When many people think of Daylilies, they think of the orange ditch lilies you see growing on the side of the road. While these may be the most common summer flowering bulbs that are seen, hybridizing has produced an unbelievable array of colors, including many that are bi-color. Other interesting color combinations include stippled, polychrome, edged and blended. You can choose Hemerocallis that have markings such as eyed, banded, halos and watermarks to name just a few.
Hemerocallis Scent, Shape And Bloom Time
Many Hemerocallis now offer a wide range of fragrances not to mention a choice between single and double blooms. The size of the blooms can also vary extensively. Some are two to three inches in diameter while others can be as large as five inches across. There is quite a range in sizes, including some dwarf varieties. The shape of the flower is another option that is available in today’s Hemerocallis. From the typical trumpet shape to flat, recurved, star, triangular and circular there is a shape that will please everyone. The double varieties are available in a double hose-in-hose, a double peony and a ruffled shape. With additional advances in bloom times, it is possible to make them the mainstay of your garden from May through September. Hemerocallis has become one of the most popular perennials in today’s gardens and rightly so.
The name Hemerocallis means “beautiful for a day.” While it is a commonly known fact that the individual flowers only last for a day, the flower stems bear quantities of buds that will continue to open for extended periods of time. A little known fact about Hemerocallis is that there is a night blooming variety, Hemerocallis thunbergi. I have found this variety available through a nursery this year although it is one that has been around for well over twenty years. Prices can range from ten dollars up to at least one hundred fifty dollars depending on the variety you choose. The newer the plant is the more expensive it will it be.
Not only do Hemerocallis make great borders for around the bases of trees, but they also work well as shrub borders or as a background for low-growing perennials. They can tolerate a wide range of conditions from extremely damp soil to dry soil. They will grow in full sun or full shade. Another plus of Hemerocallis is that they are drought tolerant and seldom attacked by pests or diseases. Hemerocallis can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions as mentioned above and once established are extremely care-free. Adding a top dressing that consists of well-composed manure in the spring and fall will improve the bloom quality.
Hemerocallis are easily propagated by division in either the early spring or fall. One plant can make up to fifteen new plants within one year’s time. It is extremely important for the health of your plant that you do divide your plants every two to three years as needed. It is best to completely dig the plant up, shake the soil off and then use a sharp knife to cut the fans apart. If you do not divide your plants periodically the clumps will produce fewer blooms that most likely will be of inferior quality. Once the plants are divided and ready to be replanted, you should cut the foliage down to one-third of the original size. This technique will prevent loss of moisture through the leaves while the plant is generating a good root system. When you replant your Hemerocallis, be sure to cover the crown with about one inch of soil.
Provided you are extremely patient and don’t mind waiting for two to three years to see the fruits of your work, Hemerocallis can be fairly easily propagated from seeds. This is generally the method used when hybridizing new varieties. However, do be prepared to wait at least two to three years to before you will see your first bloom.
Explanation Of Common Markings: Hemerocallis that have markings referred to as eyed have a dark contrasting blotch at the base of the petals and sepals. A watermark is quite similar to an eye with the exception being that the blotch on the base of the petals and sepals is lighter than the background color.
The edged flowers are properly named because the edges of the petals are a different color or shade than the rest of the flower. However, if the edging is found only on the tips of the petals, it is known as tipped. Wire edging is another term commonly heard concerning markings on Hemerocallis. This refers to a narrow line around the edges of the petals and sepals in a contrasting color to the flower’s background color. The most sought after edging right now in the tetraploid Daylily is the gold-edge. Ones such as ‘Ida’s Magic,’ ‘Wedding Band,’ and ‘Admiral’s Braid’ are quite popular.