Fertilising and Caring for Daylilies
Fertilising and Caring for Daylilies
Daylilies are a beautiful addition to any flower garden and will offer bright blooms for several weeks during late spring and even through summer depending on the variety that has been planted. While these flowers are relatively carefree and easy to maintain doing some basic gardening work such as fertilising and caring for daylilies by checking the soil pH will take a garden full of daylilies from beautiful to spectacular. Just as all living things do, plants need to be “fed” as they grow. A good fertiliser will provide much needed nutrients to the plant’s root system so that healthy, vibrant plants will grow and produce large and colourful blooms that are sure to please everyone who sees them. Adding necessary nutrients and trace elements to the soil is a must, but without maintaining a good soil pH this can be a real waste of time and energy as proper absorption of the needed nutrients from fertilising occurs when the soil pH for a daylily is slightly acidic. Knowing how to fertilise and change the pH of the soil will turn an average gardener into a gardening superstar with gorgeous beds of spectacular daylilies.
Fertilisers for daylilies
First and foremost one must consider just what nutrients and how much of them a daylily needs. A good fertiliser will need to provide the big three to a daylily plant—Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These three nutrients, N, P, K, are referred to as a set of three numbers on a fertiliser’s packaging. These numbers which are often written as 10-10-10 or 6-12-6 for example, indicate the relative content of these chemicals in the fertiliser. Nitrogen is vital for the growth of leaves while phosphorous is essential to good root development and potassium is necessary for plants to produce flowers and fruits. Daylilies tend to do well with a fertiliser that has an 18-6-12 NPK rating. When getting ready to plant lilies or to tend to last year’s flower bed be sure to have this fertiliser on hand.
Fertilisers come in a variety of forms. Before planting or prior to plants emerging from the ground a granular fertiliser can be worked into the soil; just do not disturb any daylily bulbs that are already planted. Regular fertilisers release nutrients into the soil all at once so some gardeners will opt for pricier slow release fertilisers that will release nutrients into the soil more gradually over time. Some of these products claim to last for up to six months before needing to be added once again. Remember organic fertilisers are not made in factories and are not chemical based but are instead natural products that may be sold or found around the home. Cow manure is an organic fertiliser that is commonly used in gardens and that will help day lilies grow. A common method for applying fertiliser after a plant has grown and matured is called foliar spraying. Using this method of fertiliser, often containing chemicals or other additives that will repel pests is sprayed directly onto the leaves and stems of the plants in the garden. There are popular commercial brands available for this type of fertilising or one might make a kelp infusion and use it as kelp ground up in water this offers as many as fifty known trace minerals for plants to absorb.
Caring for Daylilies – Check the pH First
A hand held pH metre is a gardener’s friend. Test the soil to determine where the pH lies. For a bed of daylilies, the pH should be somewhere between 6.2 and 6.8. A pH in this range will allow the plants optimal absorption of the nutrients they need from the soil and fertilisers.
If the soil pH is too low add hydrated lime to raise the soil pH to the directions on the lime package indicate. Also one can add bone meal, crushed oyster shells, ash from hardwoods that have been burned or crushed marble in order to raise the soil pH.
If the pH is too high one can use ground rock sulphur to lower pH and should always follow the package instructions for this additive. Other things that can help lower the pH include sawdust, composted leaves, and peat moss.
Daylilies will thrive in an area where the pH has been properly tested and the soil has been treated to bring it into the optimal range.
Household Products in the Garden that help Caring for Daylilies
There are some great products right in your own kitchen that can help to keep daylilies nourished and looking healthy and beautiful. Add tea leaves and coffee grounds to your compost heap or work them into the soil these are great organic fertilisers. Ground up eggshells will add calcium carbonate to the soil which is a trace mineral that plants need. Boost the magnesium and sulphate levels in soil using Epsom salts that can be used in small amounts dissolved in water, about 1-2 dessert spoons per half a bucket or US gallon. Although not from the kitchen, those with a pet rabbit or perhaps some chickens will want to consider using the manure from these pets in their garden soil. Never use manure from animals that are meat eaters as the risk of parasites and infection would then be very high. Another good fertiliser for daylilies garden is Wood ash from the fireplace provided nothing but wood has been burnt. Adding some of these items will provide needed trace minerals, which are substances needed in small amounts in order for daylilies to stay healthy and grow and bloom beautifully. The result will be gorgeous daylilies with more bountiful blooms.
Caring for daylilies that result in a Healthy Flower Garden
Taking care of the soil and making sure the area your daylilies will be planted in is watered and fertilised properly is a crucial part of having the very best plants possible. With an investment of a little time and a small amount of effort, every home gardener in Australia can have beautiful daylilies that will bloom with big, bright flowers and have lush foliage and will look as though a professional gardener has been tending to them.