Hemerocallis, common name Day Lily, is a spectacular summer flowering plant most of which are herbaceous and vary in size from small compact varieties of around 30cms to the taller varieties of up to 1.5m. Hemerocallis have beautiful flowers often with stripes and attractive clump forming foliage. Hemerocallis are long flowering, perhaps 4-6 weeks, although each flower may be short lived there are many stems of flowers on each plant.The name Hemerocallis means 'beautiful for a day'.
Many Day Lilies are herbaceous which means they die back totally in the winter leaving bare earth and emerge in the spring with new growth. In milder areas they can be evergreen or semi-evergreen.
In terms of growing, Day Lilies (Hemerocallis) require some effort and are marked as an amber wheelbarrow plant. Hemerocallis are unfussy about the soil and their only real requirement is sun to encourage flowering, but they do need some maintenance.
The effort side is that Day Lilies need attention in the growing season, the main tasks being to stake the plant and regular dead heading. The new growth may look very upright as it emerges, but don't be fooled, Day Lilies look much better with some staking and support. This means in spring, as the growth emerges, place a support under their foliage to keep the plant upright and stop it collapsing later in the season when there are many blooms.
Day Lilies are also high maintenance because they need to be dead headed regularly to keep the plant looking good. Each stem has multiple flowers, which is good in the sense of making the plant attractive, but it also means a lot of dead heading as the flowers are short lived they need to be removed regularly to keep the plant in good shape. After flowering, each stem can be cut to the ground. Once the plant has flowered and the foliage looks tatty, cut the foliage to the ground and it will reward you with fresh lush growth for the rest of the summer, although it will not flower again.
The plus side is that day lilies flower constantly from late spring to early summer, with strong lush foliage and make excellent border plants. They form large clumps, see third image above, and produce good strong colour. They look spectacular producing large trumpet shaped flowers in varying shades of yellow, orange red and deepening down to crimson.
Day Lilies make an excellent cut flower.