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Soils & Planting

Daylilies are generally one of the most durable and forgiving perennials available on the market today.  They do, however, respond best to well drained soils with a pH of around 6.7 to 6.8 (slightly acidic).  Where soils are too acidic, amending the soil with lime produces results at a low expense.  Alkaline soils may be treated with peat moss and other organic matter to lower pH.  Where soils are particularly difficult, contact your local county or state agricultural extension office.    Many people go to great pains to create optimum soil mixtures for daylilies, but this is usually not necessary.  A good garden soil which drains well generally is all that is needed.   Northeast Wisconsin has heavy clay soils which do not drain well, but even with these conditions daylilies often thrive with little or no added attention to the soil.  People who garden in heavy clay soils, however, are well aware of the extra work that such soils create for planting, dividing and transplanting daylilies.  The work load over the years can be considerably reduced by first amending the soil with an inert material such as perlite and/or with copious amounts of organic matter. Organic matter in garden soil can be quite beneficial for daylilies and other plants.  Positive soil characteristics of organic matter are: additional water holding capacity, improvement of aeration, increased soil friability, additional nutrients are available and cultivation becomes easier.  Most sources of organic matter are relatively equal in their properties to for soil improvement, once composted.  Certain sources, like pine needles, can increase soil acidity if heavily used.  

Daylilies should be planted two to three feet apart, so at least three years of growth can be accommodated comfortably.  Loosen soil in the garden to a depth of approximately twelve inches and create a hole that will comfortably hold the roots of the daylily.  Many growers build a mound in the bottom of the hole on which the center of the plant will sit and from which the roots fall gently away.  The crown of the plant (where stem meets the roots) should be planted no deeper that 1 to 2 inches below the surface.  If planted too deep the plants may rot or later not flower properly.  Firm the soil around newly planted daylilies and water thoroughly.   

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