Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Hardy Plants for Waterwise Landscapes

Hemerocallis spp. 

Hemerocallis spp. in garden border (V.I. Lohr)
Hemerocallis 'Corky' (V.I. Lohr)

Plant form

Clumping, fan-shaped, herbaceous perennial; evergreen or deciduous, depending on cultivar.


12 inches to 3-4 feet tall, depending on cultivar; spread can equal height.


Flowers in summer; most cultivars bloom for a few weeks each summer, some repeat blooming after a brief rest. Each flower lasts about a day.

Water use

Low to moderate; requires more regular watering when flower buds are present. Water stress may cause flower buds to abort.

Culture and maintenance

Grows best in rich, well-drained soils; doesn't require much fertilization. Old flowers of some cultivars may not drop cleanly; may be necessary to remove dead flowers for maximum appearance. Old flower stalks may be removed after blooming or left until spring. Old leaves may be removed in spring. To maintain peak appearance, divide the clumps when they become crowded and stop blooming well; in our gardens, the daylilies seem to need dividing about every 8-10 years. Relatively insect- and disease-free. Some years, thrips can cause some petal distortion and color streaking.


Full sun to partial shade for pastel colors.


USDA Zone 4.


We have had success with many cultivars, including 'Butterpat,' 'Corky,' and 'Happy Returns.'


Some cultivars are faintly fragrant. Gardeners in cold areas should select deciduous (not evergreen) cultivars to ensure hardiness. Flower buds are edible.
Hemerocallis leaves (V.I. Lohr)
Hemerocallis in winter (V.I. Lohr)


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