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Plan in fall for spring daylilies
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak to the Hattiesburg Area Daylily Society and had a great time doing some garden-sharing. Afterward, I was thinking about the daylilies in my landscape and how gorgeous they’ll be next year.
Daylilies are easy landscape plants guaranteed to please.
They come in probably any color, shape and size you could desire for your landscape. The colors seem like a kaleidoscope with reds, peach, white and yellows. Like the colors, the flowers themselves are never boring. There are double-flowered and petite-flowered varieties, along with flowers with gold-edged ruffles and spidery blooms with long, linear petals.
Though it may seem a little early to be thinking about next year’s daylilies, fall is the perfect time to get those plants in the best shape for next year.
Daylilies are vigorous and fast-growing and can form a dense mat in just a couple of years. That means they should be divided every few years. You can do this in the spring or fall.
You don’t need special tools for dividing daylilies, but the tools you use must be sharp. A garden spade and/or fork and knife, or maybe a small, pointed saw will get you started. I have a trusty old bread knife that works great.
Dig the entire daylily out of the ground and shake off the excess soil. This will cause less damage to the plants, and you will be able to make more divisions. Identify the growing points, which are the spots where the cuts are to be made. Use your sharp spade to cut the clump apart so that each division has at least one fan of leaves with roots attached.
When replanting, prune off about half of the foliage to reduce water loss as the roots begin to regrow. Plant the crown of the division at the same level in the ground it was growing on the original plant. Arrange the pieces in a random fashion so they do not all grow in the same direction. Replant in new areas of the garden, or share with gardening friends.
While there are literally thousands of named daylilies on the market, one of the most outstanding new selections is Suburban Nancy Gayle. This variety was hybridized at Suburban Daylilies in Hattiesburg. It has big, red, yellow-throated flowers and is resistant to daylily rust. I’ve grown it in my landscape for the past four years, and the performance has been outstanding.
Suburban Nancy Gayle has flowered in my garden from mid-May until August. Because of its fantastic garden and landscape qualities, Suburban Nancy Gayle was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner for 2015. Check with your local nursery or contact Suburban Daylilies directly if you want to try this beauty.