La Feria News

Daylilies – The Perfect Perennial

By ANN JOHNSTON
LFN

A perfect perennial for the Lower Rio Grande Valley is the daylily. Not a true lily, it is very comfortable in the Valley as long as it is in well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine. Each stalk (or scape) has many blooms but each bloom lasts only a day- as it name suggests.

Daylilies come in a rainbow of colors with solid colors, different colored bloom centers, stripes, eye-zones, ruffled edges, petite sized, single and double blooms for a few of the choices. The long, thin leaves will stay green all year down here in the Valley.

Daylily bloom with ruffled edges and big eyespot. Photos: Ann Johston / LFN

SUGGESTIONS: Daylilies are a tuberous root that can be planted anytime except our few (2?) winter months.

• Daylily varieties bloom at different times of the year. So, if you want flowers from early spring to late fall, look for the appropriate types. They come in “ very early blooming”, “early season”, “mid-season”, and “late blooming” as examples.

Eyespot bloom.

• Some daylilies are “dormant” and are not what is recommended for our Valley since these types need a dormant season to regroup.

• Look for “semi-evergreen” and “evergreen” instead.

HINTS: There is no need to dig them up for winter nor trim the leaves unless you are digging them up to move or separate the clumps. Then leave about 6 inches of leaf length.

Single color with ruffled edges.

• If they begin to bloom less or appear to have tight clumps of plants, then dig and separate them. Move the “fans” (divisions) to other beds. This might need to be done every 3 years or so.

• Local nurseries will carry a few varieties of daylilies. But if you want to really plant for an almost year-long show, then shop online for the different bloom types, colors, and season times.

Spider type bloom.

• Ken Oakes Daylilies has very good videos on YOUTUBE. And they carry hundreds of types of these bulbs.

• Learn more about these interesting plants on FaceBook, daylilies.org, American Daylily Society, and the Hemerocallis Society on line.

Come through the Garden Gate next week for more hints and suggestions for gardening in our Magic Valley.

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