The Q&A Archives: Daylillies / Blooming

Question: Please advise why my old daylilies are not blooming. I have tried moving them to a different location with plenty of sun. However, most do not bloom, they make foliage.

Answer: There are numerous cultivars of daylily. Many of them are hybrids. Within these cultivars and hybrids there is a great variation in the degree of deciduousness. Some cultivars need a cold period in order to initiate flowering. This cold period or chilling requirement will vary from no chilling needed to an extended period of freezing weather required. My guess is that you have a cultivar that needs chilling, and it needs more chilling than it is getting in Mooringsport. The reason your lilies bloomed the first year is that they were chilled, probably in storage, before you planted them. Daylilies that do not get their chilling requirement met will grow and produce nice foliage, but they will not bloom.

I am giving you an educated guess here. You can test my hypothesis by doing the following. This fall (about September) dig up several bulbs of your non-blooming daylilies and plant each bulb in a one-gallon pot in potting soil. Water the pots, allow them to drain thoroughly and put them in the refrigerator. Observe them periodically. If the bulbs start to grow, remove them from the refrigerator and carefully (try to keep the potting soil ball intact) plant them back in the garden. If no growth appears, plant them back to the garden anyway around the first of March and see what happens. If they bloom, I am correct in my guess. If they do not ? it is back to the drawing board. If you attempt this experiment, please let me know what happens.

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