More About Day Lilies
September 30, 2009
Allan in Perennial Plants, day lilies, hemerocallis

Magnificent Rainbow is a late blooming Day Lily that grows 18 inches high. Image courtesy of Hemerocallis MontfortThere is an explanation why there have been so many postings on this site about the Day Lily, or Hemerocallis. I have been rediscovering this plant all season long after years of deliberately boycotting it. Here’s why:-

One of my objections to this plant has been color. The varieties that I had originally planted were never true to promise and bloomed in shades that were either too insipid or too harsh. As time passed, I did not pay attention to the fact that breeders were developing new colors that might work for me. It has only been recently that I have started to notice them.

Another objection to this plant had been the fact that landscape architects overuse it in their projects. But now I understand why. After a garden has been professionally planted there is never a guarantee that it will always be properly cared for. Hemerocallis is one of several perennials that can outlive neglect and never appear messy.

The last objection is anonymity. For years, I hadn’t noticed Day Lilies that grew in other peoples’ gardens. Hemerocallis plants that bloom from early spring to mid summer, in a well planted perennial garden, tend to be overshadowed by plants that have more attractive flowers. However, the late varieties that bloom in August and September have less competition and therefore are easier to admire.

My renewed interest in Day Lilies was sparked when I began to take note of these late blooming cultivars. They can be vivid at a time of year when the garden is beginning to wane. I recently identified those varieties that work best in my color schemes and that are easily available to me. I will post those results shortly. In the meanwhile, move over, Stella d’Oro, and make room for your new cousins.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (
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