How To Divide Daylilies

How To Divide Daylilies

There’s one thing we can agree on when it comes to plants :  We want more of them! 

This post is about how to get more plants out of the ones you already own by a propagation process called division. This is the most basic technique on how to divide daylilies. 

Daylilies create many ,many small fingerling like roots called tubers as they grow. As they get bigger, you simply separate them into smaller groups and replant.

When it comes to daylilies, beginners will learn quickly, and garden veterans will agree that an early investment will pay off in the long run.

By dividing daylilies,  you can fill your garden with lively foliage and flowers that come in a wide array of shapes and colors. You will be surprised how easy they are to grow and propagate!

When to divide DayLilies

Dividing daylilies is relatively easy task to accomplish. I have divided the ones I have almost any time of the year without it killing them. They are pretty tough.

You probably want to wait till after you’re done enjoying their bloom time through the end of the summer and wait till they become semi dormant.

Some people will tell you to wait until they die back in January. I get antsy, and once the clumps get too thick, I will tackle the task right away.

In October, the temperatures are down, a little, so its not such a sweaty job. This also means the plants won’t be under so much stress and will likely survive better after the rough division process. Although daylilies can really take a beatin’.

Where to Begin..

how to divide daylilies

After a couple of years of no-show blooming, I have literally thrown handfuls of some tubers from daylilies that were growing in my front bed into the edge of the nearby woods.

So what do they do? bloom like crazy!  They just needed some more sun. 

A plant with that kind of willpower deserves a bed..or at least to be planted among friends.

And This , my friends, is their Story…

The first thing you need to do is dig the entire clump up by loosening the soil around the tubers. Daylilies grow from tubers, not bulbs like other lilies. They look like little pale carrots.

The tubers and roots trailing off of them are usually less than a foot deep and should come up easily with little effort, depending on how long you’ve waited to divide them. This photo is about a year’s worth of growth.

how to divide daylilies

The next thing I do is try to figure out how big I want my division to be. When I replant them, I personally don’t want them to be little sprigs. I want them to look like they been there a while or I paid good money for them.

You pick a size that’s best for you or for the area that you are trying to cover.  They fill in rather nicely and quickly.

how to divide daylilies

Once you figure out the size , just start working your fingers between the roots like you’re pulling knots out of shoelaces or hair . And shaking them as you pull. I’m never gentle. I always like to do this dividing to them when they’re very dry too. It’s alot less messy.

how to divide daylilies

Some of the tubers and roots may break in the process, but it’s not going to hurt anything. Just keep pulling and working your fingers in.

If you have a huge clump that hasn’t been divided in years you can just literally chop it in half with a shovel.

That’s literally all there is to it.  You can fill a bed up rather nicely by dividing just a few plants, saving you money and beautifying your garden at the same time!

Now the hard part for me. Trying to find a spot to plant them !

how to divide daylilies

Well, they’re in their new home ! I’ll shape it up later…

Daylilies around my yard seem to grow in all types of soil.  There’s a big clump in a very damp place that never seems to dry out.  I have some in a sandy area. And of course these guys came from a “well drained, rich in organic material” woodland edge.  I can tell you these are definitely full sun and will produce more flowers when they get the proverbial 6 hours or more a day.

how to divide daylilies

Leave a Reply

Close Menu