“My mother is ill and can’t get out of the house. She misses her garden, especially her daylilies. Would it be possible for me to move some of these into pots and have them thrive indoors? If so, any special care for them? Thank you!” Question from Jenifer of Saint Petersburg, Florida
Answer: We are so sorry to hear that your mother is ill and hope that she recovers soon. Daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids) are hardy, summer-flowering perennials that grow best outdoors. They can, however, be forced to bloom early, so you could force some for indoor enjoyment for several weeks or more. Another option is to look for blooming specimens at local garden centers to bring to your mother. If you cannot find any, then try forcing your mother’s daylilies. Here are some recommendations.
Daylilies For Forcing
Most daylilies can be forced, especially newer, reblooming varieties. Because the plants will be potted and you want flowers fast, avoid forcing tall or late-blooming daylilies. Stick with compact, early, heavy-flowering types. The time it takes to force flowers varies from variety to variety.
How to Force Daylilies
We gathered this information from Greenhouse Product News magazine, which is for professional growers. Here is a shortened version to better help home gardeners force daylilies if desired.
- Larger clumps will produce more flowers, so start with a good-sized clump (perhaps 5-6 inches across at the base) that is either dormant or recently leafed out. Make sure that all of the roots are intact.
- Pot the daylily in a medium-sized pot with drainage holes at the bottom and a saucer to catch water. Be sure to cover the roots and leave the shoots or buds above the soil surface. Plant the daylily in quality, well-drained potting mix, such as Black Gold All Purpose Potting Mix.
- Water the pots in until water drains out of the bottom. Keep the soil lightly moist, never saturated.
- Daylilies are day-neutral plants that like lots of sunlight. High-intensity light will encourage them to bloom fastest and encourage full growth, so place them in the sunniest window of the house. You may need to provide supplemental grow lights if you lack a sufficiently sunny window.
- Cool growing temperatures help daylilies bloom faster. The article author, Paul Pilon writes: “In these trials, reducing the temperature from 75° F to 60° F increased the time to flower by eight to 15 days for most cultivars. I recommend growing daylilies at 65° F in environments with high light intensities for best results.”
- Plants take several weeks before growing full and budding out.
I hope these tips help. Start by contacting local garden centers to see if they offer blooming plants. Some may even be able to order flower daylilies for you. If not, now you have another option.
All the best,
Black Gold Horticulturist