Daylilies forum: Wintering Daylilies

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Name: Logan Tipton
Lexington, Kentucky (Zone 6a)
Jun 10, 2014 9:37 PM CST
I just read a post about losing daylilies in winter. I am new to planting daylilies and want to be prepared when September/October rolls around. I live in Lexington, KY and it can get fairly cold in winter. I have read several different articles on different websites and they all suggest different things. I realize that maintenance depends on regions. None of these articles have been written by someone living close to Lexington. Here are a few questions that I would appreciate some advice on: Do you trim daylilies to prepare for winter or after winter is over? How short do you trim the daylilies? Do you put down mulch, pine needles, or other protection? How deep do you place the protection? Do you cover the entire plant or just over the roots? Do you dig plants up for winter and store in pots in a non heated garage? Do I need a greenhouse for winter? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I know it is early for this subject, but I want to be prepared.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Jun 11, 2014 1:07 AM CST

Gone But Not Forgotten

Hi TIpton,

I've lived in Lexington, east of Lexington, Louisville and now in W KY over the years. Even with the incredibly icy cold winter just past, I lost no daylilies. They seem to love Kentucky gardens in spite of the ever changing weather. In fall, when the foliage begins to turn yellow and brown, I cut them back to just about an inch or two above the soil line. They'll come back in spring. I do mulch, but not very deep, maybe 2 or 3 inches. If you have some of the new and very special hybrids - the very expensive beauties, you might want to give them extra protection, but for our area, if they are happy in the soil and if they've done well for you during the growing and blooming season, they'll likely be just fine.

You are a zone colder than here, but since I've lived there I can pretty well assure you that they'll overwinter well in your garden. Good soil, mostly sun, water, and seeing that they are well established in your garden will provide them with all they need for winter. They'll die back and will be dormant, but they'll see you again in the spring.

Some of our other members might give you more advice as well, but unless next winter is more drastic than this past one, there should be no problem. For us, it's probably one of the easiest plants to grow.

Glad you're here! There are several other Kentuckians on ATP as well and many of them are also daylily lovers. If you'll scroll all the way to the bottom of ATP's home page, in very fine print, you'll find 'Memberlist'. Click on it, give your zip code and you'll find others who live nearer to you than I do. Maybe they grow daylilies as well.

Here's an easy link:

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Name: Tina
Where the desert meets the sea (Zone 9b)
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Jun 11, 2014 1:44 AM CST
Just adding a note, a question really, in case tiptonla has semi- or evergreen daylilies, too. I'm assuming that those might get cut back a bit less (perhaps 4-6 inches) as their foliage might stay above-ground and the plant remain more active (developing root) during winter?
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Jun 11, 2014 2:18 AM CST
Welcome Tiptonla. Welcome!
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Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
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Jun 11, 2014 4:35 AM CST
Hello Tipton,

Sharon is right, daylilies do well in KY. I am in Northern KY in the Ohio River valley and grow over 600 varieties of daylilies. This past winter was not the norm. Until last winter, I rarely lost a Daylily during winter ( unless it was a southern hybridized evergreen that was not hardy). This past winter I lost quite a few (about 40) BUT most were just planted last fall or moved last fall. A couple were evergreens that I had only had a year or two ( winters were mild those years). I believe most of my losses were due to the MANY freeze and thaws ( without snow cover) that occurred verses the cold as I know a few of the varieties I lost are doing well in gardens north of me that were colder.

I do not cut back leaves but let them die back ( most of mine are dormant or semievergreen). I do cut or pull dead leaves to discourage pests that lay eggs on foliage. I mulch, but not heavily. An issue with mulch is rotting out the crown in spring so make sure it is pulled back . Daylilies do not like to have wet feet ( water sitting on roots and crown).

Hope this helps. I am sure others here will step forward and help too.

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Name: James
South Bend, IN (Zone 5b)
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Jun 11, 2014 7:53 AM CST
I will chime in on a couple of things:

I am a zone colder than the OP but would bet dollars to donuts that I have more consistent snow cover. Since that is the case I don't typically mulch in the fall. The biggest problem that I run into is moisture in the spring. If we go through a bunch of freezing and thawing it can wreak havoc on the plants (which, depending on the snow that year, I may or may not be able to see). That is also why I cut the foliage back in the fall. I generally wait as long as I can so this is usually late November or if it's really mild, early December. I do this because I have learned over the years that having all of that foliage sitting on top of the crown in the spring is just asking for trouble in these parts.

I don't treat the semi-evergreens or evergreens any differently than I do the dormants. They will usually put up a new leaf or 2 until they are covered with snow at which point they almost all go dormant. This past winter, as cold as it was, EVERYTHING that was outdoors went dormant.

Until you are super comfortable with how daylilies respond to your climate, I would advise against adding or moving plants past the 1st of September. That's not because they are all going to die if you do, but more to give you the piece of mind that barring the most extreme of circumstances they will be fine and it gives you a chance to see how they respond to the changing conditions.

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Name: Logan Tipton
Lexington, Kentucky (Zone 6a)
Jun 11, 2014 10:19 AM CST
Update: Here is a list of what I am trying to protect:

Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Alice in Wonderland')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'American Revolution')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Apache Tears')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Apricot Sparkles')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Bama Music')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Bold Stripe')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Brag On')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Bunny Puff')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Calling You')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Carlotta')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Chartreuse Magic')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Elegant Candy')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Fairy Tale Pink')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Fire King')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Frans Hals')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Hall's Pink')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Little Wart')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Melon Balls')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Mother Mine')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Mountain Snow')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'My Sweet Rose')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Olive Bailey Langdon')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Optimism')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pardon Me')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pastures of Pleasure')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Peaceful Alcove')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Peaceful Promise')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pineapple Swirl')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pink Fancy')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pink Puff')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Platinum Palette Melon Mist')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Platinum Palette Salmon Sunrise')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Prairie Blue Eyes')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Puddin')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Quiet Whisper')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Raindrop')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Rocket City')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Rose Katherine')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Rosy Returns')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Ruby Sentinel')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Saucy Flourish')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Siloam June Bug')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Siloam Little Girl')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Sing Again')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'South Seas')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Strutter's Ball')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Wine Delight')

My list seems to be dormant except for:


Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Pink Fancy')


Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Carlotta')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Fairy Tale Pink')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Going Bananas')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'My Sweet Rose')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Olive Bailey Langdon')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Platinum Palette Melon Mist')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Prairie Blue Eyes')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Raindrop')
Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Wine Delight')


Daylily (Hemerocallis 'Hall's Pink') = Dormant?
[Last edited by tiptonla - Jun 11, 2014 10:28 AM (+)]
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