General Care for South Central Texas Daylilies
By Mark Carpenter of the San Antonio Daylily Society

Planting: Plant only to the base of the crown, the area above the roots on the plant where it is white in color and gradually goes to green, Plant no deeper than where it turns green in the crown.

Location: This is the single most important factor in growing daylilies well here in south Texas. They need FULL morning sun and FULL mid-to-late afternoon shade. Next best choice is full morning sun and partial afternoon sun. Full morning and full afternoon sun is the worst choice for them, and can sometimes kill them, as they bake in our brutal summer temps. Daylilies need full sunlight in the morning hours to open properly.

First 2 weeks care: After planting, water in your new lily well. Repeat every 2 days for the first week, then every 2 to 3 days the second week. Do NOT over water !!

After 2 weeks: I recommend giving your now plant a dose of Miracle-Gro or K-Gro in the fall around early October. Do not Miracle Gro any later than mid November, as a freeze could cause root drainage. Keep your lilies soil moist, but not wet.

Winter Care. Basically, in winter time here you only need to water it once a week, or if you get rainfall, none at all ! Just be sure the soil doesn't get too dry. Foliage needs no care, simply leave it alone. If the daylily is dormant, it will disappear into the ground.

Spring and summer care: In mid-January, I recommend spraying all of your foliage with Orthene systemic to the point of dripping, This will kill any thrips that could damage your scapes. Start a once every 3 weeks Miracle-Gro application by March 1, and continue until scapes appear in May. Keep the soil lightly moist, but not soaked, especially in the June-September time frame, where the roots can ´┐Żboil" if kept too wet. Lilies respond best to a time release fertilizer such as a 19-5-9 or 20-5-10 slow release, but you may use any fertilizer close to these in proportion. I strongly recommend mulching.

Care for lilies during bloom season: You may remove by clipping off the next day any bloom from the previous day. When all blooms are done, you should NEVER cut the scape ( holds all flowers on it). Wait until it can be removed from the plant with a gentle pull only. It will be brown in color at this point.

Bugs and pests: Lilies have only a few enemies. Aphids attack the scapes on lilies in early spring, and can cause them to not bloom, Orthene systemic in January will take care of them. You will not be able to see these critters ! Once your flower starts blooming, you probably will see thrips which are tiny flea-like bugs running on your flowers. If you get these, I again recommend Orthene systemic. You can spray it all over the flower and new buds without damaging them. Diazinon may also be used on daylilies with no harm to the flowers for bug control. If you prefer the organic approach, you can spray with an insecticidal soap such as Safer's or use a neem oil spray such as Ortho Rose Defense.

For additional information about daylilies, go to the Bill Jarvis site at: http://www.ofts.com/bill/daylily.html or
http://www.primenet.com/~tjfehr/daylily.html






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