Daylilies forum: Dividing daylilies...ugh...how do YOU do it?

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Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Aug 7, 2016 7:37 PM CST
I wish there were ten of ME when it comes time to divide overgrown clumps of daylilies. What a job!!! One downfall of mine is, I wait too long.

Here is how I do it.

Hush Little Baby; purchased in 2011; noticed a decrease in blooms this year.
Size of the root ball about 18" x 12".

Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/0838c7 Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/a564e3

Next, gently knock out as much soil as possible with the dandelion weeder. Notice that the leaves are trimmed back but I left the scapes taller. That really helps to hoist the heavy root ball around until the fans are divided. At that point I will trim the scapes back to the height of the leaves.

Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/ced5aa

Next it goes to the spraying station. On the "jet" setting wash out as much soil as possible. You can see by the break in the root ball I had planted the fans originally in two groups.

Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/467825 Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/342649

Next it goes into a tub of water to soak for at least a few hours. Then I try to ease the roots apart. In this case I needed to get aggressive with the dandelion tool again to cut into the root ball in several places to break the clump up into more workable chunks.

Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/6724fe

Next the roots get washed in bleach water (ratio of water to bleach is 9:1), then rinsed in plain water, then laid out to dry. After they dry off, I replant them. I ended up with 35 fans (not counting the ones that got broken and tossed out).

Thumb of 2016-08-08/petruske/b41512

I think the "key" is recognizing WHEN it's time, and that will certainly differ from one daylily to another. One key sign is when you notice less blooms or scapes than the previous year. If you see that several years in a row, it's probably past time to divide. (Often turns out that's what I do.)
Let's hear from others how they do it.

[Last edited by petruske - Aug 7, 2016 7:47 PM (+)]
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southern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Aug 7, 2016 8:23 PM CST
I do almost exactly as you do. Actually though, I'm not sure I've ever had a decrease in blooms from needing to be divided, except for Stella d'oro. It is my motto to not mess with what is working so I have many large clumps, but sometimes it has to be done. They just start taking up too much space. Some daylilies are just so easy to divide, just washing them off with the hose & they practically fall apart, wish they all were so easy. Others entwine & have to be cut apart. Most fall somewhere in between.
Name: Amber
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Region: Missouri Garden Photography
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amberjewel
Aug 8, 2016 8:35 AM CST
@petruske when you replant the fans once they are dry, how many fans do you plant together? Will you pick 5-10 fans to put back in the original location?
Amber
Daylily Newbie
southern Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Aug 8, 2016 11:36 AM CST
I try to plant 5 fans in a clump. I often just put them back in the same spot, adding some compost to the soil first.
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Aug 8, 2016 12:27 PM CST
I've been planting 11 fans into the same spot they came from. I do spread them out a bit more though. I do mix compost and alfalfa pellets in the spot too.

The excess fans go to the back of my garden for now.

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