Tips on Dividing Daylilies by P. Allen Smith
When is the best time to separate and transplant daylilies?
For me, the best value in plants is generally determined by three factors. I want them to be low maintenance, I’d like for them to bloom for a long period of time and I’d like for them to come back year after year. Well, I know this may sound like a tall order, but there are actually a lot of plants out there that will fill this criteria.
One of the best examples is the daylily. In fact, they have another attribute as well, they can be very vigorous growers, often doubling in number from year to year to the point that they really should be divided every three to five years to continue good blooming.
I’ve found that the late summer is an excellent time of the year to separate and transplant clumps of daylilies. By doing it at this time, it gives them an opportunity to settle in before shorter days and colder temperatures set in. Also by moving them in late summer as opposed to the spring, it’s been my experience that they actually seem to bloom better.
There’s really nothing to dividing daylilies. Just carefully lift the clumps with a sharp shovel and gently remove the soil from the roots so you can begin to see the individual plants. Then with a knife separate each plant and remove any foliage that appears dead or diseased.
Now just cut off the foliage at about half and they’re ready for transplanting back into the garden. Space them about ten to twelve inches apart, put them in full sun and keep them well watered until they’re rooted in.