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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in Moses' Fire Daylily (1)

Wednesday
May062009

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.