When is a Lily Not a Lily?
It might surprise some people to know that the daylily is not a
true lilium. It is called a lily because the flowers resemble those of
the lilium genus. A native of Asia, the botanical name of this
herbaceous perennial is Hemerocallis. The beautiful blooms only last
one day, but because each plant bears so many flowers, it still
manages to have a flowering period of over six months. Each clump of
daylilies has many flower stalks and each stalk can bear up to fifty
Daylilies are the ideal flower to grow in anyoneís garden. They
are flood, drought and frost hardy and those that become dormant in
winter even survive snow. They are not susceptible to disease, donít
mind seaside conditions and are not fussy about soil type. They
donít mind shade, either, but will flower better in full sun. What
more could one ask of a plant? A good colour range? Daylilies have
These days, daylilies come in not just yellow and orange, but a huge
variety of colours. Some are even bi-coloured. There are big round
ones, triangular, ruffled and laced white ones, some have watermarks,
others have fancy eyes. What a variety!
And they have as diverse a range of size as they do colour and
shape. The smallest flowers are 3cm across, while the largest make
20cm. Foliage can range from under 30cm to over 1.5m. The smaller
varieties with grass-like foliage are quite suitable for borders, and
all should be planted about 60 cm apart with the crown at ground
level. Fertilise and mulch well for the best performance.
Potted daylilies can be planted into the garden at any time of
year, but if you buy bare-rooted ones from the nursery, then late
winter/early spring is a good time to plant them, and again in late
summer through autumn. This avoids the absolute hottest and coldest
parts of the Aussie year.
Many of the modern daylilies have been developed in the USA and so
will be found in specialist nurseries. The cost can be rather high,
due to the thousands of plants that must be grown each year to produce
genuine advances. But it will be a worthwhile investment in your
garden for such a hardy and long-flowering plant is surely hard to
beat. They are the perfect low-maintenance plant.
Get free plants! Hydrangeas will be shooting soon and they are one
of the easiest plants to propagate. The hibiscus also grows easily
from cuttings. I pop pieces into any spare pot plant and they seem to
grow roots with no trouble. Fuchsia cuttings can also be taken in
spring, but will do even better in the autumn.
Softwood tip cuttings can be taken while the plant is growing well
and the easiest way of making a mini-greenhouse to help roots develop
is to simply cut a soft-drink bottle in half. Poke a hole in the
bottom with your garden fork, fill it with potting mix and push in two
or three cuttings, then pop the top half back over the bottom half.
If you find it hard to slip on, make a vertical cut of about 2cm in
the bottom half. This will give a little bit of extra space. You can
also use a clear plastic bag for the top if you prop it up with some
twigs. An elastic band will prevent the wind from blowing it off.
Friends love it when you bring them a gift from your own garden.
Until next time, happy gardening!
Author Bev Boorer has had two children`s books and four short stories
published, as well as several craft articles. She has studied with the
Australian School of Journalism and the School of Writing, Queensland,
She works as a volunteer editor for www.Greypath.com and
contributes gardening articles to their online ezine,Dinkum. She has
also written an ebook `EasyGardening`available at http//www.gardeningebook.beststuffhere.com