daylily dividing

Assonet, MA(Zone 6b)

I'm embarassed to ask such a basic question but I really need to know quickly. I have dug up a group of old daylilies (here since we bought the house) and want to divide them. I have removed all the tiny roots that must have been strangling them. They have about 10 "bulbs" each. Do I just replant the cleaned up plant where there is more space, or do I cut some of the "bulbs" and plant those? I'm afraid to harm the plants and know I have to get them back into the ground today. I'm trying to do what is right for the plants but I'm not sure if I'll do this for all the lilies. It's a lot of work and there are many more lilies. I'd appreciate any information. Thanks.

Blythe, CA(Zone 10b)

daisycat: Basic or not, I would also like to know. Mine aren't at that point yet, but was wondering the same question. Hopefully somebody here will let us know.

West Pottsgrove, PA(Zone 6b)

Here's a link to the US National Arboretum's 'Dividing Daylilies' page. You can do this any time of year, but you will probably have fewer blooms doing this now. Not sure about that though. They are very tough plants. I would just pull apart the ones you have dug up already into smaller clumps.

http://www.usna.usda.gov/Gardens/faqs/DaylilyDivided.html

Blythe, CA(Zone 10b)

Thanks claypa. I will check out that link. I just started growing these so it will be awhile before they get to that point. Any idea of how much sun these can take ? Please don't tell me they like shade, no such thing in my yard.

Assonet, MA(Zone 6b)

Claypa; Good morning. Thanks for that very informative link. They show very clearly how to divide an above ground clump but, my plants are only a nub above ground and I have seperated them into a group of individual nubs with a multitude of "bulbous tubers?" or roots. Can I cut the "roots" to divide/multiply. I hope you can follow that. Unfortunately I am photo challenged besides being new to gardening. Don't know what I'd do without each of you at DG. Betterbloom, mine are in full sun and do quite well, but I'm in zone 6 ? if that impacts.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Full sun is best for daylilies....you'll get more blooms.

As to the dividing thing, I pop a clump out of the ground and turn the garden hose on it to get the dirt off. I then start at the outside and start working the individual plants free. There may be several shoots to each one. If you are in a hurry, you can just cut the clump into smaller ones, but you will lose a few plants that way.

The good thing is, daylilies are some of the toughest plants around, and are almost impossible to kill. They will live a long time in a bowl or bucket with just a little water in the bottom...(I'm talking weeks) You can take your time dividing if you like.

It will affect the bloom this season do do this, but your plant won't die. If you are new to dividing plants and gardening...daylilies are perfect......they are tough, and very forgiving.

Assonet, MA(Zone 6b)

Thank you Melody. Thats very encouraging, especially the part about "no rush". I'm sorry to be so dense but, do I cut the round bulb type thing growing on each of the roots of one plant - maybe 10 + per each plant / nub? We have not set up the outside hoses as yet so my poor fingernails had to do the walking through the ensnarled roots - definately not the way to go. Puttng out hoses just moved up on the to-do list. Thanks

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

I'm not following about the 'bulb' description....Daylilies have what are called rhizomes. These are thick fleshy elongated roots and they mat around each other. Kinda looks like Jamaican dreadlocks. You leave as much as possible of the root system with each plant....that is their 'food', and is why they can live outside the ground with only a little water. Do you have daylilies, or do you have actual lilies that have an onion-like bulb?

I've got to run for now, but will try and dig up some images later this evening for you to illustrate.

Assonet, MA(Zone 6b)

Well Melody all my daylilies are sitting in bowls of water and I'm not worried about them any more. Yes they are daylilies, and they do have the rhizomes you describe so well, but many of the rhizomes have a growth on them shaped like an oblong bulb and that oblong growth has a myriad of tiny roots growing from the lower end. My neighbor came over to try to guide me but she was unsure also. Since there is a prediction of snow tonight I'm going to replant them today. I'm going to take a few cuttings of the "growths" and plant them also. I'll report back if their successfull. Thanks again.

Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

These bulb like growths on the roots are the stored food. It's good to leave these with your lilies instead of cutting them off. They won't die if they are cut off though...that's how you'll get them from a mail order place. I'm not sure that they will sprout new plants though...I actually don't think so...but will bow to more experience in that area.

I wouldn't worry about the snow though...it won't hurt to leave them out of the ground...some folks have told of leaving them in the garage all winter with just a splash or two of water every now and then. These are cast-iron kill-proof plants. you've got to be very mean to them for them to die.

Assonet, MA(Zone 6b)

Thank you so much Melody. Now I can give my tired old legs the rest they are hollering for. I'll get back to my lilies soon. I may procrastinate, but I'm never mean to my plants. I really appreciate your help.

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