Like any other flowering plants, daylilies also require some amount of care, provided you want them to produce attractive flowers having great colors and form. These plants also require mulching and feeding, watering and proper positioning. These aspects of after care for daylilies are discussed in brief below.
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Mulching your daylilies regularly will help the plants to receive additional nutrients, but what is more important is that the mulch should be able to retain moisture, thereby moderating the extreme dryness and wetness of the soil. In addition, there is another advantage of mulching the daylilies. As the mulch decomposes it changes into humus, which improves the structure of the soil considerably. The best mulches that can be used include farmyard manure, garden compost or mushroom compost. However, you can also use other suitable materials like pine straw, shredded bark and leaves, as they also serve the purpose well.
If you are using garden compost or properly decomposed manures, it is best to apply them only after the foliage of the dormant daylilies have withered away and also at a time when the autumn rains help to mix them with the soil. On the other hand, if you are using dry manure, it can be applied either during autumn or spring, since they are fast acting. Moreover, it is also easier to deal with dehydrated manure. They are also safe for being used directly from the container or packet. However, you need to remember that it is not appropriate to apply organic substances from any heap of garden compost too often, because it aids in building up the soil structure on a enduring basis - something that synthetic fertilizers can never do.
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In case you are applying a much for a lasting soil cover or with a view to enrich the soil, you should apply it in a layer that is roughly anything between 5 cm and 7 cm (2 inches and 3 inches) thick. On the other hand, if you are applying mulch to provide protection to the tender evergreen daylilies to some extend during the cold winter months in areas where the winters are harsh, the mulch layer ought to be up to 30 cm (12 inches) deep and it should be removed with the onset of spring with a view to put off smothering of the new, emerging shoots. Although using leaf mould is beneficial for the soil's friability, it also has some downsides, as it increases the population of slugs considerably. In fact, leaf mould may also promote Sclerotium rolfsii or southern stem blight in some regions of the United States. So it is advisable to avoid using it in such areas.
Feeding your daylilies is not only essential for helping them to produce the best possible blooms, but also to provide nourishment to their root systems, thereby allowing the plants to develop properly and also remain in their optimal health. However, before you provide the plant with nutrients, apart from farmyard manure or garden compost, you should preferably get the soil examined to find if there are any deficiencies. While only one element may be absent from the soil, but growing daylilies successfully necessitates that the soil in your garden has a blend of several ingredients. Therefore, it is important that you get the soil checked properly before providing nutrients to the daylilies. It will certainly be worth the time and money spent on the exercise. Usually, soils in different places are very different and, hence, only one form of balanced food will not essentially be best for all soils. However, it will generally be satisfactory for most soils.
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If you want to boost the plants temporarily, it is advisable that you apply fertilizers containing high amounts of potash together with some drops of soap for it to serve as a surfactant. When you do this, it will enable the daylilies to produce flowers at their utmost potential and, at the same time be beneficial for the foliage. However, applying excessive potash-rich fertilizer may eventually result in the poisoning of the soil. Although it may seem to be incredible, even providing tomato foods helps to boost the flower production of daylilies. Using fertilizers containing high amounts of nitrogen at the onset of growing season will help to produce excellent foliage. However, this type of fertilizers should never be used after mid-summer, as it makes the fresh growths very soft as well as extremely vulnerable to damage by insects.
There are a number of other substances which you may apply to ameliorate the soil. These include alfalfa pellets, which enclose enzymes that aid in unlocking the nutrients present in fertilizers. Such soil ameliorants are extensively used by cultivators in the United States. In addition, several daylily growers, counting some prominent hybridizers, also add sludge from sewage to improve the quality of the soil. It has been found that sewage sludge contains magnesium, which is useful for augmenting the almost blue effect in the hue of the flowers and also imparts an excellent color to the foliage. In fact, using Epsom salts (also known as magnesium sulphate) helps to give similar effect. Epsom salts can be used in the proportion of three tablespoons of their crystal form for each gallon of water. Always bear in mind that Epsom salts should always be used only as a solution. Then again, using Epsom salts also has its downsides. Excessive use of these salts over an extended period of time may render the soil very acidic for the healthy growth of daylilies. At the same time, it can also result in accumulation of salt in the soil. You can apply lime to cure such intense acidity of the soil.
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Compared to feeding, watering daylilies is more important for the health of the plants. This is mainly because in the absence of sufficient water, the plants cannot take up the nutrients supplied to them. A number of daylily growers only water the plants at the time of planting or when there are severe droughts. The idea behind this is that the daylilies are worth having only if they are able to become accustomed to the prevailing conditions. Nevertheless, in the absence of adequate watering, the plants may appear to be limp, which the color of the foliage will look very poor. In addition, the plants will also produce fewer flowers, which will be of inferior as well as thinner substance. Moreover, inadequate watering will also affect the duration of the bloom and chances are that there will be very less or no re-bloom at all, especially when there is a lot of potential for re-blooming.
At the same time, it is also true that providing the plants with excessive water can result in the daylilies to rot or even die. Nevertheless, watering the daylilies adequately will help the plants to produce relatively large, better as well as more colourful blooms. Even the foliage will be healthy and the plants will produce additional as well as taller scapes having a greater bud count.
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The best way to water daylilies is to use leaky hoses, which are woven tactfully on the ground around the daylilies or by leaving a hose trickling little by little on the ground and shifting it to various areas of the garden now and then. Generally speaking, daylilies require 2.5 cm (1 inch) water every week during the summer months. This is equal to providing them with 18 litres/ 4 gallons of water for every sq meter/ yard. If you are growing daylilies in containers positioned in full sun, they need to be watered twice every day. Nearly all nurseries that have huge display gardens use overhead lines to water the plants. However, this method of watering daylilies may cause adverse effect on the next day's blooms, particularly in daylilies that have copious buds that almost touch one another. When watering is done through this method, the spent blooms turn out to be sodden and, in case they are resting against any bud, this can destroy several future blooms. However, this menace can be avoided if you remove the soggy spent flowers by hand.
Positioning your daylilies in an appropriate place is vital for their growth as well as the quality of flowers they produce. Normally, daylilies need roughly six to seven hours of sunlight every day. If you are growing daylilies in milder climatic conditions, you should never plant them in a shaded place. On the other hand, daylilies grown in extremely hot climatic conditions, especially those producing flowers having deeper shades of red, purple, red-black and purple-black, it is best to plant them in an area where the plants would receive ample morning sun, but would be in shade in the afternoons. If this is not ensured, the surface pigment layer of the blooms can melt, generating an ugly slimy effect on the surface of the flowers. Moreover, when grown in hot climatic conditions, the darker shades of daylilies may also modify their color to some extent during the course of the day. However, providing them with sufficient water provides them with a better opportunity to prevail over this problem.
It has been found that daylilies possess the aptitude to endure windy conditions. This, in fact, makes them ideal for growing in coastal areas as well as places that are windswept. Daylilies that have been planted just recently in such conditions require some sort of protection, for instance a windbreak, till they establish themselves properly.
Daylilies thrive most excellently in conditions where the humidity is high and the sky is overcast. In fact, when grown in such conditions, daylilies tend to produce flowers with richer hues. In fact, their colors are additionally richer when grown in cooler climatic conditions, but they produce less number of blooms. Nevertheless, even if you grow daylilies in cool climatic conditions, placing the plants in a protected place inside a warm microclimate may possibly help in ensuring that the plants produce flowers to their utmost potential. This is especially applicable in the case of tetraploids or those with heavy substance that are bred in places having relatively hotter climatic conditions. In addition, the blooming season of daylilies will be accelerated if they are kept in the proximity of 1.2 meters (4 feet) of night street lighting throughout the night. Preferably, you should always plant daylilies on the sunlit side of your house.