Daylilies (hemerocallis) are resilient perennials that will thrive in a variety of growing conditions, including clay soil.
Lasting a day or so, the colourful flowers are short-lived but quickly replaced by colourful new flowers throughout summer and into autumn. The best growing conditions for hemerocallis are moist, fertile and well-drained soils in full sun. They’re well suited to colourful herbaceous borders, particularly those with a hot-toned colour theme.
Plus, daylilies are unaffected by lily beetles, which can decimate the foliage of Lilium, Cardiocrinum and Fritillaria species.
We share our favourite hemerocallis, below.
‘Henry D Allnut’
Introduced in 2014, ‘Henry D Allnutt’ is a hybrid of ‘Dragon Pinata’ and ‘Redneck Riviera’. The flowers are pale orange with a dramatic flush or crimson in the centre.
‘Piano Man’ has delicate peach-coloured petals with intense flashes of burgundy in the centre. Like many hemerocallis, this variety has evergreen foliage.
Full of drama, ‘Bela Lugosi’ is a deep purple-flowered variety named after the Count Dracula actor. At the centre of the flowers is a rich yellow-green tone, providing contrast. This daylily is particularly floriferous.
Many daylily varieties are orange, but ‘Ruby Spider’ turns up the heat to deep scarlet. Each petal has an eye-catching yellow midrib.
The large flowers of ‘Fleeting Fancy’ are a creamy orange, with a red-brown markings toward the centre. Combines well with pink- and purple-flowered plants like nepeta and hardy geraniums.
With creamy yellow flowers, ‘Joan Senior’ is a gorgeous choice for a twilight garden – as the light falls, the pale blooms will reflect the light that remains and seem to glow.
While superficially similar to ‘Ruby Spider’, look closer and you’ll spot that the blooms of ‘Stafford’ have a more intense red colouration and lack the yellow midrib. Here, it’s paired with orange geums.
The yellow daylily, Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus has warm yellow flowers with a deliciously sweet fragrance. Well-suited to herbaceous borders or dotting in wildflower meadows.
This fiery-flowered variety is perfectly suited to hot-toned borders. Good planting partners for ‘Red Twister’ include rudbeckias and heleniums. Discover more perennials for a hot border.
Reduced flowering performance?
If your daylilies have reduced in vigour and flowering potential, then it’s a good sign they need to be divided to reinvigorate them and produce new plants for free. Once the clumps have been divided and planted, mulch around them with garden compost or well-rotted manure and water well to get them off to a good start.