What are Daylilies?
Daylilies are often referred to as the perfect perennial. Although the bloom resembles the Asiatic, Trumpet and Oriental lilies, which grow from a bulb, the plant is an herbaceous perennial.
The botanical name is "Hemerocallis" which means "beautiful for a day." Each bloom lasts only one day, but as each flower stem will carry many buds, and established plant will have many stems, so a plant will be in flower for many weeks.
They prefer full sun but will flower with as little as 4 to 6 hours of direct sun daily. All the plants in our catalogue are grown and are hardy in our Zone 4b/5a garden. The only winter protection is the mulch used in summer to suppress weeds, which is left in place.
The plants like an adequate supply of water (1" per week) and you will be rewarded during the later half of the season if this is supplied, especially with repeat bloomers.
They are not fussy about soil, but if your soil is extremely heavy clay, the addition of coarse sand plus compost will be of benefit. If, on the other hand, your soil is so sandy it will not retain moisture, the addition of compost or top soil will also help. Your plants can remain in place for several years, and as long as they continue to bloom well, do not need to be divided. If the bloom diminishes or the clumps become too large, they can be divided to provide you with new plants.
The earliest bloomers will start in mid to late June. July into August is the peak for the mid-season varieties and mid August until frost for the late and repeat bloomers.
Many are listed as rebloom, but in the north, this is not always reliable.
American Hemorocallis Society: http://www.daylilies.org/daylilies.html - contains a dictionary of daylily terms used.
Ontario Daylily Society: http://www.ontariodaylily.on.ca. For membership information, print the form from the web site.