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Entries in Daylilies (3)


Hemerocallis Sticker Shock; Eye-catching, Expensive Daylilies 

Every season, in early January, the daylily catalogues arrive like precise clockwork. I am deliberating whether or not I will order more fans this year for a garden that cries out enough hemerocallis already! Being the undisciplined plant collector that I am, it’s difficult to resist adding more.

To deflect attention away from the empty order sheet that wants to be filled, I decided to play a mind game. Using the catalogue from Hemerocallis Montfort, a local grower in the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains, I made a hypothetical collection of those plants that combine strong, eye-catching visuals, with high to very high prices tags. By coincidence, most of the selection is better suited for a hot-colored garden.

Long hours and much energy are invested in breeding new varieties of hemerocallis. Primarily, that accounts for the higher prices. It will take from three to six years before they become more affordable. Until then, this assortment will not appear on my to buy list. 

 Bass Gibson is  bright yellow and orange with exceptionally toothy edges. Strong thick scapes grow 32 inches high, with 3 to 5 branches, flowers measure 5.5 inches and are sunfast until late afternoon. Plant  produces 20 to 30 buds, dormant foliage, and blooms early to mid season.

Running Hot has flowers that bloom red with a ruffled gold edge and measure 6.5 inches. The scapes reach 28 inches high, with wide laterals, 4-way branching, and 30 to 35 buds. With beautiful low arching evergreen foliage, it blooms early to mid season.


Jennifer Trimmer produces blooms that measure 6 ¾” in lavender purple with watermark and knobby gold edge, foliage is evergreen, and scapes are 30 inches tall. The breeder is so impressed with the appearance of this variety that he has named it after his daughter. It blooms early to mid season with repeats.


Ruckus  has blooms measuring 5.5 inches on 28 inch scapes. Flowers are yellow with brushed cinnamon rose highlights with fireworks all over the petal edges and most of the sepal edges, flowers midseason, dormant foliage.


Dances with Giraffes produces two branches of very tall scapes reaching  60 inches high, with massive cascading blooms that measure 8 inches across, flowering medium late with a 26 bloom count, in gold yellow with a green throa; foliage is dormant.


Kathrine Marin has a watermark on cherry pink coloring with wide, knobby creamy-gold edges. The 6-inch flowers are borne on strong 33-inch scapes, having 3 to 4 branches. Each branch has 5 to 7 buds, creating a high bud count, foliage is semi evergreen and flowers bloom mid season to late.


Orange Grove  produces a flower in pumpkin orange with red eye and serrated edge. Its tall elegant scapes reach 33 inches high and hold flat heavy iridescent blooms that measure 6.5 inches across in an outfacing manner for perfect viewing; 4-way branching (2 laterals plus terminal “y”), 35-40 buds, blooms early with repeats; evergreen foliage.


Jims Day Lilies

Jim and Joyce Shultz grow daylilies in upstate New York. While driving along a secondary highway, I came upon their lily farm because it sits right on the road. There is no way to miss it.The panorama picture above is one of several beautiful vistas of their lily fields. Naturally, as with all other amateur photos of gardens, these fields look much better when seen in person. There are many varieties of lilies to choose from as one meanders through the wide paths between the plantings. Individual cultivars are clearly identified by very large name boards that sit beneath each variety. If you plan to drive through upstate New York, it would be a worthwhile detour to visit this grower. Here are the coordinates:

Jim’s Day Lilies, 2213 Route 74,Ticonderoga, NY, 12883.    518-503-5065

I accessed this location from Interstate 87 at exit 28 where I picked up Route 74 towards Ticonderoga. Eastbound, it’s just past Eagle Lake, on the left side of the road.



Elegant and Easy Care Hemerocallis

This is Hemerocallis "Over The Top". It is aptly named because it has a lot to offer. It is double petalled and its flowers are 8 inches wide. However, don't expect its color to be as rich in your garden as it appears here. Its actual color is muted. .Hemerocallis or Daylily is a very hardy perennial. It will grow in any soil, under any condition. Heat, humidity and drought cannot affect this perennial. Plant it on slopes for erosion control. Cut it down with the lawn mower in the autumn and it will arise anew next spring. It demands nothing from the gardener other than to be dug up and divided if ever it gets too big for its location or if the blooms become sparse.

Daylilies have been used successfully to create flowering hedges in place of shrubbery. Use only one variety of Hemerocallis to create an attractive hedge. To rein in costs, divide a mature clump to create sufficient plants for the hedge.

Choosing a Daylily plant can be overwhelming for the novice gardener. There are almost as many varieties of Daylilies as there are stars in the sky. Select those that work best with the color scheme of the garden. And, if you are attracted to an unusual variety, don’t be afraid to include it in the flower border, even if you suspect it won’t blend. Somehow, Daylilies always blend in.

Most Daylily colors belong to the warm-hot category except for the lemon-yellows, which are the only true cold colors in the species. The photos of so- called pink or rose Daylilies that we see in catalogues, on line and on plastic nursery tags are not always true to nature. Photographers often use lens filters to enhance the pinkness of these cultivars. Expect the cultivar to flower in a color closer to peach rather than pink and you won’t be disappointed. The most extensive choices for colors and cultivars are available on line from specialty growers. It is unlikely that you will ever find such vast selections at any retail nursery.

When planting, place shorter Daylilies closer to the front of the flower bed. Others may be planted inside the flower bed according to their blooming heights. They will make themselves seen without blocking other plants because Daylilies have tall stems that allow their flowers to rise above neighboring plants.

The blooming time for Daylilies is classified as Early, Midsummer or Late while cultivars such as Stella D’oro bloom intermittently all season long. A new cultivar, "Moses' Fire" blooms in early to mid-summer, then takes a break in the hottest part of the season, and reblooms again at summer's end.

When planning a perennial composition that includes Daylilies, choose varieties from all four categories to ensure a continuous display of flowers. It’s worth the effort to research late blooming Hemerocallis because these cultivars extend the blooming season at a time when so many perennials and annuals are getting tired.

When a Daylily has stopped blooming, cut its stalks and leaves down to the ground to allow fresh foliage to re-grow in its place. The new green fountains of leaves will add elegant architectural detail to the garden for the balance of the season. If you cannot bear to cut down the leaves [many gardeners share that feeling] at least cut down the spent stalks to keep the garden looking neat.

Daylilies are hardy from zones 3a to 9b and will grow in full sun to part shade. Naturally, the best results will occur in the sun.