Daylily Culture ...
LOCATION: Full sun or partial shade, well-drained soil, away from greedy hedge or tree roots. Ideal light is provided with filtering by tall pine trees. Daylilies thrive in well-drained clay pots and thrive up to five years without repotting.
SOIL: Sandy soil should be improved by incorporating organic matter. Use peat, compost, aged manure, humus or leaf mold, etc. Pine fines, or pine bark soil conditioner, incorporated into the bed is recommended. Ideal PH is 5.5 to 6.5. Raised beds are very popular among growers. Good drainage is essential.
MULCH: Oak leaves and pine needles are good, as they are light and improve the soil. Also ideal is composted pine bark. The best in pine bark that has been aged with the cambium layer removed.
WATER: Daylilies enjoy liberal watering but do not thrive long with wet feet, particularly in warm climates or hard-packed clay-based soils.
PLANTING: Plants are best at least 18 inches apart. Loosen the soil thoroughly to a depth of 24" in the center of the hole. Construct a mound, with the top of the mound only 1/2 inch to 1 inch below soil level. Place the plant on this mound and arrange the roots toward the bottom of the hole. Firm the soil in place.
FERTILIZER: Select a quality, balanced fertilizer such as 6-6-6 with trace elements. Apply according to instructions. Use less on younger plants. Milorganite may be worked into soil at planting. Most states have a county Ag center that can analyze your soil for nutritional diagnosis with recommendations. Many will test your pH, as well.
FUNGUS: Daylilies are susceptible to "leave streak" fungus as well as to daylily rust. Both can be controlled using fungicides -- either contact or systemic. Daconil, Banner Max, Heritage, Bayleton 50, and Dithane are effective.
PESTS: Spray only when necessary. Organic controls such as ladybugs, predatory mites, lacewings, and orius are wonderful. Avid and Orthene are two of the best spays for insects. If you do spray, never use Kelthane, which is toxic to daylilies under most conditions. Wolves, big cats, shotguns and other predators are most effective for controlling armadillo, deer and other disruptive mammals.
*The daylily is one of the most popular herbaceous perennials in the world, being hardy in most climates, and thriving with a minimum of care. Very nutritious, many recipes call for daylilies in salads, like any plant, it has certain cultural preferences. Recognizing and filling its basic needs results in greater beauty and performance year after year. With the advent of their meteoric rise in popularity as a perennial and thousands of people enjoying creating new varieties each year through hybridization, various "new world" pests have discovered Hemerocallis over the years.
**In the year 2000, we first heard of something called rust. Rust is a fungus, and it can spread throughout a garden. It presents a new dilemma because as with any disease it takes time and patience to overcome. Extensive research is being conducted in both public and private sector. Various protocols have evolved and are very effective. We will never send a plant showing rust, although its spores can hide anywhere and may travel on the wind.