Often called the ‘perfect perennial’, the daylily or Hemerocallis derives its name from two words from the Greek language: ‘Hemera’ meaning day and ‘Kalos’ meaning beautiful. This alludes to the point that the flowers typically open in the early morning and wither away through the following evening. To make up for the short life of each bloom however, there are many flower buds on each flower stalk and many flower stalks on each clump of plants.
The title of ‘perfect perennial’ comes from the fact that the daylily will grow in full sun or semi-shade, is tolerant to drought, requires very little maintenance and clumps can be transplanted and separated easily. Not only will these hardy plants give you no problems at all, but they will also offer you a range of colours and shades unrivaled by any other perennial.
The flowering season differs from variety to variety, but the blooms will appear in spring and early summer and last about four to five weeks. Although in flower for a short period of the year, the spectacle is well worth the space in your garden.
Daylilies prefer a well-drained soil with a high organic content. This will ensure a strong and healthy plant and keep the soil loose for lifting the plants and separating the clumps. All the Hemerocallis family is extremely resistant to diseases but perhaps some aphid problems at the budding stage. Dead head the blooms and remove the flower spikes when all buds are done. This keeps the plants neat and will help to generate more flower stalks.
Be a little careful when watering the daylilies. Regular deep watering is preferable to a quick sprinkling, and together with a good organic 3.1.5 fertilizer, will ensure a strong leaf base and a good crop of blooms.
The Hemerocallis is a native of Asia and all the way across to China and Japan. They have now spread all over the world with as many colours, hues and shades as there are countries. This ‘perfect perennial’ is well suited for perennial flower beds, rockeries, large landscapes and will give your garden a welcome splash of vibrant colour.