Daylilies, Division & Delivery
A bare root plant is a common way to receive most plants during it’s dormant time (usually Autumn to early Spring). Daylilies travel well like this even for a period of some weeks although the plant and roots can appear desiccated. Most leaf is removed before shipping to avoid transpiration.
Daylilies are usually shipped as single fans. All daylilies start like this and as they bulk, produce additional fans to the original. The fan is therefore a direct part of the original variety.
The exception to this is micropropagated daylilies. This tissue culture method of propagation is common in the industry for many plants and usually represents excellent value. However, early attempts with this method on the daylily resulted in varied results and plants not identical to the parent.
Dividing a Daylily clump is much the same as any perennial (two forks back to back) although if you want to obtain the maximum number of plants it is better to lift the whole plant and gently tease the fans apart. Knock off and then wash off as much soil as possible to give a clear picture of the root ball. It is hear that the root ball can vary between one long connected root which will need cutting cleanly with a sharp knife to separate the fans, or some obligingly seem to grow separate fans that are easy to pull apart.
If the latter, (illustrated, an old variety ‘Bright Spangles’ (photo in the registered variety page) with fans that pulled apart easily) each fan will make a new plant quite easily but if you have to cut the plant, then don’t be too greedy and damage or weaken it.
Sometimes, fans are so tight that splitting them will likely just result in damaging the crown. Each fan must still be left with enough root to comfortably make a good plant.
(Illustrated, one of my registered varieties ‘Vectis Nora Malone’ which had to be cut to separate the fans.)
Additionally, there are a few daylilies that seem to resent disturbance to the point that they may die back before growing again - growing notes on the plant will usually advise if this is the case. Similarly, registration or grower’s notes will usually indicate if a plant is robust or slow to increase - some plants will be happy (prefer) left for many years undisturbed but others will be invigorated from lifting and dividing every few years. Flowering will diminish as a clump becomes too congested.
At the beginning I advised that most Daylilies are usually shipped as single fans. In this case after dividing ’Vectis Nora Malone’ (earlier images) I was left with a 3 fan clump which I considered too risky to divide further. This was the plant that was shipped. Roots were dried as much as possible and wrapped in paper to protect & remove any last moisture.
Growing instructions are enclosed.