Hemerocallis species

More commonly known as daylilies these ornamentals originate from China, Korea and Japan. They belong to the genus Hemerocallis and are not true lilies. The name “daylily” derives from the Greek ‘hemera’ meaning ‘day’, as the flower only lasts a day, and ‘kallos’ meaning ‘beauty’

Kyle Moolman

Hemerocallis Ruby Stella flower

Hemerocallis Ruby Stella flower

Growing tips and care

  • Daylilies prefer full sun but will tolerate light shade in hot climates.
  • Although they are drought tolerant they will do better with a deep weekly or bi-weekly watering.
  • To promote flowering, remove the spent flowers so that the plant does not produce seed. Forming seeds drains the plant of nutrients thus reducing the number of flowers.
  • Excessive fertilising inhibits flower production so take care to stick to package instructions.
  • Daylilies can be divided during spring and autumn, but be careful not to split the columns into too small sections as this prolongs recovery time and inhibits flowering.
  • Hemerocallis are generally relatively disease resistant, just make sure they get enough light and are not overwatered.


  • Hemerocallis can be planted any time of the year. It is however recommended that this is done at least 3-4 weeks before the winter season. This will enable the plant to establish itself before the onset of winter.
  • Daylilies prefer well-drained, compost-enriched soil. Moisture retention is improved by mulching which also helps to keep weeds in check.
  • Plant daylilies en masse to stabilise a slope, use as a ground cover or even as specimen plants.

Companion planting

  • In a sunny location plant them alongside platycodon, rudbeckia, liatris, shasta daisy and Echinacea. In the shady areas plant them with ferns, hosta and Solomon ’s seal.

Interesting information

  • Hemerocallis citrina, cultivated in Asia, is a variety that blooms at night.
  • The flowers of Hemerocallis fluva are edible.