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Daylily

This popular low-maintenance flower attracts butterflies.

Daylily

Plant type: Herbaceous perennial
Botanical name: Hemerocallis
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

The low-maintenance gardener's ideal plant, daylily is one of the most popular and easiest-to-grow perennials available today. Named for its day-length blooming flowers, it's loaded with buds ready to take over for spent blooms the very next day. Selected cultivars bloom from late spring to fall, so a variety of daylilies can provide color throughout most of the growing season. Colors abound in everything from yellow, orange, pink, red and white. Bicolor, double-flowering, dwarf, giant and reblooming types available. May be evergreen in mild-winter climates. Plant size ranges from one to four feet tall and as wide, depending on cultivar.

How to use it: In masses, along a border, on steep banks or in containers. Use in a sunny, mixed perennial border or rock garden (dwarf varieties are best).

Culture: Performs best in a rich, moist, well-drained soil, but does well in a variety of soils. Plant in full sun. Spent blooms can be deadheaded, and dead stalks can be removed to clean up plants and make them more attractive. Propagated through division or seed. Divide every three to five years in spring or fall. Virtually pest- and disease-free, and, in fact, it is touted as low maintenance and hard to kill. However, USDA Zones 7 and warmer may have problems with daylily rust. To identify, the rust causes golden-orange streaks that appear on both sides of the leaves. If you suspect that you might have daylily rust, check to see if rust spores fall onto a white tissue when the leaves are jostled. If they do, then your plant has daylily rust. Cut infected plant(s) and surrounding plants back just above the soil line. Treat with a fungicide. It is important to properly dispose of clippings of infected foliage in the trash. Not recommended to compost.

Special notes: Low-maintenance perennial that makes it a easy and durable plant to use in the garden. Attracts butterflies.

Selected cultivars

  • 'Stella d'Oro'. Rebloomer. Perhaps one of the most well-known daylilies. One of the standards that has become a trustworthy rebloomer throughout the season. Has golden yellow flowers. Plant size is one foot tall and wide. Moderately resistant to daylily rust. American Horticultural Society award winner. USDA Zones 3 to 10.

  • 'Happy Returns'. Rebloomer. Has creamy yellow flowers. Plant size is about one to one and a half feet tall and wide. Very resistant to daylily rust. Zones 3 to 9.

  • Grass-leaf daylily (H. minor). Cold-hardy dwarf daylily. Narrow, grasslike foliage provide nice texture in the garden. Fragrant golden yellow flowers that have a short bloomtime in spring to early summer. Plant size is about one foot tall and one to two feet wide. Zones 3 to 9.

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