Water & Fertilizer
Daylilies are sturdy plants which can tolerate drought conditions very well. They do not like to be wet for prolonged periods, however. If daylilies are planted in a very dry location or rain is lacking they will benefit from watering. Many growers supply extra water during bloom season as this enhances flower size, scape strength and the overall appearance of the plant.
Fertilizing daylilies has been a somewhat controversial subject and remains somewhat unclear. Gardeners do know that they respond positively to fertilizer applications. Recently, studies on this subject point to the use of high nitrogen fertilizers producing the most benefit overall. Some growers have reported no ill effects from frequent applications of high nitrogen fertilizers, even just before flowering. To remain safe, we recommend fertilizing one time up to 4 weeks before blooming and one time in late summer (withhold fertilizers in fall so that plants slow their growth and harden off for winter). Applications of water soluble fertilizer may be sprayed directly on to plants or granules can be spread around the plants. Many growers use time-release fertilizers, such as Osmocote™, with excellent results. Milorganite™ has also proven effective and is an inexpensive fertilizer that may repell deer and other animals from the garden. Application rates should follow the manufacturer's recommendations.