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.