What I Learned Today – Daylily ‘proliferation’

I was wandering about the garden the other day, moaning to myself about how unappealing one particular flower bed is at this time of year, when I noticed something peculiar was happening on a daylily (Hemerocallis) flower stalk. After they finish flowering, I generally let the stalks stay where they are instead of bending over and cutting them back – much easier to wait until they’re fully brown when they can be simply pulled out. (I use the stalks as a mulch in my raised beds, chopping them, into small pieces, or not.)

There appeared to be a baby daylily plant growing out of the flower stalk! I looked around and noticed the same thing on another stalk, from the same mother parent. I took out my phone and asked the internet about it, and lo and behold, it’s something called ‘daylily proliferation’ – another word with more than one meaning! These baby plants will produce an exact clone of the mother plant if you let them grow a few roots and then pot or plant them. A third way to propagate daylilies (in addition to collecting and growing seeds or stomping a sharp spade through the centre of an established clump)!

The mother plant in my garden has delicious, smallish, peach-ish flowers with ruffled edges, so I’ll let my babies grow a bit longer, hoping to produce some roots, then snip them off and plant them directly into a holding bed, mulching well for winter since frost and snow is less than two months away. Another option to encourage more roots is placing the baby daylily in a cup of water before planting, but since we have curious cats that’s likely not a good idea for me.

There’s lots of good information on the net about daylily proliferation, including this article from the American Daylily Society, and this one from Daylily Meadows in North Carolina.

This is a flower from the mother plant. Well worth growing more, eh?

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