As reliable bloomers and prolific multipliers, daylilies are a favorite for home gardens in many different climates and regions. While these hardy plants can thrive on their own, they look their best when they receive a generous haircut. There are other times when pruning daylilies can come in handy, but don’t worry if you happen to miss a year. Your daylilies will very likely continue to grow and thrive without your interference. However, to make your garden look its tidiest and let your lilies perform at their best, it makes sense to give them a systematic pruning every now and then.
Regular Maintenance: The Daylily Haircut
Deadheading and dead-leaf pruning will help your daylily look its most handsome, so keep your shears ready to go throughout the blooming season and into fall. Remove dead flowers manually if they don’t fall off on their own, and once a flowering stalk has produced all its available blossoms, cut it off as close to the base of the plant as possible. Trimming the stalks in this way encourages
Seasonal Maintenance: Dividing New Growth
Daylilies are the kind of perennial plants that spread as they get older, and you can actually separate the clumps that form from this spreading and space them out for a more controlled landscape. You can usually separate the root clumps with a sharp shovel, but in order to actually see what you’re doing and cause minimal damage to the valuable root structure, it makes good sense to cut the leaves back to about 6 inches. It’s best to do this at the end of the blooming season as the lily plant heads into dormancy; that way, you won’t cause damage to new foliage growth with your cutting and separating efforts.
Fertilization after Cutback
Daylilies, moving into the fall and colder weather after their haircut, benefit from a solid fertilization to generate winter hardiness and growth. A good general starter fertilizer like a 6-24-24 with iron and a minor nutrient package is perfect. High in phosphorus and potassium (the 24-24) is great for helping the plant store food for the winter and be ready to explode in color and growth when the time is right.