Will Daylilies Grow and Do Well In The Fog Belt?

Of course, daylilies can be grown in the Western Fog Belt! They are not often seen here, but that is because too few suitable varieties have been planted to become well known.

Although the quality, size, and color of daylily flowers depend on temperature and light intensity, many clones will bloom beautifully in the Pacific Coast’s cool, damp atmosphere.

Growing Daylilies in Fog BeltPin

This climate, modified by ocean fogs, extends roughly from San Luis Obispo in California northward through western Oregon and Washington.

There is, of course, considerable variation in mean temperature. Still, the prevailing climate throughout this Coastal expanse is cool and moist the year around, and extremes of heat or cold are exceptional.

Although some valleys a little farther inland are also subject to fog, the days tend to be hotter and nights colder away from the ocean. Heavy frosts are experienced in winter.

All daylilies will thrive and multiply in the Fog Belt, but not all varieties will give satisfactory bloom.

Since most modern hybrids have very mixed parentage, their behavior can be as individual as their flowers.

If you are fortunate enough to have a grower nearby, evaluating plants best suited to your growing conditions is simply a matter of observation.

If you can’t see them in bloom, you must rely on the catalogs to describe cool-weather clones. General effects of lessened warmth and light should also be borne in mind.

Clone Flowers Not Fully Develop

They open only partially or tend to stick together at the tips. This is true of Hemerocallis flava and Hemerocallis aurantiaca major, as well as many of their progeny.

However, it is not safe to generalize on this, for GOLDEN WEST which has Hemerocallis aurantiaca major as a pollen parent, presents an almost continuous show of wide-open, starry flowers throughout the summer and fall.

The only effect of cold weather on it is that the blooms are sometimes smaller than they would be under more favorable conditions.

If a given variety opens well, it has passed the first hurdle. The next consideration is color.

After several chilly, overcast days, daylily colors are apt to be paler, but if an overcast day follows a warmer period, colors are intensified.

Color Varieties Of Daylilies

Yellow and clear orange show less variation than most pastels and deeper tones.

This may be partly because yellow is pleasing in all its tints and shades while some other daylily colors are not.

And, of course, yellow blends happily with the distinctive coloring of fuchsias, pelargoniums, and begonias so widely planted on the Coast.

Of the many excellent yellows, a few dependable and inexpensive clones are:

  • DAUNTLESS
  • HYPERION
  • REVOLUTE
  • OPHIR

Evening-blooming varieties, such as:

  • VESPERS
  • MOON RAY
  • DUCHESS OF WINDSOR

These seem to thrive on cool weather. Their flowers last longer; it is not unusual to see yesterday’s blooms still fresh after the new set has opened.

Some pinks assume an unattractive fulvous cast in foggy weather, but others are even more beautiful.

ROSALIND, SWEETBRIAR, and PINK CHARM are among the older pinks which look very gay on dark days.

Some pastels and blends are lovely when the weather is cool but not too cold. BAGUETTE is pinker, Su-LIN looks lavender, and ATHLONE, MANCHU, and CHLOE are brighter than when the sun shines.

If it stays cold and gloomy for long, the reds lack sparkle. Flame or vermillion shades hold up best, and because of their warmth of color, a clump of RED CINDERELLA or ROYAL RUBY is a cheering sight.

Dark purple reds look darker at times but generally tend toward a muddy brown that makes many of them very drab.

Some, like BLACK PRINCE and BLACK FALCON, are attractive even when their color is somewhat altered.

Among the lighter purple reds, AMHERST and PURPLE WATERS do quite well.

In the Fog Belt, spent flowers, instead of dropping as they should, tend to cling to the plant and mar its beauty.

They are, however, easily removed, and since most perennials require grooming, it’s hardly fair to begrudge the day-lily this small attention.

Withstanding Wind

Another problem with the Coastal garden is wind. One cannot expect a thing as fragile as a blossom to withstand winds that whip in from the ocean with enough force and persistence to distort the trees.

This problem is not peculiar to daylilies, but to flower gardening in general. Most gardens in wind-swept areas have a wall, dense shrubbery planting, or another windbreak.

The daylily will need this protection. Although most modern varieties’ stapes are sturdy and withstand quite a brisk blow, the flower petals are large and succulent and snap off in strong winds.

Sheltered in shrubbery bays or the lee of fence or wall, day-lilies can hold their own.

Some varieties will need part shade in areas where an intense sun is apt to break through the fog, as they do farther inland.

The planting and care of day-lilies in the fog belt is the same as in any other moderate climate.

Fall planting is advisable because of the advantage of winter rains, but is not necessary. They may be planted at any time.

Daylilies can be enjoyed throughout the Fog Belt if care is taken in selecting clones suited to local growing conditions.