Daylilies (Hemerocallis) are the hard-working, easy-care plants worthy of a spot of real estate in any home landscape. These lovely lilies earn their keep with their consistent reproductive habits that will provide you with plenty of plants for transplanting in your own landscape, sharing with friends or possibly providing you with extra income by selling your extra plants. Plant a few this growing season and you’ll be ready to divide the daylilies in about three years. Here’s how –
Dig a Circle
Daylilies can be divided anytime during the growing season without harming the plants. Use a sharp spade or shovel and dig a circle around the daylily clump about one foot away from the center of the clump. Dig the circle about six inches deep so you’ll be able to get the shovel under the entire root clump. Insert the spade or shovel under the clump and gently lift it up and out of the soil. Place the root clump on a sheet of newspaper and brush off the dirt so you can see the tubers clearly.
Make the Cut
Sometimes tubers can be separated by pulling them apart with your fingers, other times the tubers are such a tangled mess they must be cut apart. Look for tubers that have a green stalk of foliage on top and a tangle of roots on the bottom side and remove these first. Pull the desired tubers away from the clump when possible and if not, slice them away with the sharp end of a hand-held garden trowel or shovel.
Dig new transplant holes the same depth as the hole where the clump of daylilies were removed, roughly 4-6 inches deep. Place two daylilies into each planting hole, water in well and backfill the hole with soil. If the daylilies have been dug up for re-sale or to be given away and can’t be immediately re-planted in the ground, place the root clumps in a container of potting soil and water well to keep them happy and healthy until they can be transplanted into a new home. This temporary planting container will keep the daylilies alive and thriving for week, beyond that time they will begin to decline. One daylily can be successfully grown in a large container and makes a pretty addition to a patio or front porch, but a large clump multiplies too rapidly to be left in a container indefinitely.
The United States National Arboretum