Low Maintenance Plants
Plant Name: Hemerocallis hybrida
Overall Low Maintenance Rating: 4.5 Stars
One low maintenance perennial I couldn’t manage without is the Hemerocallis, or daylily. When they think of daylilies, many people think only of the bright orange ditch lilies found along every roadside or the interminable gold-colored ‘Stella D’Oro’, usually surrounded by a sea of red mulch. I have to admit that if these were the only choices available, I would banish them without ceremony from my garden. In the first instance, ditch lilies can actually become an invasive nuisance as they spread enthusiastically by root and seed. In the second instance, well, red mulch really SHOULD be banned; ‘Stella’ is OK but much overused.
Daylilies actually come in almost every color except blue and true black, and in a variety of sizes, from delicate dwarfs to towering giants. They can go years without division and are untouched by disease or pests in most areas. Bloom starts in late June and usually runs through July and into the early part of August. When not in bloom, they do a wonderful impression of a decorative grass.
Disease 4.5 Stars
|'Startle' showing thrip damage|
|I'm not as lazy as I look!|
Invasiveness 5 Stars
Domesticated daylilies are not invasive. The clumps expand politely and usually only need division every 3 to 4 years. The wild orange ditch lilies (hemerocallis fulva), on the other hand, can become quite the nuisance. They seed readily and expand wildly.
General Maintenance – Water 5 Stars
I’m about as lazy as it gets about watering. Unless a plant is in a pot and gasping its last breath, I am not likely to break out the hose. The daylilies absolutely don’t care. During the 3 weeks without rain and temps in the 90s, they were about the only plants which shrugged it off. This was during peak bloom time, too.
Not once in the years I’ve been growing daylilies have I fertilized them. In theory, they might do better if I did, but I can’t see how!