Even if your life is hectic, you can grow daylilies. The daylily is practically fool-proof even for black thumbs. If you’re picturing the orange flowers that grow in ditches or the gold flowers in many landscapes (called stella de oro)—yes, those are daylilies. But they represent only a tiny fraction of what’s available, according to Mike Anders, a local daylily enthusiast and retired choral director for the University of Findlay.
“Beginning in the 1920s, several botanists began to do experiments with the ‘ditch lilies’ and cross them to create other shapes and colors. Now in the 21st century we have almost 90,000 different registered daylilies of all shapes, sizes and colors,” Anders explains.
Year after year
Daylilies are perennials, which means they survive the winter and come back every year. While they prefer full sun and moist soil, they can tolerate most any conditions, even drought. Every 3-5 years you can dig up the plant and divide it into several plants to share with other busy moms in your neighborhood.
“Daylilies are wonderful plants for parents to plant with their children,” said Anders. “First of all, the plants are very hardy and easy to grow. With all the colors, sizes, and shapes, children can choose their favorites, and the following year they will be super excited to see their plant bloom.”
Flag City Daylily Tour
Some daylilies bloom as early as Memorial Day while others wait until August. July is typically the peak bloom month for most varieties. Colors include red, pink, yellow, orange, lavender, purple, white, black and every shade in between except for blue. Some are short, and some are over 5 feet tall.
If you’re interested in adding daylilies to your garden or landscape, check out the 4th Annual Flag City Daylily Tour, July 12-14. You can view more than 3,000 daylily varieties at seven garden locations in the Findlay area. The tour is free and children are welcome if accompanied by parents. “Several of the gardeners have dogs and other pets that love children,” says Anders. Attendance has grown each year, drawing people from across Ohio, nearby states and Canada.
Two of the gardens on the tour—Perennial Plant Peddler and McClelland’s Daylilies—have a large collection of daylilies for sale. Prices range from $5 to upwards of $50, says Anders.
Anders has been growing daylilies in his yard since the summer of 2000. He’s on a mission to collect the 550 different cultivars that were hybridized by Cleveland grower Steve Moldovan and his partner Roy Woodhall. “I’m growing all but 100 of these beautiful plants, and yes, I’m still trying to locate the missing plants!”
4th Annual Flag City Daylily Tour July 12-14
10am-6pm— Friday & Saturday. Noon-6pm—Sunday.
It’s a rainbow of color! Tour seven local gardens and have the opportunity to purchase daylilies. Children welcome if accompanied by an adult.
For more information, like the Flag City Daylily Tour on Facebook, or email Anders at firstname.lastname@example.org.