No Blooms On Daylilies – What To Do When A Daylily Isn’t Blooming

No Blooms On Daylilies – What To Do When A Daylily Isn’t Blooming

By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Popular in flower gardens and landscapes, daylilies are a common choice for homeowners who want to add color and curb appeal to their yards. These perennials are treasured for good reason; adapting to a wide range of growing conditions and able to withstand diverse climates, daylilies reward gardeners with vibrant blooms all season long.

As the name would suggest, each daylily flower remains open for only one day. The profusion of blooms produced on a single plant make this flower a garden favorite. That’s why a daylily not flowering can be upsetting.

Why Daylilies Won’t Flower

Finding that there are no blooms on daylilies may be quitealarming for many home gardeners. While the plants themselves can create nicevisual interest in flower borders, when daylilies won’t flower, it can berather disappointing.

If your daylily isn’t blooming, growers should first makecertain that they have provided the growing conditions required for the plantto thrive. With the daylily, non-flowering can be a sign of a couple issues.Most commonly, your plant may not be receiving adequate amounts of sunlight inthe garden. Plantings in partial shade may struggle to receive enough light toproduce consistent blooms.

If bloom has suddenly stopped in an already establishedplanting of daylilies, there may be yet another issue that has caused the plantsto cease flowering – overcrowding. As the plants grow and multiply, thedaylilies may have to compete for space and nutrients in the soil. This oftenresults in diminished size of the plant, as well as a decrease in the number offlowers that are produced.

How to Make a Daylily Bloom

If the proper growth conditions are being met, one of thebest methods to encourage blooms on daylily plants is to divide the plants. Dayliliesthat have become overcrowded will need to be divided and replanted elsewhere inthe garden. In general, daylily plants can be divided any time throughout thegrowing season. However, it is best done in the spring when the daylily will beable to establish itself in its new location.

When dividing and transplanting daylilies, always makecertain to bury the crown at the proper soil level. Planting daylilies too deepwill also cause decreased blooming too. With a spade and a pair of gardeninggloves, most growers are able to promote better overall health and bloom intheir daylily plants.

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What Are the Causes of Day Lilies Failing to Flower?

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Day lilies (Hemerocallis spp.) provide more than just their stunning blooms. The few problems that persist with day lilies and minimal maintenance requirements make them a relatively worry-free plant. But day lilies that have not received proper care may fail to flower. Often these symptoms can be corrected and beautiful blooms can once again grace your garden.

Solving Daylily Problems

Tips on how to use this section
The symptoms of the most common problems are in the left column of the chart. In the right column are the probably causes of those symptoms. For those problems for which there is detailed information in a different part of Yardener’s Helper, the name of the problem is linked to a detailed file. For those problems for which there are no additional files, the discussion is found in the paragraphs below the chart.

Solving Daylily Problems
Symptoms Probable Cause
Buds & Leaves Chewed or Disappear Critters
Leaves Yellowed Distorted Aphids
Leaves Die In Summer Normal Leaf Senescence
Leaves Spotted Spring Sickness
Wet Blotches under Leaves Edema Blisters
Leaves and Buds Deformed Mites
Buds Shrivel Drop Off Thrips
Large Ragged Holes In Leaves Slugs or Snails
Leaves Develop Yellow Striping Leaf Streak Fungus

Buds & Leaves Chewed Or Disappear Because of Critters
Daylilies are favored by several kinds of wildlife that may frequent your yard. Deer are particularly fond of the tender emerging daylily shoots and flower buds. They will nibble them to soil level in just one evening. Discourage the occasional deer visit by spraying plants with one or more of the animal repellents available. Follow the label directions. If your local deer are under severe pressure for food, they will be eating mature daylily plants and other plants on your property as well. Only a fence will effectively deter starving deer. Chipmunks, voles, or mice may nibble on daylily shoots or fleshy crowns at soil level. Deter them by covering the clumps of emerging daylilies with wire mesh covers until foliage is grown enough to be less appetizing or use hot pepper wax.

Leaves Die In Summer Because Of Normal Leaf Senescence
Although some types of daylilies are evergreen throughout the winter, many normally die back in the fall. After flowering, they begin to look a bit ratty with browned leaf tips and dead leaves in late summer. Remaining stems dry out. This is normal. Pull out the brown leaves and dried stems. With a dose of fertilizer reblooming types continue to produce flowers, although not in the abundance of early summer. Eventually, with frost, all the foliage will die back and need to be cleaned up.

Leaves Spotted Due To Spring Sickness
Occasionally the leaves of daylily plants develop yellow spots or brown blotches or streaks on them or new growth that looks rough. Some plants die from the top down. They don't bloom as heavily as they should. These are the symptoms of a problem called spring sickness, which is actually cold injury caused by late spring frosts. The leaves and flower buds are damaged before they emerge from the crown of the plant, and symptoms may not show up until weeks later. A heavy winter mulch of chopped leaves, wood chips or pine needles sometimes helps prevent this problem. Try covering the plants with white polyspun garden fleece before they emerge. Trim off browning leaves at the base. Some purple and lavender daylily varieties seem to be especially susceptible, so try other colors as well as varieties reported to be especially suited to colder climates.

Wet Blotches Under Leaves Are Edema Blisters
Edema is caused when plants that have endured dry soil too long suddenly receive lots of water. Because they tend to take up the water more quickly than they can transpire moisture from their leaves, overfull cell tissues swell. They form blisters that eventually dry and turn brown. Unlike their tough roadside tawny cousins that can handle drought, hybrid daylilies need an evenly moist soil at flowering time. Trim off marred foliage, and wait for soil to dry a bit for plants to recover.

Leaves Develop Yellow Striping From Leaf Streak Fungus
A fungus that thrives on moist daylily leaf surfaces and causes length-wise yellow streaks accompanied by irregular darkened spots that disfigure the leaves. Flowering may also be reduced. This is primarily a problem in the spring, since the fungus does not survive temperatures over 90°F. Because some types of daylilies are more susceptible than others, the fungus may attack only certain ones in your yard.

Pick off and discard infected leaves. Remove dead plant debris promptly from the garden, to reduce overwintering spore populations. Dig up and discard seriously infected plants with surrounding soil to control the spread of the infection. Mulching helps prevent splash-borne infection in plantings. To protect uninfected plants in the area spray their healthy foliage with garden sulfur according to product label instructions.
For more information see the file on Dealing With Fungal Diseases.

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How To Make A Daylily Bloom: Troubleshooting Reasons Daylilies Won’t Flower - garden

How to grow and care for these popular, low-maintenance perennials that thrive in sunny gardens

Daylilies are popular, easy-to-grow, low-maintenance perennials that are tough, long-lived, and tolerant of neglect. They bloom profusely, though individual blooms only last a single day, and varieties number in the tens of thousands. Daylilies grow from fleshy roots, unlike true lilies that grow from bulbs.


Foliage clumps range from less than 1 foot to 3 feet tall. Flower scapes can be less than 1 foot to 6 feet tall, though most are 3 to 4 feet.

Full sun. They may tolerate some light shade however, flowering is best in full sun.

When do daylilies bloom?

  • Depending on the type, plants may begin blooming mid-spring, and some continue until fall.
  • Individual blooms only last for a day, but multiple flowers on each stem bloom in succession, extending the overall bloom time for a single plant to about a month.
  • Some varieties rebloom, such as Stella D’Oro, flowering several times throughout the season until fall.

Daylily colors & characteristics:

  • Hybrids come in a rainbow of colors, including pale cream, shades of yellow, orange, red, pink and purple to almost black. The only colors not represented are true white and shades of blue.
  • Flowers have 3 petals and 3 narrower petal-like sepals, and come in a variety of forms including single, double, spider, and star-shaped.
  • Plants are classified by flower size (miniature, small, and large) and range from 3 to 15 inches across.
  • Flowers bloom on leafless stems (scapes) that rise above long, narrow foliage. Mature plants can have several scapes, each with multiple flowers.

Daylilies are toxic to cats, but not to dogs or humans. However, they may cause stomach upset to dogs if ingested. They look similar to true lilies which are extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. See more


Container-grown or bareroot daylilies can be planted in spring or no later than 6 weeks before the first frost in autumn. In mild climates, they can be planted in summer. They’ll take about a year to establish themselves and then will spread quickly, forming dense clumps.

For best blooming, plant in an area that will receive at least 6 hours of sun. They will tolerate poor soil quality, but not poor drainage, so make sure the site drains well. Daylilies are one of few plants that can be planted under black walnut trees because they are not affected by the chemical juglone that is leached into the soil by the tree.

When transplanting daylilies, either container-grown or bare-root, dig a hole deep enough so that the crown of the plant will be at the same height as originally grown. A band of white at the base of the foliage indicates what part was underground. A high-phosphorus fertilizer can be added to speed growth. Keep newly planted daylilies watered well. Mulch can be added to help hold in moisture.

Daylilies aren’t usually grown from seed by gardeners, as they rarely come true—meaning, have the same characteristics as the parent plant.


Deadheading: Remove spent flowers regularly to keep them looking their best. To avoid seed pods from forming, make sure you are getting the entire flower and not just the petals. Deadheading is critical for subsequent flowering in reblooming types. Some say that because of the number of blooms they produce and the fact that they only last one day, deadheading can be a lot of work. (Note: Be careful with the darker purple varieties, they can stain your hands or clothes.)

Maintenance: Remove yellowed or dead foliage from the base by grasping firmly and giving a quick tug. After all blooming is done, plants can be sheared to the level of new growth or 6 to 8 inches from the ground and stems cut back to the base. Keep them watered well and you’ll get decent regrowth in 2 to 4 weeks. For reblooming types, simply removing dead or yellowed leaves is preferred over shearing because new flower stalks may be cut off. In mild climates, plants may remain semi-evergreen, and cutting back should be done in early spring before flower stalks appear.

Soil: Daylilies prefer moist, average to rich, well-drained soil. They will tolerate poor soil, but won’t tolerate poor drainage.

Amendments & fertilizer: Daylilies benefit from a balanced fertilizer and appreciate some extra nitrogen in the spring. Fertilizing once or twice during the growing season (spring) and once in fall will encourage strong growth, larger bloom size, and winter hardiness.

Watering: They will perform best with consistent watering—about 1 inch per day. It is important to water plants regularly in spring when scapes and buds are forming and also while blooming.

Dividing: Sparse flowering can be a sign of overcrowding. Dig up and divide clumps every 3 to 4 years, or every 2 years for reblooming types. Dig them up in early spring before blooming or late summer after blooming. Cut or pull the crowns apart carefully and replant.

Pests & diseases: Although seldom bothered by pests, aphids, spider mites or thrips may attack flower buds or foliage. Slugs and snails can also be attracted to tender foliage. If daylily rust (a fungus that damages foliage) is a problem, you may want to consult a local nursery for rust-resistant types to grow in your area.

Deer & rabbits: Daylilies are usually safe from rabbits. However, they are a favorite of deer, so set up deterrents if needed.


  • Perfect choice for mass plantings, beds, borders, and meadow gardens.
  • For beds or borders, use small-flowered minis at the front edge, large-flowered mid-height varieties in the middle, and long-stemmed spider types at the back.
  • Small and mini varieties are well-suited for containers.
  • Plant unusual, distinctive varieties up close where you can see them, on a porch or patio.
  • Plant daylilies with other perennials, annuals, bulbs or shrubs like coneflower, iris, phlox, verbena, yarrow, Shasta daisy, black-eyed Susan, bee balm, or ‘Autumn Joy’ sedum.
  • Use daylilies in cut flower arrangements. Individual flowers will only last a day, but buds along the scape will continue to open.

Watch the video: Day Lily Care. How To Grow Day Lily. How to Separate Day Lily