Daylilies are a popular perennial grown for their showy flowers in summer. Although the individual flowers hold their bloom for a day as the plant’s name suggests, daylilies bloom for several weeks, with different varieties blooming during different times of the year. Daylily plants form dense clumps which increase each year. The best way to propagate daylily is to divide large clumps up into smaller clumps or even single shoots. This article will talk about how to divide your daylily plants.
Daylily can be divided at any time, but the best time is right after the bloom is over. That way, the plants have an entire year to get re-established before they set bloom again. Plants divided in fall may not have time to be established before winter and can be subject to frost heaving. If plants are divided in spring, the disturbance will adversely impact the bloom. Plants should only be divided during bloom or with bud stalks when absolutely necessary, as the dividing will disrupt the bloom season.
Start by digging up the entire clump of daylilies. Dig about half a foot outside the clump so as to not break the roots of the plant. Shake the soil off of the clump to get to the roots. Decide how you are to divide the clump. Are you looking to break it into a few large clumps, or are you looking to make small divisions? Either way, you will start by breaking the clump into a few large divisions. To do this, bend the clump or even flex it back and forth, to find where the clump is weak. The bending will knock off extra soil and start to loosen the roots. Pull at the clump to try to get the plants to separate, and bend the clump back and forth more if necessary, until the clump is able to separate. Repeat if necessary to make a few more large divisions. Then, if you desire smaller divisions, shake, bend, and pull at any loose parts to separate the divisions. Clumps can be cut apart with a spade instead, but they lose more roots and establish more slowly because of that.
Replant the daylilies at the depth that they were before they were dug up, and trim back any broken foliage. For small divisions, cut back the tops of the leaves to reduce transplant shock. Water the newly planted daylilies twice a week for the rest of the season to help them adjust and re-establish themselves. Once established, your divisions will continue to bloom for many years, while increasing in size yearly.