The modern daylily is available in a huge variety of bloom colors, patterns, sizes, heights and even different foliage types. There are over 70,000 different daylily cultivars registered with the American Hemerocallis Society. Trying to choose what to grow can be overwhelming.
There are two things I always stress when advising anyone new at growing or collecting daylilies. First, go out and see real daylilies growing in real gardens in your geographical area. It is difficult to capture true color when photographing daylilies. It is hard to visualize plant habit, bud count, and especially color in a photograph. It is important as a beginner to go to gardens near you and see them yourself. There is no substitution for seeing them growing and blooming with your own eyes. Second, buy from daylily growers, not from big box stores or your local nursery. Some daylily growers have rather large operations, and some are small growers who might sell off their excess plants once or twice a year. In general, the quality of plants will be better than from places that buy in bulk or do tissue culture.
The first thing you need to know is what "Region" you are in. Click here to find your AHS region.
The American Hemerocallis Society divides its membership up into regions. Regions have similar growing conditions. Since a daylily born in Ohio may not do well in Texas, and a daylily bred in Georgia may not do well in Montana, buying plants that are known to do well in your region is similar to following zone guides when buying perennials. While daylilies may survive and bloom in a climate they were not bred and selected in, they may or may not bloom to their full potential. Most modern cultivars will do very well over most of the US. However, there are some that will do better in certain areas of the country. If you choose daylilies that are known to grow well in your area, or were bred and selected in your area, chances are good you will be rewarded with a robust plant that blooms well, with minimal care.
One of the best ways to find out which daylilies do best in your Region is to look at the American Hemerocallis Society's Popularity Polls. Each year, hundreds of AHS members across the country fill out and send in their Polls. The Poll has a list, tailored to each Region, with around 100 dayliles on it. There are also 5 places to write-in favorites. Each member of AHS picks 10 favorites. Then, the results are tabulated for each Region. This list is an excellent place to start when adding new daylilies to your garden.
Click here to see the results of the 2011 Popularity Poll, listed by Region.
Click here for more information on Popularity Polls, and to access the Popularity Poll results for past years. AHS Popularity Polls
In the 2011 Popularity Poll, one daylily (pictured at right) won first place in 6 of 15 Regions, and has been listed many times in past polls. Primal Scream (Hanson - C. - 1994) also won the Stout Medal in 2003. A big, bold glowing orange, Primal Scream is very distinctive and a real standout in the garden. Photo taken in my garden in Central Ohio.
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|Great daylily searching advice by mistyfog||Oct 13, 2012 2:46 PM||2|