Daylily ‘Autumn Minaret’

In Alabama, the daylily is the workhorse of our sunny borders. She puts so much energy into producing all those blooms (daily, for weeks) that by the time the last bloom shows, the foliage is yellowing, the scapes are a collection of brown sticks, and the seed pods are forming, requiring even more energy.

I manage the clumps for a good fall foliage display by taking my trusty (garden designated) serrated bread knife and removing all the foliage and scapes, right at the ground. Compost that stuff, apply a little granular time release fertilizer, water well, refresh the mulch. In a couple of weeks: green fresh daylily foliage that should last until the first hard freeze.

This daylily? AUTUMN MINARET, an award winner from 1951. Although the bloom color is slightly muddled, I like her because she blooms so late in the season, she self cleans (that is, she quickly desiccates and drops yesterday’s blooms), and she gives 5-12 blooms atop graceful thin 5′ scapes.

Mike Rushing

Mike and Paula Rushing have been gardening in St. Clair county since 1990, and In Forest Park since 2007. A Jefferson County Master Gardener and course instructor at Master Gardening classes, Mike also volunteers weekly at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

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