Daylily Ground Cover

We have a sunny spot  with poor soil, not easily accessible to a mower. Several years ago, I scratched shallow holes into the chert, and dropped in five dozen divisions of the shorty daylily Stella de Oro, a reliable repeat bloomer. I top dressed with leaf mold, mulched with two inches of pine straw, applied a light application of time-release balanced fertilizer, and watered deeply. Since that time, we have been rewarded with a month of blooms each May, and good, green foliage for many months.
By June, Stella is exhausted. She has produced dozens of egg yolk yellow blooms per clump, and because she is off the beaten path (literally), I have not spent any time dead heading. Today, I see yellowing foliage and seed pods, maybe a few blooms.

daylily ground cover

The daylily flowers in this ground cover bed are spent.

Here’s what I do:
I thoroughly weed the patch.
I string trim off all the daylily foliage. I leave the trimmings where they fall.
I apply a light application of time-release fertilizer.
I mulch with a couple of inches of pine straw.
I water it all in.

daylily ground cover

It’s time to string trim off all the daylily foliage. I leave the trimmings where they fall.

daylily ground cover

Mulch the trimmed daylily bed with a couple of inches of pine straw and water it in well.

In a week, I have fresh, leafy, green daylily ground cover. No more work until next spring, when this gets another application of fertilizer.

Close-up, Stella de Oro daylily blossoms.

Close-up, Stella de Oro daylily blossoms.

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.

2 thoughts on “Daylily Ground Cover

  1. Enjoyed reading…know this was pretty when in bloom. Do you ever expect a second bloom for the lilies? Gardening is so therapeutic – guess that’s why we are the happiest people I know!

    • Sorry only one set of blooms per year. If planted where the bottom of the bulb does not stay wet, they will come back for years, but do not cut off the stems of the blooms until they turn yellow.

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