• 52°

Daylilies more than a ditch lily

By Amy-Lynn Albertson
Rowan County Extension director

The daylily is one of my favorite perennial flowers. It’s an excellent plant for a negligent gardener like me. Some folks refer to the orange color daylily as a ditch lily. It’s a robust plant that can survive drought and has few pests. They can be grown in full sun or light shade. The daylily belongs to the genus Hemerocallis which means “beauty for a day” in Latin. They are native to Asia, but since the early 1930s, hybridizers in the U.S. and England have made tremendous improvements in the daylily. At first, there were just yellow, orange and red colors.

Today the color ranges from the palest lemon, bright yellow and gold, orange, scarlet, maroon, wine-reds, light pink, rose, lavender, grape, and nearly true blue. The orange and yellow ditch lilies we see on the roadside are cultivated forms of the wild types of daylilies that have escaped and are growing as wild. Today we have more than 80,000 daylily cultivars. Like most flowers, daylilies have entire clubs and societies dedicated to them. Another great thing about daylilies is they are easy to share. They make great pass-a-long plants as they need to be divided every 3-5 years. They are excellent to use on banks for erosion control and provide a nectar source for butterflies and hummingbirds. However, they are toxic to cats, so be mindful of where you plant them if you have cats who like to munch on plants and flowers. People can eat the flower, though, and it tastes like asparagus or zucchini.

The flower can be eaten fresh or dried, but it may be diuretic or laxative, so eat carefully.

Dividing plants every 3-5 years also encourages prolific flowering. Early spring or right after flowering are the best times to divide, but it can be done throughout the growing season. Divide plants, by lifting the entire clump with a gardening fork and use the fork or your hands to divide it into sections. Daylily clumps contain individual plants with a fan-shaped group of leaves attached to roots. When you divide, leave at least four fans in each division. Re-plant the new clumps at the same level they were initially growing, and water thoroughly. For more information about daylilies or other horticultural topics please contact the Rowan County Extention Center at 704-216-8970 or visit us online at http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post

Comments

Ask Us

Ask Us: What are plans if hospitals reach COVID-19 capacity?

Elections

County tops 38,000 ballots cast during early, absentee voting

Elections

Political Notebook: Rowan Board of Elections receives more than 60,000 pens for voters

Nation/World

New storm Zeta a hurricane threat to Mexico, US Gulf Coast

Crime

Blotter: Teenager charged with felony firearm and drug offenses

Elections

GOP slowly gaining nationwide as early vote total surpasses 2016

Local

BlockWork returns for 10th year of beautification

Local

Big Chili Cook Off changes format, sells 250 tickets

Lifestyle

Kiwanis Club names five recipients of Centennial Awards

Lifestyle

Rowan County bridge dedicated to local police officer who made ultimate sacrifice

Local

Camp Barnhardt to host drive-in movie, trick-or-treat

Business

Spicing things up: Mise En Place food truck finds success serving Indian fare

Lifestyle

Church foundation distributes record amount of money

Business

Biz Roundup: ‘Forward Rowan’ continues to draw support, raise money

Education

School board set to vote on Faith, Enochville closures Monday

Health

Local health officials worry pandemic will cause long-term effects for children’s health

Local

Ordinance change needed to address night train noise in Salisbury

Elections

Election 2020: Heggins, Warren talk racial injustice, economy

News

Cunningham keeps low in NC Senate race marked by his affair

BREAKING NEWS

Two bodies found in home on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Man arrested in Kannapolis plotted to kill Biden, found with guns, explosive material, court documents state

Local

Flagger clipped by vehicle, taken to hospital with minor injuries

Coronavirus

County finishes week with five deaths, one of 36 to receive letter from state health officials

Business

Salisbury Newsmedia reaches agreement to sell Innes Street building; Post to remain tenant