Edible Flowers - Daylilies!
Note: Beware of poisonous look-alikes.
How to Grow Daylilies
Growing Daylilies in Your Garden
*IMPORTANT! ONLY Daylilies are edible. Most other species of lilies are EXTREMELY poisonous. Be diligent and do your homework in identifying the daylily plants, before consuming.
Daylilies are a common garden perennial, grown world-wide. They're popular because they're plentiful, easy to grow, come in a variety of colors, self-propagate, and require little care.
Daylily's edible parts are the flower buds and the flowers. The flower petals are an ingredient in some Asian cuisines. Use them fresh or dried in soups, or for teas. The fresh petals can be used in salads. The fresh blooms can be used as garnishes, or fill them with your favorite cold salad mixture (such as chicken salad, grain salad, etc.), for an interesting edible presentation. The blooms can also be battered and deep-fried.
The unopened flower buds can be steamed, like you would any other vegetable. They're quite delicious and taste very similar to green beans. The unopened buds can also be pickled.
Note: You may want to try this vegetable in small quantities, as I've heard of a couple of people for whom it triggered a moderate allergic reaction.
This plant is so named, because each bloom is reputed to last only one day. Each stem will have multiple flowers, but bloom in a staggered fashion, so that you have continued color.
Most daylily varieties will start blooming in mid-summer. But there are varieties that bloom late spring, and some that bloom in late summer. There are even a few varieties that will bloom continually.
How to Grow Daylilies - Climate and Growing Conditions
Daylilies grow best in gardening zones 3-9. They do well in sun, but will accept part-shade.
"How to" tip for Growing Daylilies
Daylilies are fairly tall, depending upon the variety (2-6 feet tall). Keep this in mind when selecting a location for them.
How to Grow Daylilies- Preparing the Garden Soil
Prepare the garden soil with compost or similar organic matter. The soil should drain well, or the tubers can rot.
Note: Daylilies propagate (grow more of themselves) by spreading root systems. If your soil is not loose, it will affect the plant's health and restrict it's ability to reproduce.
How to Grow Daylilies - Planting
You can plant daylilies at anytime in the growing season. Just be sure to leave around two feet between plants. Keep the soil moist after transplanting.
How to Grow Daylilies- Watering
Daylilies will tolerate drought. However, for best results, the soil should be kept reasonably moist.
"How to" tip for Growing Daylilies
Mulch around the established plants to help the soil retain moisture (and reduce how often you need to water them).
How to Grow Daylilies - Fertilizing
For best growth, fertilize daylilies every other week with a light dose.
How to Grow Daylilies - Challenges
Snails and slugs can sometimes enjoy dining on daylilies, as do deer and rodents.
How to Grow Daylilies - Harvesting
Harvest the blooms or buds as needed.
Remember to remove the spent flowers daily, to encourage the plant to continue to produce new blooms.
How to Grow Daylilies - Propagating
Your daylily patch will need to be divided every 3 years or so. Gently dig up the large clumps, separate them into smaller sections, and then replant (or give some away if you have too many).
Note: the advice and information contained herein is based upon our experience and study. As with any advice, please apply at your own discretion.