Day Lilies are shrugging off their image as simple, ordinary garden plants. They are still hardy and easy to grow but the range of showy new varieties that become available each season is simply staggering.
The common yellow and orange varieties have given way to exotic specimens in almost every colour, from the palest lavender and pink to vivid red, russet and purplish-black. In vogue right now are blooms with a ring of glowing colour around the throat, known as ‘eyezones’ as well blooms with petals edged in a different colour.
Day Lilies provide a constant display of colour from October to May. Although the individual Day Lily flower lasts only one day, a single plant may produce over 50 flowers in a season. They need at least five hours of sun a day. Darker colours prefer a little shade, otherwise their colours fade. Dormant varieties do best in cold climates while evergreens are better in a hot climate.
They grow in most types of soil but will perform best in rich, fertile soil, so be generous with compost and bone meal when planting.
The only finicky thing about Day Lilies is that they need to be planted at the correct depth. A good tip is to place the crown exactly level with the top of the hole so that once the ground has been filled in and subsides slightly as it settles, the crown should be in the correct position, just 2 cm below the surface. Thereafter they should be watered well.