Several years ago my mom sent me a surprise box of plants; this Day lily was one that survived and continues to thrive against all odds.
Day lilies are a forgiving perennial; they can do well in the worst conditions, even if you forget about them.
If you’re looking to add some color and think you lack gardening skills you may want to consider adding this beauty to your space. Nurseries normally have them in full stock April – June in a variety of colors.
My little plant has quite the story; it was shipped from Washington State right after we experienced a horrible drought. Then it was introduced to poor soil conditions and when it finally found its place it was eaten several times to the base by rabbits.
Through all that, it never gave up and where forgiving fits this plant perfectly.
This plant is now in full bloom enjoying what’s left of spring But wait because I’ve decided to propagate parts of it so I can take part of it with us when we move.
Two Forms of Propagating First by Seed
There are two forms of propagating the day lily; the first is by seed. After blooming and pollination the flowers dry out and a green seed pod develops at the base. The pod grows for several months until it turns brown. These pods will eventually pop open, inside awaits shinny black seeds.
The seeds cannot be planted until the fall because they need the cold to germinate. You can store them in the fridge for about a month prior to planting outside in the spring.
If you have multiple varieties in your garden you may discover cross pollination because it’s difficult to tell which flower pollinated the other.
Keep in mind it can take up to three years for a seed to germinate and grow an actual blooming plant. For that reason I prefer the second option of propagation.
Propagating by Dividing
Propagating by dividing is really easy; this is the fastest and easiest way to expand your lily plants.
The best time of year to divide is in the fall or early spring. I’ve been meaning to do mine for weeks and finally found a quick moment yesterday morning right before the rain arrived.
Steps to Dividing
- Make sure the soil is moist.
- Dig up the entire plant.
- Begin to divide in two or three sections, maybe more if your plant is large.
- Dunk the roots in water. ( if the soil is already moist not necessary)
- Plant each new bundle back in the ground to its new destination.
Moist Soil and Mulch
Once you’ve completed the process make sure the soil is nice and moist.
Some gardeners recommend cutting back the plant to reduce stress and water loss but I skipped this step because I began this process during the cooler part of the day and the plant should revived with little effort.
Before attempting this activity make sure the soil has been fertilized prior with natural ingredients. A scoop of compost or llama tea will give your plants the boost it needs.
The last few tricks is to remember to keep the soil moist and don’t over water. Then cover the base of the plant with mulch when temperatures begin to fluctuate.
Day lilies are forgiving making them a great choice for busy gardeners.