As Amelia Island Holiday opened up recently, I felt as though I had been awakened from 20 years of sleep to the amazing beauty of daylilies.
With almost as many registered daylilies as there are stars I just wasn’t paying attention. Now each day, about 30 yards from my office, I wander out to our American Hemerocallis Society Display Garden and gawk with amazement.
Our garden is sponsored and maintained by the Savannah Hemerocallis Society in honor of the late Enman Joiner a hybridizer of national acclaim. It is packed with daylilies that will leave you mesmerized with their beauty, form and structure.
Amelia Island Holiday is semi-evergreen and considered an early-midseason rebloomer.
The scapes or stalks reach 26 inches tall and produce flowers 5 inches wide.
I would find it most difficult to describe its color, but officially it is classified as pink cream gold polychrome with ruffled gold edge above green throat.
I would describe it as stunning.
Each night I have been posting a favorite on our Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden Face Book page and the daylily called Sebastian the Crab caused the comments and counter to start rocking so to speak.
It is called unusual in form, crispate, with scapes reaching 32 inches.
It is considered midseason and a rebloomer.
The cream and dark apricot blends somehow tempt you to take a bite and at least smell its fragrance. There are so many daylilies to know and enjoy, like Wild Irish an evergreen burgundy red with ruffled gold edge.
Some bloom early, some midseason, and some late, and some even have repeat blooms. Your local or regional hemerocallis society is a great place to begin for education on top performers.
Perhaps you haven’t tried daylilies because the flowers only last a day. Remember, each scape or flower stalk has many buds and these open in a series, giving you beauty for not only days but weeks and even months if they repeat.
Daylilies require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day for best performance. Best results are obtained from raised beds rich in organic matter.
Almost every problem phone call I used to get on daylilies, other than a few insects, originated with daylilies planted in soggy soils. Be sure and add a good layer of mulch to hold moisture, keep the soil cool, and to prevent weeds.
I am a pine straw nut for mulch but I have to admit that a layer of pine bark mulch around a daylily loaded with blooms is a wonderful sight.
Daylilies are best planted in the early spring or fall although container grown plants can be planted throughout the growing season with outstanding success. So you can shop while they are blooming and pick the color and form that is most appealing.
To keep energy being put into flower production, keep seed pods picked off and feed with a complete and balanced fertilizer every four to six weeks.
It also is very important to remove any diseased foliage if it develops during the long summer. Daylilies work well in a special garden by themselves or as part of the perennial border where they can be combined with flowers like purple coneflowers, gloriosa daisies and spikey blue salvias.
Try using Blue Fortune agastache that sends-up dozens of blue bottle-brush-like flowers.