Daylilies are the perfect perennial in many ways. Easy to grow, easy care and tough as nails. If they have a downfall it would be that each flower stays true to its name, and does just bloom for one day. Most daylilies bloom early in the morning, lasting through the day to fold up and end in the late evening. How is it possible then to enjoy these beautiful flowers over a long period of time? Would you believe the entire summer!
First of all each daylily plant sends up scapes throughout the flowering period. Scapes are leafless stalks which bear the flowers. Each plant sends up one scape at a time but can send up several scapes over the blooming season. Most scapes have two or more branches. As well, the number of blooms on a single scape can be from 10 to a 100.
Add this to the fact that some daylilies bloom extra early in June, others bloom in mid summer and a selection do not bloom until late summer right on through into the fall. Still other cultivars have been bred to re-bloom. Some re-bloomers flower early summer and then again in the fall, others bloom in short periods which follow shortly after each other. When you consider all of these attributes, careful planning and choosing of daylily cultivars will reward you with a very long season of daylily flowers in your garden.
It is always a bit of a thrill when the first daylilies start to bloom. This is especially true when you have added a few new cultivars to your collection and this is the year they will be blooming for the first time. A short list of early blooming daylilies would include Happy Returns, Flava, Always Afternoon, Spacecoast Fancy Dancer, Bertie Ferris, Bette Davis Eyes, Inherited Wealth, Fun Fling, Chasing Shadows and of course Stella De Oro.
Late blooming daylilies might include Joyous Wonder, Spirit of Life, North Wind Dancer, May May, Pumpkin Time, Final Touch, Autumn Wood and Chicago Apache.
Re-bloomers are a little trickier for northern gardeners. Many of the daylilies from the south are classified as re-bloomers, however our northern growing season is usually too short for these plants to complete the second cycle. Often we are disappointed to discover that our re-bloomer does not perform. Many hybridizers are working on northern re-bloom, the leader being Darrel Apps. It is most likely just a matter of time. In the meantime a few we can count on are Stella De Oro, Happy Returns and Pardon Me. A few great daylilies hybridized by Darrel Apps are Final Touch, Big Time Happy, Happy Returns, Bridgeton Invention and Pardon Me.
The trick then is to choose a wide selection of cultivars that bloom at different times, early, mid and late summer then throw in a few re-bloomers if your growing season is long enough. Everyone can grow Stella De Oro for repeat blossoms. Stagger the daylilies around your garden to further lengthen the season. Be picky and choose those cultivars that are know to produce many scapes and even more buds for greater flower power.
The best way to buy daylilies is through a direct grower and collector. This is where you will get all the info you need for each cultivar and a wide selection to choose from. This usually means ordering through mail order, but with daylilies this is not a concern. They travel exceptionally well and prices are usually kinder.
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