Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are a common presence in garden for many centuries. Originally there were about 15 varieties native to Central Europe and the Far East. Now, gardeners can choose frm over 34 000 hybrids.
They are tough plants and can prosper in many environments that prove inhospitable to other species. Traditionally this plant dies over winter and will resurrect in spring (the dormant type lilly). Thanks to genetics, botanists were able to design new varieties that are evergreen.
The blooms come in many different colors.
The most common one is orange “ditch lilly”.Other higly attractive varieties are: purple daylily, white daylily and pink daylily. Most f the varieties have blooms that smell great. Daylily flowers bloom only for 24 hours but a mature bush can yeld about 300 flowers over the entire blooming period. The blooming period usually lasts a month, but special varieties can bloom for a longer period.
The roots are the powerhouse that allows daylilies to thrive in inhospitable places. They are fibrous and clumpy, having a extreme large coverage area in order to assure the steady supply of water and nutrients to the plant. This extensive root system can help gardeners anchor eroding soil.
This plant is suitable for covering slopes in your garden. It develops thick foliage and in bloom will provide “a carpet” of flowers. Different daily varieties can be masses together in order to produce nice colorful effects.
Caring and Growing Daylilies
The plant performs in full sunlight and needs to be transplanted every three to four years in order to keep it blooming at an optimum. Planting in part-shade covered areas will produce less
flower, but the plant will thrive. Daylilies feel at home in many types of soil, but they prefer well drained clay and sand with a slightly acidic PH of around 6.
The plant can be fertilized with a mix of nitrogen, phosphate and potash in the following mix: 5-10-15 and 6-12-12.
Dividing and Transplanting Daylilies
The best planting periods are early spring or early fall. The soil must be prepared as described above. From your mother plant, choose the young plants that you wish to transplant. Then you will need to trim the foliage to about 5 inches tall. This will prevent the loss of water while transplanting daylilies.
Slide the blade of your shovel deep like 12 inches, under the rots of the plant and they gently lift the soil. Remove excess soil from around the roots using a garden hose and insect them visually for diseases or defects (if they are damaged, choose another plant for transplanting).
Separate the newly extract clump in bundles of 3-4 green shoots. Dig cone-shaped holes in the area that you want to plant and position the bundles. Secure the plant in soil with your hands and make sure to tightly pack the ground around the roots. Water the new daylilies to secure the moisture needed for the new plant.
Are Daylilies Poisonous for Cats and Dogs?
We all love our pets and a garden should be a secure place for all the family. According to a study made by the University of Michigan, daylilies contain a toxin that can affect dogs and some cats (there is no conclusive evidence how the toxin acts on cats and which species are affected).
If you dog or cat will ingest daylily foliage there is a good chance that they will become sick and in extreme cases develop renal failure. There are known cases when dogs died within 18 hours.
The toxin affects renal tubules and block the kidneys, causing anurea. This means that the cat or dog will be unable to produce urine. In cattle it has been observed that daylilies induce blindness.
The first sight of ingestion is vomiting. The pet will begin to feel ill in the first 2 to 3 hours after ingestion. The best thing to do if you notice odd behavior, is to quickly go to a vet. They are qualified to see if the cat or dog is suffering from daylily poisoning.
It is best to keep your loved pet away from this plant. Make sure to make it inaccessible in order to avoid the risks.