Dividing Daylilies (Part 1)

By the time that I decided to divide my daylilies (early Spring, this year—recall the mess—), I realized that I could identify only two of the unruly clumps. So, the choice was made to start raised beds that would give me room to sort them by variety. Here’s how I did it:

1) the daylilies were dug up and clumps were placed in pots with potting soil—essentially I stored the clumps for future transplanting to the new beds (see pots in picture at the bottom of this post).

2) Convince my husband to use his skills to build 2 beds; each on 2.5 feet wide, 8 feet long, and 10 inches in height. He purchased treated 10 inch boards and created the oblong structures.

Cleared Bahia Grass

Cleared Bahia Grass

3) clear out the Bahia grass from the selected bed sites. We used shovels to dig out the thick mats (pictured left).

4) place the raised bed in the cleared space, then add a layer of newspaper 10 to 12 sheets thick—soak the paper with a hose to keep it in place. The newspaper will help keep the grass out of the bed — it is biodegradable (see newspaper in the picture below).

Newspaper-Lined Bed

Newspaper-Lined Bed

After the bed has been placed, continue to remove grass around the perimeter of the bed to keep it out. The newspaper will buy a bit of time so the surrounding area can be cleared of Bahia grass. NOTE:  Bahia grass is even more difficult to remove than bermuda!

5) As the daylilies bloomed in the pots (pictured below, with the first set of daylilies in the bed), I added two thickly planted rows of each clump. These are all identified and can be given out as “pass alongs” to family and friends.

Daylily Bed, Final Stages

Daylily Bed, Final Stages

This project has been incredibly time-consuming, but I now have these daylilies organized so that as friends as for what is blooming, I can show them and give them a plant — complete with instructions for care.

Several of the plants are “pass alongs” from family members. What better way to give a plant to a friend or relative — than to give one complete with a family story!

In part 2 of this series, I’ll describe how I divide the clumps down to single fans, and why.

Watch for updates of blooming daylilies!




One thought on “Dividing Daylilies (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Dividing Daylilies (Part 2) | The Art & Science of Gardening

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