Daylily Propagation by Proliferation
Daylilies can be propagated by “proliferations” (or by seed, or by division).
Proliferations are the small plants that arise from “joints” in the scape (see photo left); these small plants can emerge at any time after the scape develops. All daylilies are capable of producing proliferations—if environmental conditions are favorable. There is one daylily in my collection that produces viable proliferations each year; the others do not.
Notice that the proliferation on this scape is beneath a seed pod. The plant will keep the seed pod alive and that, in turn, keeps the proliferation alive. If the seed pod dies, the scape also dies and turns brown, destroying any immature proliferations still attached to the scape.
I leave the scape (stem structure) attached to prevent damaging the growing crown and root system. After 3 weeks in water (keep water level just at the crown of the proliferation—the plant can rot if kept submersed in water–and check every day as the small plants are quite “thirsty”. [NOTE: the “crown” region is the interface between the plant leaves and roots.]
If the scape begins to turn brown, cut it just below the proliferation and place it back in the water to the crown level. With good root formation (white tissue in the photo), the proliferation is ready for soil. Start with a mixture that is about 1/2 peat plus 1/2 soil (that’s what I did) and keep it moist, but not dripping wet and in a cool environment (high temperatures below 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
Monitor the young plants for viability and keep them the soil moist (but not dripping
wet) until the roots develop further. These new daylily plants should be monitored at least for one season, then transplant to a desired location (or a bigger pot). I’ve planted 4 and they are living, but not growing much (photo at left).
Obtaining Proliferations is the third way to propagate daylilies; like physical plant division, proliferations produce genetic clones of the parent plant (recall that propagation by seeds introduces variation and rarely produce the same plant.)
I’ll post an update next Spring about these proliferations.