One Plant 1200 Blooms: Daylilies Are Perennial Lifesavers

The daylily has long enjoyed the reputation of being dependable and versatile. It is easy to grow for the beginning gardener. There are over 8,000 named and introduced varieties with five to six hundred new named introductions each year which tempt the avid collectors.

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They may be in bloom from spring to fall and the blossoms vary in height from one to seven feet. There is a wide range of colors from very light yellow to deep lemon, gold, pink, rose, and darker shades of red, purple, and brown.

The newly introduced varieties in the exciting colors of melon, chartreuse, and lavender have increased the color range to a greater extent. Improvements are being made by hybridizers to increase the variation in size and form of the flower as well as to increase and refine the color range.

Ideal Conditions for Daylilies

Daylilies live and bloom under almost any growing condition. The ideal situations of at least three or four hours of sun a day, and a deeply prepared, well-drained soil are not always possible in my garden. Yet the daylilies come smiling through with at least four months of bloom, often more as a result of reblooming.

They are the backbone of my perennial borders which they combine well with other plant materials. They thrive on ordinary soil with an annual mulch of as much compost as I can spare. My gardening friend, Mrs. Rogler, removes the dead leaves in spring and gives a light dressing of fertilizer at that time to her day-lilies.

One Plant Gives 1200 Blooms!

At the very time, the summer garden needs color and beauty, the obliging daylily reaches its height of bloom. The blossoms are not timid; instead, they are striking and eye-catching, particularly the bicolored and eyed varieties.

Established clumps, well grown, can be depended upon for hundreds of blossoms. The old variety, Mt. Vernon provides 20 to 30 blossoms a day during its blooming season of a full six weeks in my garden. I know of no other perennial so rewarding.

Yet in the largest section of my perennial borders, there awaits a tough test for this reliable plant. The main blooming season comes at that time of year when the temperature may be above 90° F., and on occasion has risen to well over 100° F. Add full sunshine and strong wind to this heat, and you have a picture of the trying conditions awaiting these showy blossoms.

Our High Standards for Daylilies

To retain their position in our gardens, the blossoms of a variety hold color and substance throughout the day, and preferably stay open until at least 9:00 p.m. Varieties which do not measure up to these standards are moved to full or partial shade. The following varieties have passed the acid test of exposure to sun and wind in our locality.

‘Painted Lady’—Good texture, long blooming season. A large flower, very stately and eye-catching; open evenings. ‘Cosette’—Yellow with rosy dusting. The heavy segments are creped and ruffled, long blooming season; open evenings. ‘Baguette’—lemon with old rose shading, long season of bloom; a favorite for the middle of the border planting.

‘Amulet’—An old one, a good bloomer, with a long season. The color is coral pink which holds up well. ‘Red Cup’—Very vivid and non-fading. A well-shaped blossom with a velvety texture. ‘Golden West’ — Good yellow, non-fading with heavy texture. Repeats bloom under good culture. ‘Tejas’—Another old favorite, circus wagon red, small flower, and low growing. Stands for all kinds of weather.

‘Harriet Hill’—A dark red with good texture. It is tall and a good grower. ‘Hesperus’ — Lemon-chrome, medium yellow. This variety, a Stout Medal winner, has stood the test of time. `Crepette’— A wide petal blossom of nice size in buff-yellow. ‘Oklahoma’—Wide petals and large flowers, long season of bloom, foliage small and pleasing.

Some Daylilies Are Night-Lilies

‘Queen of Gonzales’—Very early, open past midnight with orange to gold color. ‘Dr. Reigel’—Low growing, dainty, one of the first to bloom; deep yellow. ‘Ruffled Pinafore’—Another Stout Medal winner; apricot-yellow color. ‘Mt. Vernon’—Yellow and rosy brown bicolor. Open evenings; takes hot weather and strong wind extremely well. ‘Skylark’—Lemon with green throat and heavy texture.

‘Easter Morn’ — Buff-yellow early blooming; reblooms under good culture. ‘Personal Appearance’ —A good yellow that blooms late. ‘Trousseau’—This variety, has been recommended to us. It is a lavender pink with a gold throat; grows low, branches wide with lightly ruffled flowers of good substance from midseason to late.

How To Select Daylilies

There is no doubt that the latest introductions are spectacular; to see them in bloom is a tempting, thrilling experience. The average gardener cannot afford to be the first by whom the new is tried. A good way to select daylilies is to visit a hemerocallis garden and select the ones that are suitable in color and height for their place in your garden.

44659 by Louise Wherry And Jo Rogler