12 Best DayliliesTo Grow

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In my gardening blogs I always try to keep it simple for beginners. With this in mind I decided to start a series of blogs on different flowers for the garden. I couldn’t think of a better place to start then with a plant that is not only easy to grow, but comes in thousands of varieties, types and colors.

The humble Daylily, or Hemerocallis, has to be my favorite plant. I have grown thousands of these over the years, including around six hundred different named varieties. I also dabbled in hybridizing them.

For now I’m going to discuss how to plant, grow and propagate them and which ones I consider to be the ’12 best daylilies to grow in your garden.

What Is A Daylily?

The Modern Daylily is a highly developed fibrous rooted hardy perennial. It isn’t a bulb, tuber or rhizome, as often thought. It’s botanical name Hemerocallis, is a Greek word meaning ‘beauty for a day’.

The Daylily originated from Asia and was used there for both food and medicine. The flower from this plant can be used fresh in salads or sauteed and utilized in Asian dishes.

The plants flowering season extends from early spring to Autumn with early, mid, and late species available. In our own garden we have different varieties that bloom continually for months on end.

Daylilies come in an enormous range of colors, shapes and sizes, including singles, doubles, mini’s and spiders. They are an extremely adaptable plant that can be grown in most conditions from cold to tropical climates.

In a previous garden we owned in the mountains, we grew dormant, semi dormant (or semi ever green) and evergreen varieties. All worked well in the conditions we provided them. However, its better to get some expert help when deciding which types to purchase for your gardens. For Example, dormant varieties would not do well in hot climates and evergreen types may struggle in very cold climates.

Established clumps of daylilies are fairly maintenance, disease, and pest free, and can often withstand droughts and floods. Although, they can be grown in most garden situations I recommend that you place them in an area where they will receive at least six hours of sunlight.

Like most plants, they prefer a fairly rich, well drained soil, or at least one that has had manures, compost or fertilizers added.

How To Grow Daylilies:

There are a number of ways to propagate the hemerocallis plant. I have listed several methods below:

1. Pups:

Some types have ‘pups’ grow on the scapes of the flowers. Pups are little plantlets that can be removed once you notice a small white root developing underneath.

Sometimes they have difficulty producing these roots, it is possible to encourage them to develop by tying some peat moss, or core to the base of the little plant using a piece of stocking to keep it in place. If you keep the area moist the roots should grow quickly.

Plant the pups in a pot or tray using good quality potting mix. Once they have grown a good root system you can transplant them into your garden beds.

2. Division:

Your plants should multiply every year, if you started with one plant you could have up to twenty plants in about four years time. For the health of the plant or if you’re after rapid development of numbers, you should divide the clump every three to four years.

There are several ways to do this.

a). Push a sharp spade through the clump twice, cutting it up into quarters. You can then leave one quarter where the original plant was placed and plant the other clumps anywhere that suits you in the garden, or give some to friends. Make sure you give each clump, including the original, a half a shovel of a good quality compost mixed with aged animal manures.

b). Dig out the complete clump and carefully take it apart, separate each plant from the next one using a sharp knife. Please be careful when using sharp implements. Cut the foliage off the top of the plants leaving about a four to six inch fans. Clean all the dirt off the roots.

At this point I like to completely submerge the fans in a container holding a mixture made up of 1 part bleach to 20 parts water. Leave the plants in this mixture for about thirty minutes. I like to place a brick or rock carefully on top of the plants to make sure they stay submerged.

By doing this you will kill any bad pathogens, fungus or rust, hence giving your daylilys the best possible start in their new location.

You can then plant them into pots, or in the garden, or give away to family and friends.

3. Seeds:

Daylilies are not only easy to grow from seed, it is also quite easy to develop your own seed bank. There are two ways to obtain your seeds.

a). Grow Your Own.

This is quite a simple procedure that is the best performed in the early morning when the flowers are just starting to open. This time is the best so that you can beat the bees and other insects from pollinating them for you. Doing this yourself gives the added benefit of having a rough idea what colors will come out. I’m not going to go into detail around this as that would become a blog on its own.

Go to the flower you wish to use as the pollinator and remove the stamen with the anther attached (see diagram below), If you haven’t arrived to early it should be full of pollen. Take this to the flower you wish to cross pollinate with and rub the anther onto the stigma, making sure the yellow pollen sticks to the end of the stigma. You can then label the plant if you like using the names of the two plants you used.

You can now leave the flower untouched, it will die and fall off (don’t be tempted to pull it off). After a few days you will notice a small green lump, this will grow into the seed pod.

Once the seed pod looks like its starting to split open, you can collect the seeds. I store mine in little zip lock bags and place them in the bottom of the refrigerator. When they start to develop a small white root, I plant them in a seed raising tray, and then eventually into pots or a seedling bed.

They will usually flower within a years time and you can then take note of any new colors you might have produced.

Now this is only a very basic description and doesn’t allow for selecting of variants, colors and types. As I said earlier, that’s for another article.

b). Buy the seeds from a reputable seller who can provide you with the details on the parent plants. This is the easiest method for a beginner gardener. Then you simply do as I mentioned above.

Now For the ’12 Best Daylilies To Grow’

There are an amazing assortments of color, varieties and types available for your selection. Some of them are absolutely spectacular. For the 12 best daylilies I have given you a list comprised of Singles, Doubles, Mini’s and spiders. These are named varieties that have been around for many years now and they are ones that I consider the best in their particular style and range.

1) Beloved Ballerina.

This large ruffled daylily has rounded petals of beige pastel colors and is an early to mid season daylily, meaning that it commences flowering early in spring.

It is an evergreen plant that will flourish in most climatic zones apart from very cold regions.



2). Cherry Eyed Pumpkin.

If you’re looking for an eye catcher in the garden, then this is the daylily for you. The scapes are tall and the flowers are a large soft orange color  with a plum eyezone and gold throat.

The cherry eyed pumpkin is an early flowering plant, meaning it will greet you as one of the first daylilies to open in early spring. The plant is semi evergreen.


3). Cindys Eye.

All I can say about this gorgeous flower is WOW. This one is a real show stopper, and consists of an ivory cream color with a medium purple eyezone above green throat. The purple even appears as edging on the outside of the petals.   

Cindys eye is a mid season plant so it won’t start flowering for you until mid spring. However it does rebloom around mid autumn and is a semi evergreen variety.


4). Green Widow.

This time I will be showing you my favorite  spider variety. The colors are a combination of bright green and yellow with a dark green throat.

Green Widow is an evergreen spider that starts flowering in early to mid spring, on mid length scapes.



5). Jason Salter.

This cute little daylily is a mini and it develops into a spectacular clump over time.  The color consists of a yellow cream with a striking etched eye pattern.

Jason salter is a medium height, evergreen plant that would look great planted just behind shorter annual plants in the garden. It is an early to mid spring variety.


6). Just Celebrate.

WOW!! is all I can say about this magnificent daylily. It was hybridized back in 1987 by Yancey and still remains one of the best of the white flowers available. 

This plant is a very elegant semi evergreen white, with a green throat and flowers from early to mid spring.


7) Kents Favorite.

Kents favorite is an old time red colored plant that looks great in any garden setting. The tall scapes can grow to 28 inches in height . This one looks great as a clump when planted further into the garden bed.

If you’re looking for a hardy, early flowering, semi evergreen red, then this is the plant for you.


8). Layers Of Gold.

Layers of Gold, as the name implies, is a gorgeous gold colored double flower. The plant grows to about 24 inches in height.

This is another early to mid season evergreen plant that will rebloom later in the season, usually around mid fall (autumn).

9). Olympic Showcase.

If you’re looking for a dramatic, large flowering gold color that will brighten up any area of your garden, then this is the flower for you. It is a majestic, well ruffled, gold dusted daylily with a green throat. The flower almost seems to be illuminated during a sunny day. 

Olympic showcase is a early to mid flower, semi evergreen with a medium scape length. It is also one of my favorite colors.

10). Pixies Parasol.

Here we have another cute little mini flower for you, and this one really is mini. The blooms are a pretty apricot, peach, pink tone with a green throat.

Pixie Parasol is an other Early to mid, semi evergreen daylily, with very short scapes rarely reaching to 14 inches in height. Plant this one at the front of the garden bed where everyone can admire it.


11). Reverend Traub.

Reverand Traub was hybridized way back in 1959 and is still a favorite with many landscapers. The Large golden orange flowers stand out as a great feature when mass planted. 

It is a mid season, evergreen plant that has been known to rebloom when in ideal settings. Do yourself a favor and check this one out.


12). Twin Dragons.

I thought I would add another brilliant double for you to look at, and what a beauty it is. Twin Dragons is one of those ‘show stopper’ flowers that hold your attention the moment you glance at it. The superb, clear red blooms stand out like sentinels in the garden. 

This Daylily is a mid season flowering plant and is an evergreen variety. The scapes are of a medium to tall length , making them an ideal clump to locate further back in the garden bed.

There you have it, the “12 Best Daylilies to Grow”

Those Daylilies above are just a small sample of the thousands of varieties available on the market. Many of these can be purchased online from Nurseries both in America and all over the world.

The list I have provided is just a basic one and I will construct a more comprehensive one in the future. Those plants that I selected are restricted to ever green and semi evergreen types as these are the ones that perform well in most climatic conditions.

However, if enough people ask me, I just might be persuaded to complete another blog with more Daylily colors and types.

Should you want any further information on daylilies please don’t hesitate to either leave a message below or on the ‘Contact Us’ page provided in the tab above.

==> If you enjoyed this article you might also like to have a look at some of my other blogs, just click here<==

Happy Gardening. Jim



Jim Kulk


  1. Hello Jim. Thank you for sharing this post on the 12 best Daylilies to grow. From the introduction of this post, I see that you have a bunch of experiences regarding Dailylilies. I think this list is awesome. I love your top 12 Dailylilies but I think my favorites are Beloved Ballerina and Twin Dragons. Which ones amongst these 12 are your top favorites?

  2. I’m really liking these day lilies, as you mention you have only shown a few from thousands but I can’t still can’t decide which of these I like best! I love them all.

    A great article on how to grow your own here, I shall follow your advise and give it a go! Wish a begginner good luck :0)

    • Thank you for reading my article Dianne. I definitely wish you luck, although you may not need it as they are very easy to grow. Jim

  3. Hi Jim, Am so happy to find this great post you have written about Day Lilies. They are indeed wonderful plants and from what I believe the entire plant is edible.

    Have been planting them in my own garden and in other gardens for so many years but loved the pictures and names of the ones I had not come across. I have bookmarked your post so that I can try to find them. They are such rewarding plants, for although they only bloom for one day, when you have a lot of them together, there are blooms for days on end.

    So enjoy your posts on gardening. Coming from a keen gardening family, follow your posts with interest.

    • Hi Jill. It’s unfortunate that so many people only see the words ‘ Daylily’, it makes them think they only have a flower for a day. As you say, they bring out new flowers continually for many weeks or months. Jim

  4. Some people think im crazy already planning  my spring garden especially when winter just really started.  I really was hoping to find some good options for day Lililies and so happy for finding this post!

    I do believe the beloved ballerina looks like a solid choice for my garden.

    Do you have any recommendations for garden sets to go with it?

    • Hi Barry. I suppose it all depends on the other plants in your garden as well as the layout. If you’re looking for a drift it might be a great idea to mass plant in one bed , or along the edges of the bed. You could either use one colour that ties in with other plants, or you could use a series of colours. It’s difficult to give you an answer to your question without actually seeing or knowing a bit more about your garden. Jim

  5. Hey Jim! How re you doing? I’ve really enjoyed reading this article on “12 Best Day Lilies to Grow” as you’ve provided us with tonnes of information. Behind my I depends house, we have a small garden and we grow some vegetables and along with that, we have a cherry eyed pumpkin as it grow quite fast but I’ve stopped growing it. The reason is rain and the place where I live, there rain water doesn’t promote the growth but destroys it instead. Does Cherry Eyed Pumpkin grow in dry conditions? If so, I can continue to grow it during the summer months. 

    • Hi AV. If you prepare the soil correctly, add plenty of organic matter ten the Daylily should thrive. We have seen them growing in some very harsh country. Perhaps you over watered them, this kills more daylilies then lack of water. Jim

  6. Hello there. I appreciate the thorough and informative article. My garden is mostly filled with roses. I mean the corners of the garden are in rose trees. The rest is different varieties of flowers. I personallylike to have at least a couple of Pixies and Twin Dragons in my garden.

    I was also surprised to see Cindys Eye and Jasons Shelter are Daylilies to be honest with you. Thank you because I learned that from you.

    I will try and get back to your website to check what is new.


  7. This is a fabulous article, Jim. I’ve learned so much! I have to admit, I somehow had the idea in my head that daylilies were bulb flowers. Thankfully I never said that out loud to anyone! haha Thanks so much for setting me straight. I’ve recently moved from a tropical climate to a mountainous area, and I’ve seen daylilies everywhere from spring through autumn. The Reverend Traub seems to be quite popular with local gardeners around me, but I’m personally intrigued by Layers of Gold. I just love yellow, and I think I will seek this out for my spring 2019. I’m also going to bookmark your site as I see lots of topics of interest for me as I learn to garden in my new environment. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! ~Cheri

    • Thank you for reading my article Cherie. Yes, Reverend Traub certainly is a beauty. As for the bulb bit, many people make this mistake it’s an easy one to get wrong. Jim

  8. Hi Jim. Thanks for sharing this great article.  I am familiar with Daylilies but did not know that they could be used in salads or sauteed for Asian dishes. What is the taste similar to?

    Out of the 12 you mentioned, I really like: Beloved Ballerina,  Cindy’s Eye, Jason Salter, and Pixies Parasol. Since I don’t know much about them, I am curious – will these lilies crossbreed? And do they make good cut flowers to bring inside?

    • Hi Mary Ann. I’ve been hybridising daylilies for many years. If you can beat the bees to the flowers you can make many crossings easily yourself. As for bringing them indoors, I used to on a a nursery we owned and my wife would remove the dead flowers everyday. Jim

  9. Hi Jim,

    I don’t do much gardening myself as I just don’t have the time. However, I am fond of plants and nature in general and loved reading this article. I liked how you picked out a flower that is easy for beginners like me, and I will definitely have to plant some of my own daylilies. I think my favourite is ‘Just Celebrate’. What is your favourite?

    • Hi Celeste. My favourite. My favourite daylily from the list given would have to be Cindy’s eye. I simply love the contrast between cream and purple. Jim

  10. Very nice article. I will for sure bookmark this page and show it to my wife. She likes to spend time with flowers and I am sure this will give her a lot of ideas. She will find a lot of useful and interesting information. I am not very much into anything that grows but she is the complete opposite so any article I can find related she thanks me for that.Thank you for sharing all this info Jim.

  11. Thanks Jim for this post. I can totally relate to some of those daylillies as my grandma used to grow them in her garden. Kent’s Favourite, Olympic showcase & Just Celebrate were the most frequently grown. Reminds me of childhood memories in her garden! I particularly like Cindys Eye as the colors are beautiful.

  12. Hey, Jim!

    Awesome article about these various beautiful Dayililies that make everyone’s day so blooming.

    So surprised as they’re as well edible though I prefer to just always stare at them as I think they don’t deserved to be eaten because they bring so much joy and happiness to people.

    I love “beloved ballerina” because of its unique design and color though I love seeing more of them as you promised they’re still various kind around.

    Grateful for sharing this and for teaching us how to grow them.


  13. Wow, thank you very much for your article. I never found any article on the net that elaborate so much about growing flowers.These are all beautiful flowers and will make a very great garden.

    My only question is; do they need certain or specific temperature / climate to grow? It is because, here in my country, we have hot and humid weather.Thanks

    • Hi. Daylilies areas grown in many regions from cold to hot. At one time I owned a mail order daylily nursery and we sent plants to the dessert regions where they thrived. If they’re planted in a healthy well drained soil, and given enough water, they will thrive. Jim

  14. I am not much of a gardener myself, but my mother absolutely loves growing flowers in front of here house, with varying degrees of success.  I already sent her a link to see if she would want to try and grow some of these beautiful flowers, i suspect i already know the answer.

  15. Thanks for this lovely article, I have always loved flowers and a beautiful garden where one can relax, I will try and grow a dailylilies in my garden I love the plant it is really beautiful thank you so much for this post once again the message was very helpful, I will definitely share this post with my friends and family i believe they will be very happy to grow this plant in their surroundings.

  16. Hi, I liked your article on daylilies.  

    I live near the mountains in Colorado at about 4,500 feet above sea level.  Our temperatures can range from below zero temps to mid 90’s.    It can also be windy here.   Hailstorms are common in the summer.  Can you recommend any varieties that might do well around here?  Are there some varieties that will bloom multiple times throughout the summer?  My thinking is if hail damaged some of the flowers, maybe they would have a chance to bloom again later in the season.  

    Thanks in advance,    

    • Hi Sondra. There are many dormant varieties of Daylilies available that will grow beautifully in your area. I also live in an area that frequently gets hit by storms. The hail rarely damages the new buds, only the old. You should have plenty of new flowers appearing everyday. Why not check out one of the many mail order daylily sites available on the net and look for the dormant types. Jim

  17. Thanks Jim, for the great gardening post on 12 Daylilies to grow. I am a total beginner and never realized there was so types, colors and shapes for these flowers. I enjoyed how you went into detail about your experience growing them for years and the history of each flower family.

    You explained the process in such an easy way that I can see myself following your instructions to get the same results over time. I liked the look of the Twin Dragons, the Green Widow, the Olympic Showcase, Cherry Eyed Pumkin and the Beloved Ballerina. Those are be the ones I would grow after your great gardening tips.

  18. Hello Jim, This is a great post about twelve best Daylilies to grow. I think that you have a lot of experiences regarding Dailylilies. I think this list is awesome and love your top twelve Dailylilies. Actually I was thinking about making a flower garden and rare collection of flowers in my nursery. Your post is really important for me. Now I have to think about how can I collect those seeds and their plantation system. I am going to bookmark your page and thanks for sharing this information.

  19. My wife loves daylily’s and also grows a number of other flowers.  I believe she grows the cherry eyed pumpkin ones every year.  

    I am actually going to try growing the twin dragons and pixies parasol this year.  

    I know this is an odd question but have you ever grown daylily’s indoor.  It’s really cold here until Spring and I have been looking into growing my own indoors.  I want to grow something inside during the winter.  It’s a lot of fun if I can master it, I’m sure.

  20. What a wonderful flower, I never seen these many varieties of daylilies before. I live in Asia but here around they seem to be not this popular.

    I wonder if I could cultivate them here. It’s quite hot and mostly dry in this region of Thailand. My wife is gardening a lot so the good ground would not be the problem.

    How do you order them, as seeds or as plants? I’d love to get some and maybe even grow to sell them 🙂

  21. Dear Jim,

    Thanks for the article I enjoyed it and I can tell you I have taken some great insights from this post.

    I love and enjoy gardening. Once I read a quote “Watching TV is not our entertainment our ancestors entertainment was gardening”.

    I like Lilies and I am a fan of it. Thanks for the thorough and detailed post.

    Daylily can be used as a food and medicine is a great news. Thanks again for the informative post on “beauty for a day”.

    Happy Gardening,


  22. My mom loves Day lilies. I was planning to give her a surprise this summer but had no idea what kind I should get and how to plant them and stuff. This article really helped my way through it. It had so many good choices of lilies. I personally love Kent’s favorite.

    It has this beautiful red color and an amazing shape to it. My mom will definitely love it. I also love how it can grow up to 28 inches in height. I’m going to get this soon.

    Thank you for sharing this article with us.

  23. Thank you for sharing with us this great post on 12 best Daylilies to grow.I passed through all those daylilies you recommended and I found them fascinating for sure and I wish I could  try to grow some of them.

    The problem i have is that there are some of them that I didn’t see in my life and I wonder where I can find them if I choose to grow some.

    I wish I could find  Cindy’s eye to grow in my garden.

  24. Hello Jim, great post about daily lilies. I really love a beautiful garden and I prefer growing flowers with seeds and it’s really been working fine for me. Great selection there for 12 daily lilies to grow buh my favorite is Green widow and Cindy’s eye, because they look so appealing and amazing to me.  I have had them grown before and I love the experience.

  25. Hmm, Daylillies!

    I am very new to gardening, normally sprouting my beans and sunflower seeds before eating them..

    I like the fact you can eat Twin Dragons. They look and probably taste real yummy.  My neighbours from Croatia have been planting veggies in their (our) large communal garden for 9 years.  Their children are very healthy and strong.

    Regarding Daylillies, as I live in the UK, I will be on the look out for them to see if I can grow them in my front garden.. If I find them, I will plant a lot as I noticed one of your commenters wrote that a lot of daylillies planted will not fade in bloom.  Some of them will die, but most will still be alive.  

    I suppose I should stagger the planting of them?

  26. hi there, thanks for all these super tips! We have recently moved houses, and have a garden to tend to for the first time… I had no idea where to start and what plants are good for someone without green fingers, so this post is wonderful! I’m going to get a few of the options you mentioned and give it a good go

    Thank you

  27. The have never heard of Daylilies before but I am glad that I did now! I think it is great that they can be used for food and medicine as well as being aesthetically pleasing. The planting instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

    The pictures are also a great help because it makes it a lot easier to come up with designs and ideas for garden layout. The Greek word truly does justice as these flowers shown here are truly beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  28. Glad you’ve taken enough time to come up with the best daylilies to grow, on what basis did you select the best twelve?, is it according to the aesthetic values or based on the convenience to grow. Thank you for emphasizing the cultural practices and climatic conditions that daylilies grow in. As for my own choice I think I love the twin dragon.

    • Thank you Clement for taking the time to read my blog. The 12 were chosen for diversity in types and colours, plus their hardiness. Twin Dragons definitely is a fantastic Daylily.  Jim

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