Dividing daylilies is by far the easiest and quickest way to propagate new plants. They can also be grown by seed but it takes much longer. Every year in our nursery we divide our left over (from the previous season) plants to produce hundreds of new plants.
Our most popular variety is Stella de Oro. In this article and accompanying slide show it will be the variety we are dividing. Stella de Oro is an incredible performer, it’s a small grower and flowers repeatedly throughout the growing season.
When is the best time to divide daylilies?
We find the best time for dividing daylilies is very late winter or early spring. Basically whenever they start “waking up”. This may vary from climate to climate or even season to season.
The reason we wait until they are “waking up” is that it allows us to see the individual plants within the existing clump. There’s no excessive foliage to contend with.
Other benefits to dividing in late winter- early spring are the temperatures are cool and there’s generally plenty of moisture in the ground. This really reduces the amount of stress on the fresh plants.
How do you divide your Stella de Oro daylilies?
The first thing you’ll need to do is dig up a clump or remove a clump from a pot. As I mentioned we divide our left over plants from the previous season. Either way the actual dividing process is the same.
- Remove all or as much of the soil from around the roots as possible.
- Sterilise a pair of cutting secetuers (garden scissors) or sharp knife. You can use methylated spirits or vinegar.
- Cut away individual plants from the clump. Ensure there are roots attached to the new plant.
And it’s as simple as that!
Sterilising the cutting equipment will prevent any diseases from being transferred.
Now the new plants can be potted into the garden or pots. If you cannot pot immediately place damp tea towels or newspaper over the roots of the divided plants. Provided the roots remain moist they can survive like this for a week or so.
Planting or potting your day lilies.
Obviously we plant our daylilies into small pots so we can sell them throughout spring and summer. Most people will choose to plant their daylilies into the garden but those renting or with limited space may also like to plant into pots.
When planting day lilies into pots it’s important to select a good quality potting soil. Always looks for a mix with plenty of organic material and trace elements. A good mix will hold moisture yet still be well draining.
Slow release fertiliser is also a must when growing in pots. Due to the confined space the plants are unable to seek out the nutrients and minerals they need. Therefore we must supply them. You don’t need any special or expensive concoction just a general slow release will do the job.
Lastly we like to apply a seaweed fertiliser after potting and every month during the flowering season. This helps promote vigorous root growth and vibrant green foliage.
For those planting straight into garden beds you won’t need the slow release fertiliser. We like to add some compost around the roots but other than that the plants should find the nutrients and minerals they need.
We still like to water in with a seaweed fertiliser (we use seasol) but it’s unnecessary to apply regularly as with potted plants.
That’s how simple it is to divide daylilies. It’s a job even a beginner gardener will have no troubles completing. Check out the quick slide show below to get a more visual tutorial.
How often should I divide daylilies?
As a general rule we say you should divide existing clumps in the garden every 2-3 years. Clumps in pots really should’ve divided every year.
If you do not divide them the roots become a tangled mess and the plants become old and less active. That will translate into less flowers and foliage that loses some shine and vibrancy.
Dividing your clumps keeps the plants young, healthy and vibrant. The young roots will be able to travel through the soil much easier finding the nutrients and minerals that the plant needs.
Can I divide daylilies during other parts of the year?
Yes. We have often inherited clumps during various times of year. If dividing during the growing season we trim of most of the foliage (about 3/4). This reduces the amount of work the limited root system needs to do to keep the foliage alive.
Apart from that the process is exactly the same as above. And remember to keep the new plants moist until the roots are well established. You’ll know the roots are performing well by the amount of new growth on the plants.
Winter division is also performed in the same manner it’s just harder to find the individual plants within the clump.
Do I need to de-head spent day lily flowers?
You don’t need to but your daylilies will certainly benefit from having spent flowers removed. The reason is that every flower is a potential seed pod. If the plant is diverting energy into producing seeds it has less energy to spend on flower production.
All plants want to reproduce and will pursue that goal by removing the flowers (potential seeds) you are effectively forcing the plant to start the reproduction process over again, which of course means producing more flowers
Day lily ‘Stella de Oro’ General information
Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’ is a hardy perennial. It has long slender strappy deep green leaves. In late spring through to autumn it produces striking medium sized bright yellow trumpet flowers.
Daylily ‘Stella de Oro’ is a great plant for cottage gardens, as a border plant or gardens where splashes of yellow are required.
Grows well in moist well drained soils. Flowers best in full sun. To prolong flowering remove dead heads. ‘Stella de Oro’ goes dormant in late autumn and returns in late winter.
Botanical name: Hemerocallis ‘Stella D’Oro’
Common name: Daylily
Native to: Asia
Flowers: late spring-autumn
Position: Full sun/part shade