are probably growing hybrid daylilies. Because they are a cross between different types, they won’t grow true to the parent plant when produced from seed. You cannot distinguish which flower fertilized another if you have different daylilies in your bed. Pollination from various hybrid parents or hybrid cultivars will produce a seed that will eventually develop into an unidentified plant.

A seed may need three years to sprout and develop into a flowering plant. Be prepared for a surprise when the plant sprouts its first bloom after all that time. There is no way to predict in advance what color or size it will be, but given the wealth of advantages daylilies provide, it will undoubtedly be a pleasant surprise.

Remove the seed pods if you don’t want to save the seeds. Usually, plants that produce seeds the next year have fewer blossoms. There is no justification to purposefully limit future blossoms as one of the main reasons daylilies are grown is for their flowers.

Division is the second method of daylily propagation. When you want your plant to have the same size and color as the parent, dividing large clumps of daylilies is the ideal technique of propagation. In addition, flowers will grow more quickly. Every three to four years, each plant forms a clump that is prepared for division. You’re doing yourself and the plant a favor by routinely dividing because undivided plants will start to produce fewer flowers.

You can divide daylilies in the spring or the fall. After being divided in the spring, plants develop swiftly, although they rarely blossom the first year. I favor propagating in the fall primarily for that reason. Plants propagated in the fall usually always blossom the following season. The best time to divide and transplant the divisions is after the plant has flowered, but at least six weeks before the ground freezes.

Start by completely digging up the plant. Push your spade as far as you can in a circle around the plant, starting approximately six to eight inches away. With the spade, lift the plant while attempting to preserve the rootball. While it shouldn’t be too difficult, larger plants might have roots that extend beyond the hole and could potentially be torn as a result.

To reveal the roots, brush or wash away the soil that is covering them. The roots of many daylilies are swollen and tuberous. The plant stores its food and water here, allowing the divisions to thrive after transplanting. The transplant has a better likelihood of success the more roots there are in the division.

You can see how the fans come together at the roots to produce different and unique parts. These sections can be separated from one another. It is simplest for me to start by lightly shaking the plant and observing where it naturally starts to split. I next carefully divide the plant into two parts. Each of those divisions can frequently be further broken down into two or three other divisions.

When pulling gently, bigger plants and clusters might not separate. It could be necessary to split the clump by inserting two garden forks back to back in the center of it. Garden forks lessen root damage compared to using two spades, which causes greater harm. The divisions can typically be further separated by hand once they are smaller.

Divisions ought to have three or four sturdy roots attached fans. These will take root more quickly, form sturdy clumps, and bloom after a year. You can even cut it into smaller pieces so that each fan has just five or six thin leaves. These individual fans can be moved without issue, but it might take them a few seasons to get big enough to start blooming.

There are some enormous, mature clumps that may have roots that are so thick in the middle that they resemble a solid mass. It might be necessary to use a sharp shovel or garden knife to split these clumps apart. Try to cut so that the identity of the individual fans is preserved.

To prevent the roots from drying up, the divisions should be transferred as soon as they are dug up. Cut the leaves on each division so that just five to six inches are left above the crown. This lessens stress and water loss. The area at the junction of the leaves and roots is known as the crown and is often cream in color. Put the plant in the hole with the crown a little more than an inch beneath the surface.

Daylilies thrive in broad sunlight and moist, organically-rich soil. If you can add organic stuff to the transplant area in advance, do so. A high phosphorus fertilizer addition will aid in promoting root growth. The dirt in the hole for each plant should at the very least have a handful of compost and fertilizer added to it if you’re transplanting divisions amid other, established plants, as I frequently do. Fill the hole and compact the earth around the roots.

Water the area well after the divisions have been planted. Till the ground freezes, keep the soil moist. To control the soil’s temperature and moisture content, add a few inches of mulch. Mulch also helps the plants look more attractive and lessens weed growth.

For some daylily varieties, there is a third way of propagation available. Some daylilies’ stems, or scapes, may support tiny plants. If kept on the plant for a long enough period of time, this tiny plant will develop leaves, a crown, and even roots. Proliferations are the name given to these little clones of the original daylily. Proliferations can either be transplanted or potted up. Both above and below the proliferation, cut the scape. The crown can be dipped in rooting hormone to aid start the growth of roots if they haven’t already started. Since none of the daylily kinds I cultivate produce proliferations, I am unable to speak from personal experience with this approach.

Daylilies eventually grow into thick mats of vegetation. You can keep the plants under control and looking their best by dividing them. A excellent approach to spread their wonder to new locations is through reproduction. Remember that many of your friends who garden might be interested in some of your excess divisions.

Do daylilies spread quickly?

Background The common or orange daylily was brought to the United States as an ornamental in the late 19th century. Due to its brilliant blossoms, hardiness, and propensity for spreading, it is a highly well-liked plant among gardeners and landscape architects. Currently, there are over 40,000 registered cultivars; many of these are either already invasive or have the capacity to become so. For instance, the yellow daylily (H. lilioasphodelus) has been found to be invasive in a few spots in the eastern United States. The edible daylily buds and blossoms have a sweet-spicy or peppery taste.

Availability and Habitat Every state in the eastern United States has common daylilies, and they can also be found sporadically west of Oregon. Infestations frequently happen close to abandoned homesites where they have escaped from plants.

Ecological Danger Native plants in fields, meadows, floodplains, damp woodlands, and forest edges are at risk from daylilies that have been established in natural habitats. Once planted, daylilies grow and multiply to create thick areas that supplant local vegetation. It is difficult to manage because of the thick tubers.

  • Plant: a bulbous perennial with spherical stems that is 2-4 feet tall.
  • Long, linear, strap-like, bright-green leaves range in length from 1-3 ft (0.3-1 m) and curve downward.
  • Summer brings forth the plant’s magnificent, spectacular, orange flowers, which are found in clusters of 5 to 9 at the apex of the stem. Each flower in a cluster opens one at a time for a single day.
  • Spreads via seed, human dispersal of complete removed plants, thick, tuberous roots from which new plants are generated, and machinery such as agricultural equipment in fields.

How can you ensure that daylilies bloom all summer long?

To promote more blossoms, frequently deadhead daylilies. Every day, remove any spent blooms. After all blooms have vanished, cut the blooming stem back to the ground. Using sharp scissors or pruners is the ideal technique to deadhead daylilies because of their thick stems, as doing so risks snapping off any nearby blossoms.

How long do daylilies live?

Daylilies are hardy plants that can live for many years. To ensure that their roots have enough room to expand, it is advised to divide them every three to six years.

Planting Instructions

Daylilies need 4-6 hours of direct sunlight every day, thus they should be planted in full sun or mild shade. Even though daylilies require full sun, there are occasionally blossoms under the cover of large trees. The daylily blossoms will always face away from any shadow and upward toward the sky. Avoid high dry locations above ledges where the soil is shallow and low wet spots where water collects during rainy spells.

Any time the ground can be worked, whether it’s in the spring, summer, or fall, daylilies can be planted with great success. To avoid winter frost heaving, mulch should be applied to daylilies planted in the fall. We advise you to plant your daylilies as soon as you get them. The roots should be placed in water for an hour before planting, but, if they will be stored for several days.

Approximately the size of the pot, dig the hole. Remove the daylily from the pot, untangle the roots, and set it into the hole with the surrounding dirt tightly packed.

Until you are ready to plant, keep in a cool area. Roots should be soaked in water for an hour prior to planting if kept for several days. Create a hole and place a cone of earth inside. Cone-shaped roots should be spread out, and the crown should be slightly below ground. One inch of earth should be pressed down tightly around the plant’s crown. Give newly planted daylilies plenty of water.

The best soil is loose, loamy soil. Clay, gravel, and sand quality is very low. Compost, decaying leaves or wood chips, old manure, or almost any other organic substance can enhance poor soil.

If the daylily will be divided and replanted in a border of mixed perennial flowers in three to five years, leave a circle of 16 to 18 inches in diameter. It needs a 24–30 inch spacing if you plan to leave the daylily clump in place for 10–15 years. A border of daylily flowers follows the same rules. Daylily plants should be placed in a triangle configuration with each plant 24 inches apart from its neighbors in a landscape setting, such as a bank that will be covered in the flowers. 30 daylily plants will consequently be needed for a bank that is 100 square feet. (Add 0.304 to the square footage.) Plant the daylily seeds 12 to 18 inches apart in a straight line as an edging along a walkway.

Mulch between one and four inches thick will help keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing among the daylily plants. While grass clippings, leaves, hay, wood chips, and other organic materials are appropriate, their slow breakdown draws nitrogen from the soil. Particularly with recently cut wood chips, you might want to add some fertilizer. Daylilies planted in the fall should have a thick layer of mulch applied to the area the first year to keep the earth from freezing and heaving them out of the ground.

Plant nutrients are rarely insufficient in organic compost soil. Add any slow-releasing, composted organic matter, such as horse, sheep, or cow manure, or your own compost, in the spring or the fall to sustain good daylily growth.

How can you prevent the spread of daylilies?

After learning why daylilies are terrible for your yard, it’s time to examine the various methods of eradication. You have a few options, some of which should be used as a last resort than others. Learn how to manage your daylily infestation and keep this troublesome plant out of your garden by reading this list.


By utilizing your hands and a few tools, you can solve your daylily problem quickly and effectively. Since this typically doesn’t affect the other plants you’ve planted, it is usually better to digging up your plants. Regular hand weeding, in particular, is efficient and beneficial for your health.

If you want to make a dent in the issue, regular hand-weeding is required. You must care for your plants and check for daylilies once a week, so make sure you allot enough time to complete a thorough job. As it kills seedlings and weakens established roots and tubers, doing this will prevent growth. Following that, there’s a significant likelihood that the plant will give up and pass away.

To make the process easier, you can also utilize tools like hoes and trowels. This can assist you in removing the roots without taking more drastic steps, such as digging up the entire area. Although this is a quicker and more effective method, it’s a good idea to cover all your bases. To make things better, try combining tool-weeding with hand-weeding.

Dig Them Out

It could be time to step up the offense if you’ve established that the issue is a little bigger than what hand weeding can handle. A more effective solution to the issue would involve digging up the daylilies. But be careful not to disturb any more plants that might be in the way of your digging. To ensure that you have removed the majority of the roots, be diligent when you are digging and try to rake the soil with a hoe.

You’ll probably need to repeat this procedure multiple times over the course of a few weeks. Getting as much as you can done before waiting for the remaining daylilies to resprout is a wise move. When there are no more daylily sprouts left, repeat the procedure.

Please be patient with this procedure as it could take 6 to 8 weeks. Despite the additional work, it typically works. Keep in mind that daylilies have an extremely strong root system and will regrow if even a small portion is left behind. So, take care when getting rid of your daylilies. In our advice section, we’ll go into greater detail on this.

Mow and Mulch

The tried-and-true “mow and mulch” technique is another way to eradicate daylilies. If you discover that you have a lot of daylilies growing on your lawn, most likely remnants from previous plantings, this will work. Use a lawnmower with the lowest blade setting to cut through every daylily plant you find in an area this size. The same thing can be accomplished, albeit more skillfully, using a weed whacker if they are growing in an inaccessible location.

This is merely the initial phase of the process, as you could have guessed. After that, spread a thick layer of mulch over the areas you just mowed. Mulching the area will block the plant’s access to sunlight, halting further growth. Use your preferred mulch and spread at least 6 inches of it over the mowed areas.

If you mulch after laying down a biodegradable barrier, like newspaper, you might have more success. If you notice new green daylily growth emerging from the mulch, just add more mulch. Applying mulch to places where you have hand-weeded will produce a comparable result. Remember that it will take a year for the mulch to completely kill the plant.

Plastic Barriers

Here is another approach you might find useful. Similar to mulching, you can block the sun from daylilies by enclosing them with green or opaque black plastic fence or sheets. Additionally, this has the advantage of insulating heat and killing any remaining daylilies with its severe warmth. Make sure the plastic is stable by anchoring it into the ground or weighting it down with stones. Regularly inspect for damage to ensure that no sunlight is mistakenly let in.

This approach is both easy and efficient. However, you will have to use plastic to enclose a sizable area of your garden. Additionally, it will take some time. Prior to removing the plastic, the damaged area must have been covered by it for six to three months. As a result, a sizable portion of your garden may be inoperable.

Remember to get plastic sheets that are at least 6 inches larger than the area you will be covering on both sides. If you require extra, you can decide to overlap the sheets. For optimal results, try to keep the sheeting tightly pressed to the ground.

Any pests or parasites that are captured by this procedure are also killed as an extra benefit. Additionally, it will encourage the soil to release more nutrients, creating exceptionally fertile soil for planting when you’re ready. Even while this technique works best in warm weather, you may still use it in the winter; just be ready to leave the sheet on for a longer period of time.

Herbicides and Weed Killers

Utilizing chemicals to kill daylilies is the last approach we suggest. As a last option, we advise against using this because it will undoubtedly kill any nearby plants that aren’t daylilies. Using pesticides can harm local pollinators and kill other native plants. Because of this, unless you have no other option, we do not advise utilizing it.

Start by gently applying a good systemic weed killer to the infestation. Be careful not to let the herbicide soak into the earth when you coat the plant’s uppermost portions. Be aware that it is highly likely that other plants will perish as a result.

Glyphosate-containing herbicides have been shown to be effective against daylily plants that are already established, which is definitely what you want. To limit the spread of the herbicide as much as possible, application should be done on a calm day without wind or rain. Results could take as long as two weeks. Reapply the pesticide if the plants appear healthy and continue doing so until the plant perishes. After that, dig out the plant’s remains and properly dispose of them.