Saskatchewan·Feature

#YouShouldGrowThis: Daylilies make a mid-summer garden shine

CBC gardening columnist Lyndon Penner explains why you should grow more than one kind of daylily.

CBC gardener Lyndon Penner says you should grow daylilies in your garden

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      Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are not true species of lilies, though they are in the lily family. They are originally from cold places in Asia (the Chinese once cultivated them as vegetables), and they are ideally suited to regions that have short, hot summers and long, cold winters. 

      - Lyndon Penner

      Daylilies range from wee dwarves to immense four foot giants, all of them forming sizeable clumps of strappy, grass-like leaves and immense clusters of flowers on tall, bare stems called scapes.

      They come in a veritable rainbow of colours (though oranges and golds predominate) and require little once they're established. They enjoy fertility and moisture, but they're highly adaptable, and once established, they're quite drought resistant.

      They have no pest or disease issues and are also fairly inexpensive. Whether you've been gardening for years or you're just getting into it, these are the perfect perennials! 

      Firewheel daylily will heat up your garden (Lyndon Penner)

      Short-lived blooms, long-term pay off

      Daylilies are so named because each individual blossom only lasts from 12-24 hours. This may sound undesirable, but in fact daylilies flower for many weeks at a time, and can be expected to have a long season of bloom. They need a sunny spot and they are very unhappy in shade.

      Daylilies are fabulous nectar sources for pollinators — both butterflies and hummingbirds are very fond of the blossoms. 

      A splash of colour that is hard to resist. (Lyndon Penner)

      So many choices

      There are a wide variety of cultivars that exist, some simple and elegant, and others elaborate and unusual. There are some excellent bicolours and some with flowers that are enormous. A few of them are also fragrant.

      If you're looking for a fabulous, low maintenance perennial that provides a lot of beauty for not very much work, you should grow daylilies.  

      #YouShouldDoThis

      Are you already growing daylilies? Want to share your pictures?  Show us on Twitter @CBCSask or Facebook and use the hashtags #YouShouldGrowThis and #YouShouldDoThis.

      About the Author

      Lyndon Penner

      Columnist

      Lyndon is a gardening expert and columnist with CBC. Follow him on Twitter at @CBCgardener.

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