Daylilies for days

Douglas Hunt
by Douglas Hunt
A number of daylily growers and hybridizers call Central Florida home, and they opened their doors this weekend as part of their annual "Daylily Mecca." At some growers there were blooms as far as the eye could see, while others were decidedly smaller in scale, but everywhere was evidence of the beauty of these low-maintenance plants.
As with most things, the rules for growing daylilies are different in Florida than they are elsewhere. Here are a few words of wisdom from colorful character and longtime grower Dan Hansen:
1. Plant shallow. Mr. Hansen repeatedly suggested just dropping a clump on the top of prepared soil, which might be something of an exaggeration, but the crown should be no deeper than soil level.
2. Select evergreen cultivars. Dormant cultivars, and some semi-evergreen cultivars, require a chilling period our climate cannot provide and will cease blooming and eventually die out.
3. Plan to divide clumps as often as every three years. Daylilies pull down in Florida's sandy soil, which reduces their flowering. Dividing them rejuvenates the plant and provides more for you to plant or give away.
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