Daylilies: The Perfect Perennial
daylilies are nicknamed the perfect perennial for their hardiness, beauty, ease of maintenance and adaptability to both dry and wet sites. Here are tips on how and when to plant, and how to use them effectively in gardens
The famed, fleeting splendor of each daylily blossom (flowers open in the morning and wither by late afternoon) has provided the botanical name of Hemerocallis, meaning "beauty for a day." Nicknamed "the perfect perennial," the daylily is regarded as one of the most versatile and reliable of garden plants, for few others can tolerate such a wide range of growing conditions: full sun or part shade, sandy or clay soils, slightly dry sites or those with less than perfect drainage. Daylilies blend as easily into carefully planned and manicured borders as they do into more naturalistic settings; their strong flower scapes never need staking and plants are highly resistant to pests and diseases. At one time, the daylily's greatest liability was considered to be a limited color range -- lemon yellow to orange-red. During the past three decades however, a virtual explosion of named daylily cultivars (over 32,000), has greatly expanded the available offering to include nearly the entire color spectrum (except for blue and pure white), as well as new flower forms and heights that range from under six inches to over four feet.