When you receive new plants, whether from a local grower or by mail from out of town, it is normal for existing leaves to turn partially yellow, especially the older, outer leaves.

If it will be more than 24 hours before you can plant your new purchase, remove the plant from any packaging material and place the roots in a bucket of about 6" water. In fact, even if you can plant right away, many hobbyists prefer to soak daylilies for about three hours in water before planting. Do NOT, however, leave the plants in the water indefinitely. The purpose of soaking them for awhile is to prevent severe dehydration. Leaving them for too long in the bucket of water can result in different but just as disastrous results. Plant them as soon as you can to avoid hydration problems of either kind.

Plant about 18-30" apart. At 24" it may look sparse at first, but foliage will fill in, especially after first season. The closer you plant them together, the sooner you will have to dig them up and to rearrange them.

If drainage is poor, it is beneficial to raise beds 3 to 6 inches.

Daylilies generally love sun, and need at least 50% sun (either half a day in full sun or all day in filtered sun) to thrive and produce optimum bloom. However, varieties with darker shades of flowers should either be given partial shade or planted where it gets afternoon shade. Otherwise their colors may fade or melt.

St. Louis clay is often too poor and dense. It's almost mandatory here to amend the soil with compost, humus, peat moss, or other organic matter. Manure is probably the best; see a discussion of it later on. Soil should be worked into a loose condition, to a depth of about one foot, and about 15-20" in diameter, prior to planting.

Because clay does not drain well, some recommend adding gypsum or something like Turface, a commercial inorganic filler that looks like little irregular stone chips. If you try this, use it sparingly to avoid your soil will become too porous, requiring too much supplemental watering.

Do not plant too close to trees. Besides creating too much shade, trees -especially broad-leafed ones-have extensive feeder roots. These surface roots tend to rob the daylilies of the essential nutrients and can physically interfere.

Dig a hole. Make a large ball out of amended soil in center of the hole, forming an upside down cone shape.

Drape the roots over the soil cone, extending them out in all directions. Hold plant so that crown is about 1" or less below ground level and fill in hole (over roots) with amended soil. (The crown is that point where the leaves meet the roots.)

Work the soil around and between the roots as you cover the plant. Firm the soil and water well. Make sure there are no air pockets.

Do not water again until the plant starts to grow. This gives the plant time to develop hair-like feeder roots that absorb moisture. (The watering advice that follows below does not apply to newly planted daylilies less than a month old.)

'Brick' all new plants acquired during the season over the first winter. Do this by laying three bricks on the ground, surrounding the crown in a triangular shape, fairly close in. The bricks go around, not on top of, the plant. The bricks act like a mulch and provide some buffer from extreme changes in temperature, because they absorb heat from sun during day and release it at night. This prevents roots from heaving during changes from freezing to thawing; and it provides protection from digging squirrels. I put them down about the time of the first frost and remove them in the spring when I start to clean the beds of dead foliage from the winter.

The most popular time to transplant existing plants is spring: mid-April or early May in St. Louis. Second best is fall, mainly early September. This is late enough to miss the heat and humidity of August and early enough to get roots established prior to winter.


diagram of planting a daylily, part 1


diagram of planting a daylily, part 2



diagram of how to brick a plant
Place three bricks around the base of the plant.