Daylilies are an almost foolproof plant, and a green thumb is not required to cultivate them. These low-maintenance flowers prefer full sun or partial shade, deep soil and moderate moisture. Their ideal planting time in Indiana is between Aug. 15 and Sept. 30, which gives them just enough time to establish roots before the winter. With thousands of cultivars to choose from, you can pick and grow the ones that strike your fancy. These tips from the experts explain how:
To plant, dig a hole 6 inches wider than the root mass and drop the plant in, with the top of its crown about half an inch to one inch below the soil’s surface. Push the soil back into the hole, working around the roots and pressing the soil down with your hands. While daylilies work well in mass plantings for landscaping, they can also look great as border plants.
All you’ll need is natural rainfall, so there’s no need to irrigate daylilies in Indiana. “We get enough rain, even in dry times,” says Bridget Brown of Windy Ridge Farm. “The plants have fleshy roots where they store moisture and nutrition, so they’ll survive.”
You can also skip the fertilizer. “I never fertilize,” says Brad Best of Rainbow Hill Daylily Farm. “If you fertilize a new daylily plant, you have an 80-plus percent chance of killing it because fertilizer causes dehydration from the salt in it.” (He suggests only using fertilizer once the plant has been established for a few months, and to fertilize according to manufacturer specifications.)
Because daylilies can survive a variety of conditions, multiply quickly and are mostly pest-resistant, they won’t require much nurturing. So just sit back and watch them bloom.