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The Hemerocallis Article. Part 2


Thankyou for your comments on Part 1. Just a quick note. We are talking Hemerocallis here, not true lilies or Asiatics. Much of the following will not be applicable to those.

The Daylily is, on the whole, easy to grow, and not overly subject to pests and diseases, although snails occasionally enjoy grazing on the tips of the young flower buds. Also, they are not susceptible to attack by the dreaded Lily Beetle.
Only the most severe conditions will cause Daylilies to fail, but nevertheless, they do have preferences. They will do well in virtually any soil, are happiest in an open spot in full sun, and will put on a reasonable display in dappled shade. Put them in full shade, or allow the emerging buds to be crowded by the foliage of accompanying plants, and they will sulk.
The writer speaks from experience when saying that even a spell of neglect does them little harm, although it is advisable to split larger clumps every three years or so, in September and October, or March.

The large clump of ‘Turtle Island’ on the right is due for splitting.

Splitting is done quite easily, by lifting the plant and prising the long yellow roots apart with a fork, or even pulling the individual fans away by hand, ensuring that each fan has a good amount of root attached.
There are also some vigorous cultivars such as the comparatively short-stemmed dusky red single ‘Red Rum’ that make excellent ground cover or prairie-style planting, and can be left to spread.
If you’re not averse to multiple clumps of the same cultivar, or have lots of gardening friends who can give them a good home, then division is the most reliable way to obtain new plants.
However, if you’re a ‘hands-on’ gardener, and are blessed with a modicum of patience, how about keeping an eye out for your proliferations?
Isn’t that a lovely word? No, the writer didn’t know that was the correct term either, until informed a few years ago by a daylily breeder.
It is very satisfying to grow a new plant from a proliferation; that green, leafy shoot, almost like a plant in miniature, that appears, usually about halfway up the scape, towards the end of the plant’s flowering season. It just begs to be propagated, and the resultant buzz that comes from seeing strong white roots peeping from the bottom of the pot, just a few weeks later, is well worth the effort.
It would appear that not all Daylilies produce proliferations, which is a bit of a mouthful, a long word to type, and can also be called a stem cutting.

Rooted prolifs. taken in Aug. 08, growing on.

It is not usually necessary to sacrifice any flowers of the chosen plant, as in the majority of cases the proliferation will be ready for removing and propagating when flowering has finished. Clever plant!
Preparing the cutting is simplicity itself. As most prolifs. seem to emerge anywhere from about halfway up the scape, and some plants will produce more than one, it is tidier and more practical to cut the scape away from the base of the fan. Remove the prolif. by cutting straight across the scape, half an inch below, and the same above. Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone. (The writer always uses liquid, having found that powder, even after the surplus has been tapped off, tends to clump at the base of the cutting. A callus forms, but no roots develop.)
Insert the cutting in a suitably sized pot of moist, multi-purpose compost. A 3in. is usually sufficient, but some prolifs. like ‘White Wings’ or ‘Chanticleer’ can be fairly hefty, and need something a little larger.
Don’t forget to label it! It can then be placed, uncovered in a cold frame or sheltered spot outdoors, ensuring it is not allowed to dry out. Six to eight weeks later, check the bottom of the pot for signs of new roots.
Pot up, no more than two sizes larger, again using multi-purpose compost. In mild areas it is possible to leave them outside for the winter, protected from the occasional frost. In harsher climes, these young plants would no doubt appreciate the temporary protection of a greenhouse, or at least a wrap of horticultural fleece.
Among personal favourites is the old (1957) and classic single. orange and cinnamon-red bi-colour ‘Frans Hals’

Registered as reaching two feet tall, it regularly beats that, and grows as happily in an 18in. pot as in the border.
Another favourite is the species Hemerocallis fulva ‘flore pleno’. a 4ft. tall, double form of the blended orange, wild daylily originating from China and Japan.

These, like many others, are hardy and dormant, disappearing completely in winter, but there are many cultivars that are evergreen or semi-evergreen, such as the very old (1949) historic and tall-growing ‘Challenger’, or the more modern
(1998) ‘Destined to See’.

Hemerocallis x ‘Destined to See’

Their long, gladiolus-like leaves give movement and texture to the winter garden, especially in the company of ornamental grasses and low growing hardy geraniums.
There is an increasing trend to plant Daylilies on their own, creating a glorious profusion of eye-catching colour and form, and mingling them with autumn and spring flowering bulbs for colour when they daylilies are not blooming.
Whichever way they are used, be it for landscaping, as feature plants, in an herbaceous border, or simply in pots on the patio, there is no denying that the beautiful and versatile Daylily deserves a place in every garden.

Hem.x ‘Burning Daylight’ and the little 2in. cutie ‘Pardon Me’.

Hemerocallis x ‘Tigger’

I think I’ve covered all the salient points. Hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting.

More blog posts by bigbumblebee

Previous post: The Hemerocallis Article




Very informative Bbb. And what big words! A great blog and some smashing photos, you obviously love your Daylilies!

2 Jul, 2009


Those aren't big words Paul. THIS is a big word:-

2 Jul, 2009


Oh, my teeth fell out, trying to say it. No only joking they're still my own ....just!
Who's got a phobia to Dahlias???

2 Jul, 2009


It's got nothing to do with Dahlias, or even gardening for that matter. I'm going to wait and see if anybody gets it, before I reveal what it means.:-o)

2 Jul, 2009


I've got it now! No wonder I was frightened of it!!! I'll wait and let you see if anyone else gets it. Wonderful thing............Google!

2 Jul, 2009


You've missed your vocation! You should have been a detective. LoL

2 Jul, 2009


Hippo what?

Thanks for this Bbb, I was waiting to read the second half and I wasn't disappointed. Lovely blog

H & K's........Ian

2 Jul, 2009


Ah I see.......Cheers Paul

2 Jul, 2009


I wanted to be \bbb, but that funny hat and pipe didn't suit me!!! Elementary!!!

2 Jul, 2009


Thanks for your kind comments. I sometimes get to wondering how much I'd have been paid for this article if the rag it was originally written for hadn't gone bust.
Did Paul tell you what the word means, Ian?

2 Jul, 2009


Can't stay any longer. My fav. prog. is on in five mins.
CU soon

2 Jul, 2009


No Bbb, I read his comment ......

2 Jul, 2009


Hey Bbb thanks for part two I thoroughly enjoyed it, things I did'nt know Hemerocallis, which numbered quite a lot until your blogs, I feel fulfilled now.
And I am frightened to death of big words like that :o))))
(I went on wikipedia)
Bob x

2 Jul, 2009


Yes most interesting and thank you for writing it all out. Now I wasn't going to get one for this garden after growing the big one I previously had, but I'll have to look for a small variety.

3 Jul, 2009


Lovely blog - I'm now seaching out Spanish Gardening Catalogues so I can order some hemerocallis. Thanks for all the info. :o))

3 Jul, 2009


Thanks for this info Bbb...very helpful and much needed....I love 'tigger' and 'pardon me'.... :>)

1 Aug, 2009


Excellent word BB, i've no fear !!! :)))

1 Aug, 2009

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