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Jun 18, 2020 11:34 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Heather


I just joined this forum and was so grateful to find it! You all are so knowledgeable and all of my internet searches have not yielded any answers. I garden a lot, but am not overly knowledgable (breadth, not depth here) so I apologize in advance if I say something wrong.

I live outside of Boston and over the past few years have bought over a hundred of several varieties of beautiful day lilies (Happy Returns, Fire Chief Benjamin, Wineberry Candy, just to name a few). I planted most of them along a split rail fence in front of my house. (Edited photo below as I don't currently have access to the original). Last year, I noticed some taller day lilies coming up early that looked just like the ditch lilies that grow in other places on our road. It was a busy summer, and I ignored them. This year, even more of the taller lilies are coming up at the same pace as the ditch lilies and seem to be crowding out my "good" day lilies. I just dug out all of the tall ones this morning, trying to get all of the roots. The tall ones that I dug out have yellowish-orange roots, with the occasional white root (tuber?) mixed in. I am so afraid that I have lost most of my day lilies to the infiltrators. I can't understand how they got there, and I don't know how to tell them apart from my good lilies other than going by height at this point.

Any advice on how I can save my day lilies would be much appreciated! I have put a lot of time and money into this project and hate for it all to be for nothing!
Thank you!

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Jun 18, 2020 11:48 AM CST
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Region: Alabama
The only way I know to tell the ditch lilies from the registered daylilies is to let them bloom. As soon as you see a ditch lily bloom dig it out. It may take two or three years to get them all, but It can be done...nothing to panic about.
Fertilize and water those daylilies that are shorter and that you feel are not ditch lilies.
Last edited by Seedfork Jun 18, 2020 11:50 AM Icon for preview
Jun 18, 2020 12:37 PM CST
Name: Dave
Wood Co TX & Huron Co MI
Birds Daylilies Hostas Butterflies Peonies Native Plants and Wildflowers
Region: Texas Region: Michigan Irises Hybridizer Greenhouse Garden Photography
Ditch lilies send out underground runners that will sprout and root a ways [sometimes over a foot] from the main clump that makes it difficult to eradicate. Look for leaves popping up where you didn't plant anything. Until you get all the runners out you can still have ditch lilies pop up.
Life is better at the lake.
Fight global warming:
plant daylilies
Jun 18, 2020 12:55 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
What's a dith lily? Thinking
Jun 18, 2020 1:12 PM CST
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Annuals Native Plants and Wildflowers Keeps Horses Dog Lover Daylilies Region: Canadian
Butterflies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Arico said:What's a dith lily? Thinking

Hemerocallis fulva 'Europa'. So called "ditch lily" because it is naturalized in roadside ditches in North America.

Ditch Lily (Hemerocallis 'Europa')
Jun 18, 2020 2:27 PM CST
Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
What I have done, as soon as a ditch lily bloomed, I cut it back to the ground and brushed it with grass and weed killer, being careful not to get any on my good plants. I use a concentrate killer, and mix a little strong. You have to stay on it, no matter what you do. It has been 3 years since I saw any in that bed, and 1 bloomed just a few days ago. Gone now, but I would not be surprised to see another. I found that easier than digging, but I have bad knees.
Jun 18, 2020 2:43 PM CST
Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
When we first bought this property, I was so thrilled with the blooms in the ditch, I transplanted several into my perennial garden on the hill. It's so dry there, they barely survived. Dry is their Kryptonite. I've since dug up any survivors, and they went quietly, proving that the ditch is their preferred environment. All that moisture.
Jun 19, 2020 8:53 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Heather

Thank you all for your advice! I feel a little less daunted now and will continue to tackle the imposters!
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