Daylilies

Guide To Transplanting Daylilies

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Tyler C Rich
August 15, 2021
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Many gardeners love to grow pretty flowers in their gardens.

We all have that aesthetic sense deep inside, though the degree may vary. Nonetheless, daylilies remain a favorite of many gardeners.

These versatile, easy-care perennials are bold, distinctive, and pleasing to the eye. The beauty of their summer blooms is inviting, not to mention their unmatched fragrance.

However, like any other flowers, lilies need regular tending for optimal blooming. You’ll need some finesse growing these ornamental plants, as they demand regular transplanting.

Get to know all the details about transplanting daylilies to support gorgeous blooms in season.

Why Do Daylilies Need Transplantation?

Why Do Daylilies Need Transplantation?

If you’re a seasoned gardener, then you already understand why plants need regular transplanting. This includes transplanting daylilies. But, if you’re wondering, why do you need to transplant your daylilies – here’s why:

Daylilies are among the most aggressive growing flowers you’ll ever have the pleasure of cultivating. They tend to grow in lush clumps that increase in size annually.

You’ll realize that your garden starts to look a bit messy and overcrowded over time when you have these plants around. So, you might want to keep your garden neat by dividing and transplanting daylilies at some point.

Apart from space limitations, crammed daylilies struggle for essential nutrition. Sunlight, food, and moisture are necessary for the optimal growth and flowering of your daylilies. Transplanting daylilies is an excellent opportunity to give these plants a higher chance to thrive in their own space.  

However, when many plants are packed so close, they tend to compete for resources, making them less healthy. Crowded foliage also casts a shadow that is likely to obscure sunlight from reaching light-hungry blooms.

Besides, most daylilies rarely self-sow, so transplanting daylilies is an excellent means to spruce up the garden. In addition, by dividing the clumps, you get to broaden your collection and give your plants a better shot at blooming.

The big challenge now is knowing the opportune moment to divide up your cluttered daylilies.

When to Transplant Them

When to Transplant Them

In gardening, just like any agricultural pursuit, timing is critical. So naturally, you’ll want to give your flowers the best chance, which all depends on them having access to the right growing conditions.

So, when is it perfect to transplant daylilies?

Well, there is no short answer. You can divide and transplant daylilies at any time if the ground is workable.   

These beautiful flowers can tolerate extreme conditions as they are hardy. Gardeners in the tropics transplant their daylilies at any point during the year.

However, if you’re living in a place that experiences extreme, changing seasons, such as the northern regions, the timing for transplanting daylilies is critical. Experienced gardeners recommend transplanting in spring, just when the shoots are starting to emerge.

So, whether you’re growing your daylilies outdoors or indoors, spring remains the ideal time to transplant or repot these flowers.

Repotting or transplanting daylilies when they are just beginning to sprout makes them easier to handle.

Additionally, growth hormones are hyper at this stage in development. This gives your daylilies quick adaptability to the new environment. Nonetheless, you don’t need to worry much about the size as it’s not a key factor. You can still transplant daylilies at any stage.

The cool and moist conditions in spring, however, help your plants handle transplant shock better. Most plants experience stress during transplanting due to uprooting and dividing.

Dividing daylilies often causes the weakening of their root systems. As a result, you may also sever some roots during the transplant process.

This reduces their water intake ability, causing significant plant stress as a result. Usually, larger, well-established plants suffer more transplant shock than younger, supple ones.

Luckily for daylilies, they often sprout afresh in the spring for those living in the northern hemisphere. During spring, the root growth is still quite vibrant and aggressive. So, transplanting in early spring gives your plants ample recovery time, enough for them to flower later in the season.

However, it is recommended that gardeners in the south transplant daylilies after the last bloom in the summer.

This timing means that anywhere between late summer to autumn is suitable. Remember to mulch your daylilies if you plant them in the fall months to avert winter frost damage.

Preparing Ground for Transplanting

Preparing Ground for Transplanting

Daylilies are hardy and can tolerate adverse conditions. Flower breeders enjoy a field day dealing with these unusual plants because they have proven to be adaptable to many soils.

Mostly, they tend to thrive without much problem in the soil in which they grow. These durable perennials have also been known to withstand diverse site conditions, so it is no wonder they are a favorite in many gardens as they are easy to cultivate.

However, you’ll want to give your plants the best care for better results. Although they are not picky, daylilies tend to thrive in sunny locations and well-drained moist soil. So, ensure the site you choose for your flowers receives enough sunlight.

A minimum of six hours of direct sunlight is enough to bring out the best in daylilies. However, full sun throughout the day is preferable.

You’ll also need to focus attention on the daylily variety when preparing your site. For example, some red and purple varieties thrive well in partial shade conditions.

The color is significant because darker hues tend to attract more sun than lighter colored blooms. So, the lighter your daylilies flowers are, the more sunshine they tolerate.

If you are using an indoor garden, use grow lights to supplement your plant’s lighting needs. For example, baskets can be hung next to the windows or placed on the balcony for direct sunlight. As their name suggests, daylilies love sites with plenty of sunlight.

You should prepare the planting before dividing the daylilies to reduce stress during transplanting.

Dig a separate hole for each daylily. The hole should have enough depth to allow the roots to spread out. The measurements should be about four inches deeper and wider than the roots.

If you can’t get the measurements right, ensure the hole is twice as wide as the roots and about a foot deep. Make the gap wider if you’re placing multiple transplants in one spot.

You can fill the hole with about two inches of organic compost to make the soil more nutritious.

Suppose you’re transplanting daylilies according to container size. One plant for a small-sized container could be enough as daylilies grow in clumps that multiply quickly.

You can also transplant daylilies in raised garden beds in case of poorly drained soil or limited gardening space. Only after site preparation is it suitable to transplant daylilies.

Process of Transplantation

Transplanting daylilies follows a specific but simple procedure. Therefore, you should not experience any difficulties transplanting these flowers.

First, start by selecting the patch of flowers you would like to divide. Choose from clumps that are looking rather crowded or those straying from the planting zone.

Also, healthy transplants are likely to give you healthy plants and bright flowers. Remember to inspect for pests or signs of disease. You do not want to spread the infection across your garden. 

After selecting your preferred specimens, use scissors to remove half of their green foliage. Trim down the leaves to about 10 inches for easy handling. Removing excess vegetation makes your plants easier with which to work.

This practice applies especially to gardeners in the south who transplant their blooms in the fall months. Of course, you must spare some leaves to provide the roots and the plant with the necessary energy.

For those transplanting daylilies in spring, your plants will be sprouting, so there is no need for trimming. Once you’ve chosen the specimens for transplanting, follow the steps below.

This dirt removal enables you to easily see and determine the number of divisions you’ll need to make. Do not worry about severing a root, as daylilies are quite tough and will still grow.

Crown rot is one of the most typical ailments of the daylily. Crown rot will stunt the growth of your plants, so you will want to avoid this issue as it will hinder their progress.

Southern regions are prone to crown rot in daylilies due to the cold conditions and prevalence of nematodes. Drying your plants before planting reduces this risk effectively.

Place the plants inside the holes in the prepared site. Hold the fan upright in the spot while refilling the hole with dirt.

Fill the hole, so the crown of the plant slightly protrudes at the surface. The plant may not properly grow if you smother its top under a heap of soil. This action might increase the potential of crown rot.

Is Fertilization Needed?

The organic compost added during planting is often sufficient for many plants.

After all, daylilies are vigorous growers even without added manure. However, you can add slow-release composted organic matter like animal manure in spring or fall to maintain healthy growth.

You can also top-dress with nitrogen-rich fertilizers once your plants have established growth. The top dressing works well just before your plants start flowering. Fertilization is essential for supporting transplanting daylilies to enhance their development and blooming potential.

Nevertheless, most of the time, daylilies do not require extra fertilizer. It mainly depends on the soil. Feed them regularly, especially if the soil is deficient in nutrients.

Sandy soil, for instance, can be lacking in the essential minerals required by your plants.

On the other hand, well-drained acidic soil does not require any modifications. Keep in mind that transplanting daylilies will be adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions.

Flowers Daylilies Go Well With

Suppose you are the type of gardener who loves to mix and match for an alluring design.

Then you’re in luck working with transplanting daylilies, as they blend wonderfully with other flowers. Spice up your flowerbeds with multiple fragrances by mixing your daylilies with a myriad of these companion flowers.

  • White sage
  • Lady’s Mantle
  • Clustered bellflower
  • African lily
  • Coneflowers
  • Lavender
  • Daisies
  • Garden Phlox
  • Black-Eyed Susan
  • Speedwell
  • Baby’s breath
  • Yarrow
  • Bergamot
  • Echinacea
  • Russian Sage

Conclusion

The daylily stands out as a beautiful perennial for the sun garden. Daylilies are outstanding with their bright accents, constantly bathing gardens in color and fragrance. They come in a diverse spectrum of colors, sizes, shapes, and patterns.

It is hard not to find a feature you’ll love about them, not forgetting their resilience. They are hardy and can withstand drought and cold to keep blooming time and time again.

Even more intriguing are their flowers, which only last a day, making you appreciate each bloom even more than other flowers.

However, they need some care and attention, whether you are transplanting daylilies among other flowers or in their own garden beds. But you will have to transplant your daylilies for optimal care and growth regularly.

Resources:

Tyler C Rich

Tyler C Rich is the founder and chief editor at TopsyGardening.com. An experienced gardener and a professionally trained agriculture development expert, Rich has worked in the gardening and landscaping industry for more than a few decades. Although he has retired, his spark for developing the best urban and indoor gardens has not faded a bit. He uses TopsyGardening.com as a platform to come across enthusiastic gardeners and share the unique insights he has acquired through years of experience. Rich is interested in aquaponics and technology apart from conventional gardening techniques.