When And How To Fertilize, Prune & Water Daylily Plants

Because they are so easy to grow and care for, not too mention the massively wide range of flower colors, Daylilies are among the most popular perennial plants in North America. 

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know regarding caring for and maintaining Daylily plants...

Fertilizing Daylilies

Daylilies will benefit from fertilizer. Feed daylilies in early spring with a slow-release flower fertilizer or a natural organic plant food. After the first round of flowers spent flowers stems can be removed and plants can be fed again. Doing so will often encourage rebloom on many Daylily varieties

Soil pH
Daylilies will thrive in a fairy wide range of soil pH. They flower best in a moderately acid to alkaline soil ranging from 6.0 to 8.0 on the pH scale. Most average garden soils fall between a pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. 

How To Test Soil pH
Soil pH is a measurement of the alkalinity or acidity of soil and is measured on a scale of 1-14, with 7 as the neutral mark. Any measurement below 7 indicates acid soil conditions, and anything above 7 indicates alkaline. If you're unsure about the pH of your soil, or whether or not it's suitable for growing Daylilies, it's a good idea to test the soil pH in the planting area. You can quickly test soil pH with an inexpensive soil pH tester probe. To raise the pH (make more alkaline) you can add pelletized limestone to the soil. To lower the pH (make more acid) you can apply Soil Sulfur, Aluminum Sulfate, or Chelated Iron. Adding organic compost to the soil or using compost as mulch can also help to increase acidity and maintain acid soil conditions.

Watering Daylilies

Daylilies prefer a moist but well-drained soil. When established they can tolerate dry periods but require a moist soil when becoming established. As with many other ornamental plants, daylilies do not like constantly soggy or wet soil, which can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. So be careful not to overwater!

After Planting 
Immediately after planting deep soak the soil in the planting area to a depth of at least 6 inches. An application of Root Stimulator will provide an extra boost to stimulate early root formation and stronger root development, which reduces transplant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.

During the First Active Growth Season
In average garden soil you should not have to water your newly planted Daylilies every day. More often than not, this causes soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot and other plant diseases. In the absence of sufficient rainfall, water only as needed to maintain a damp to moist root ball and surrounding soil. Deep soaking less frequently is much better than splashing just a little water on the plants every day. Plants planted during the winter dormant season, when not actively growing and evaporation is much slower, will require much less water. So, be extra careful not to overwater during winter!

Note: Daylily plants growing in pots, planters and other containers will often require more attention to watering. After planting a daylily in a pot, use the finger-test daily to check soil moisture. Provide water when the top inch or two of soil has dried. After a week or two of daily testing you should then know how often your potted daylilies will need a drink. Keep in mind that potted plants will require even closer attention to watering during the warmer summer months. During the cooler winter months potted daylilies will require much less water. Water only as needed to maintain a damp soil.

When established, Daylilies growing in garden beds are fairly drought tolerant. During prolonged periods of summer drought plants will appreciate occasional deep soakings. If you see foliage wilting or discoloring check soil moisture and give plants a good deep soaking if necessary.

Important Tip:  When watering with an automated irrigation system it's best to set your timer to water during the early morning hours and not in the late evening or at night, which can lead to the onset of fungus and other foliage diseases. During the first few weeks after planting, check soil moisture often and adjust irrigation time if necessary to maintain a moist, not constantly soggy or wet soil.

Pruning Daylilies

Daylilies don't require much if any pruning. That said, the removal of spent flower scapes (stems) can encourage rebloom on many varieties. Damaged or broken leaves can be removed at any time during the season.

Plant Long & Prosper!

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