Autumn is in full swing, and that means it’s time for a little fall daylily care!
Daylilies are a powerhouse perennial that provide beautiful foliage and blooms from early spring to early fall. But as autumn hits full stride, they certainly begin to show the wear and tear from a full season of growth.
In fact, by early October, daylilies start to become a bit of an eyesore in flowerbeds. Their once bright green blades have turned a wispy brown, while their blooms have nearly all gone to seed.
And as the foliage begins to die back, its the perfect time to take action – whether it be simply cutting them back, or dividing and transplanting daylilies that have grown too big.
Here is a look at the ins and outs of fall daylily care, including a video tutorial below of the entire process.
Fall Daylily Care
Although daylilies don’t need to be cut back in the fall, doing so has several advantages. First and foremost, it keeps beds looking neat and tidy all winter long. If allowed to remain, the decaying foliage certainly isn’t the most appealing of landscape features.
For us, getting it cleaned up now means one less chore to perform during the busy spring. And who doesn’t need less to do in the spring!
But there is also another very good reason to remove it before winter sets in – pests. That wilted mess of blooms and foliage happens to be a great place for insects to find a permanent home. One they use to stick around to come back even stronger in the spring.
And finally, fall daylily care also allows you the opportunity to dig up, divide, and transplant oversized plants. All making for the healthiest and best looking plants and flowerbeds as spring arrives next year!
Cutting Back Daylilies
Cutting back daylilies is as simple as cutting the foliage down to within a few inches of the ground. A sharp pair of hedge trimmers work well, although we use our electric hedge shears for a super fast trim.
The spent foliage is perfect for adding to your fall compost pile. Not only does it decompose fast, if you have many plants, it adds a lot of volume to your fall pile too!
If you won’t be dividing, simply finish by adding mulch around the base of each plant to help protect it through winter. We also add a bit of compost to each plant to give it a little power for spring growing. (See: How To Make An Incredible Fall Compost Pile)
Dividing & Transplanting – Fall Daylily Care
Fall is the ideal time to dig up and transplant daylilies that have become a little too large for their space.
The larger daylilies grow, the less likely they are to be full of blooms. As roots begin to crowd together under the surface of the soil, the plants struggle to find enough nutrients to power full bloom cycles.
But by dividing daylilies every three to four years, you can keep plants performing at maximum strength. And by dividing and transplanting in the cool autumn air, the new divisions have time to root a bit in the soil.
This allows them to hit the ground running and blooming next spring and summer at full speed.
How To Divide Daylilies – Fall Daylily Care
Dividing daylilies is one of the easiest transplanting chores of all. After cutting back, use a shovel to dig out from around the edge of the root ball.
Daylilies roots tend to be fairly shallow at around two to four inches in depth. Once the edges have been cut, the plants will usually pop from the soil fairly easy.
Once the plant is out, simply turn it over, and use your shovel to slice it into new divisions. Keeping the divisions fairly even will result in similar sized plants next year.
Transplanting Daylilies In The Fall
To transplant, dig holes about 1.5 times the depth of the transplant. Fill the bottom of the hole with a few inches of compost, and then set the roots in so that the crown of the daylily is even with the surface level of the soil.
Fill back in around the transplant with the existing soil, and pat the soil gently to firm up the roots. By adding the compost in the bottom of the hole, it allows the roots to set quickly.
Finish by mulching around your plants with a 2 to 4″ layer of mulch to help protect the roots through winter. And that’s it – all that’s left is to wait until spring to see the new plants shoot up!
Depending how warm your fall temperatures get, you may or may not see a bit of new growth coming from the transplants before a hard freeze puts them into full dormancy.
The new growth will not harm or injure the plant, as the roots are the real key to success. Here is to a little fall daylily care now to set the stage for beautiful, full-flowering plants next spring! Happy Gardening – Jim & Mary. You Tube Video Tutorial Link : Fall Daylily Care
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