Growing and Photographing Daylilies in Sunny Regions

Posted by @Betja on
When you see a picture of a daylily you're considering for your garden, try to determine whether the picture was taken in sunlight or in shade so you can determine whether you will like it in your garden.

I live in a rain shadow area at the southeastern end of the San Joaquin Valley in California, and our average annual rainfall is somewhere between 5”–6”. We usually get zero rainfall from the beginning of April until sometime in October each year, and our summer temperatures run in the low 100s with practically no humidity.

As a result, not only do I hand water each day during the hot months, but I pot up daylilies and irises I receive by mail (and there are lots!). I put them on makeshift plywood tables on my patio under beach umbrellas until the weather cools down enough in the fall to be able to plant them in the ground without being cremated by our intense sunlight and high temperatures. This method has worked very well for me, in spite of being pretty labor intensive.

My summer daylily blooms are usually quite pastel and tend to burn compared to others from the more temperate climates with frequent rainfall and overcast days, so I take my pictures fairly early in the morning. Our climate also affects the edges; when I see a beautiful daylily with huge glorious edges I figure my edges on the same plant will be about half – but I’ll take it!

I have been frustrated by hybridizer pictures of both daylilies and irises because the colors have often been so enhanced that I feel I have been misled from time to time. Whenever I see a turquoise blue or hot pink iris I know not to trust the color in the pictures, but since I have only recently begun collecting daylilies I didn’t know not to necessarily trust the hybridizer pictures and have been disappointed a few times. But what I think is so great about the ATP Database is garden shots posted by members. I look here first whenever I find a daylily I might be interested in, and from my own experience I’ve learned to take pictures where the bloom is both in sunlight and then again in shade. In some cases there is quite a difference.

Sometimes it’s not just the camera; when I see a pink or purple daylily in the shade it often looks true pink or purple, but when I look at it in sunlight it can look very different. Here are some examples.

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/9dc1fd Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/5fb20d

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/e25d94 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/7a6a7d

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/47a39f Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/cd2837

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/63c7a5 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/16dd2b

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/81429a Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/64f494

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/8ad45c Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/d9a103

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/c18ee4 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/c0f3d0

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/642bd3 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/6e6ebb

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/1a2633 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/a3186c

Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/ac6789 Thumb of 2012-10-08/Betja/0ec8f3

I recommend that when you see a picture of a daylily you're considering for your garden, try to decide whether the picture was taken in sunlight or in shade so you can determine whether you will like it in your garden. Daylilies need at least a half-day of sunlight in order to bloom and if you don't like the way it looks in sunlight you might end up disappointed, and we can't have that!

Comments and discussion:
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
So true. Database pics first. by mistyfog Jul 18, 2018 9:25 AM 24
Great examples by spunky1 Oct 14, 2012 10:04 AM 0
Thank you! by LALAMBCHOP Oct 14, 2012 9:00 AM 0

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