Daylilies – Not just for a day!!

Creating the Setting

From the tropics to sub-tropics, to temperate and cold regions, daylilies are a very worthy and rewarding addition to your garden, no matter the style or where you live. Mass planted, smaller group plantings or even just 4 or 5 plants in a beautiful large container, their ability to dazzle, is undeniable. Many people wrongly assume that the name ‘daylilies’ implies that they only flower for one day. Even though the individual flowers only last a day or two, they produce multiple flower stems and thus have a long flowering season, some flowering for two months and then reblooming later in the season right into autumn and winter. Most start flowering from October (ie the start of the southern hemisphere summer). There are now about 80 000+ daylily cultivars registered with the American Hemerocallis Society with many new varieties being added annually.

We offer: currently about 60 cultivars with many more on the way. We are focusing on rebloomers, late bloomers, spiders, miniatures and large flower varieties. Our daylilies are available in our retail nursery and via mail order (March to August is the preferred shipping period, although they can be sent at anytime of the year).

Flowering Time

Long flowering season, some flowering for two months and then reblooming later in the season right into autumn and winter. Most start flowering from October (ie the start of the southern hemisphere summer).

Flower Height

Daylilies are grouped according to the American Hemerocallis Society, into the following categories:

  • miniature {flowers less than 7cm in diameter}
  • small flowers {7-11cm in diameter}
  • large flowers (11-27cm in diameter}

Flower Size

Ranging from 3.5cm to 27cm in diameter

Growth Rate

Fast and they form nice size clumps.

Flower Colour

Flower Colour ranges from:

  • yellow
  • orange
  • pink
  • red
  • purple
  • fulvous rusty
  • near white
  • near black

The only flower colour not present is blue. Colours also occur in combination on petals and sepals and in throats.

Cold Hardiness

Yes very frost hardy as they occur naturally in very cold regions.

Flowering Shape

Flower shapes are grouped into the following categories:

  • trumped flat
  • recurved
  • triangular
  • circular
  • star
  • spider/spider variant
  • exotic/unusual forms

Best Planting Time

  • Anytime of the year except during extreme  heat.
  • Divide your daylilies every 3-4 years by lifting the whole clump in mid to late autumn or late winter/ early spring when they are not in bloom.
  • If the clumps are very large, flowering is less, so it is important to split them. Split them in sections of 2-3 fans.


  • On planting: use a lot of well-rotted compost or manure with some bone meal. If you purchase via mail order, you will receive them bare rooted. Soak the roots in water for an hour then plant them in the garden or in a container. When you make a hole in the garden or prepare the container, make a small mound in the centre of the soil ie at the bottom of the hole you have made and spread the roots over the mound. The crown (where the leaves emerge), must not be more than 2.5cm below the soil surface. If you plant them too deep, they will not flower well. Water well.  
  • Soil type: they can grow in most soil types even moist, boggy and sandy coastal conditions. Our soil on the farm is red clay which is terrible yet the daylilies do well. They can also tolerate brackish water.
  • Position in garden: sun but they can tolerate dappled shade but definitely more sun than shade otherwise they don’t flower or flower less.
  • Watering regime: If you have planted your daylilies out into the garden, water them very well once a week in summer and once every two weeks in winter. Once established, daylilies are waterwise.
  • Drought/heat tolerance: yes they are waterwise and can tolerate high temperatures.
  • Feeding regime: feed your daylilies when you plant them but the ideal time to fertilise is in late summer, autumn and early spring after the first flowering flush and after subsequent flushes. Do not feed when they are coming into bloom as it will induce leaf growth at the expense of the flowers. Once a year before spring, put a dressing of old kraal manure or compost around the plants.
  • Pests & Disease:  the leaves can be affected by daylily rust and that is caused by high humidity and extreme heat. Spray one cup of molasses diluted in 10litres of water.  In late summer, they can be prone to aphids on the new leaf growth. Spray with one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid diluted in one litre of water. Unfortunately mole rats love certain cultivars. Customers in the Cape provinces might not have this problem.


Most daylilies are evergreen with bursts of growth in spring and autumn and slower growth in summer and winter.

Habitat & A Little History

The scientific name for daylilies is Hemerocallis meaning in Greek, a day (hemera) and beauty (kallos). Daylilies belong to the family Hemerocallideacea. There are about 30 species that are evergreen, semi-evergreen or winter dormant. Daylilies are endemic to East Asia {China, Mongolia, north eastern Siberia, North & South Korea (except the southern tip), Japan (Honshu & Hokkaido) and Sakhalin Island north of Japan}. The true species only have yellow, orange or fulvous coloured flowers. Daylilies have been grown for 2000 to 3000 years dating back to the time of Confucius when they were used for food and medicine. Daylilies reached Europe via trade routes in the 15th and 16th centuries and were introduced to North America by the early settlers. These very rewarding and beautiful plants are now found all over the world.