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Why Are Your Daylilies Not Blooming? (And How to Get Them to Re-Bloom)

Why Are Your Daylilies Not Blooming? (And How to Get Them to Re-Bloom)

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If you are looking for a sturdy, low maintenance plant to adorn your landscape, you should definitely consider the daylily. Recognized for their beautiful floral displays, the flowers from daylilies come in an assortment of subtle and vibrant shades and hues.

The one downside to a daylily is that their flowers only last for one day.

What Is a Daylily?

Daylilies are perennials that are able to grow quickly and for long periods of time. They can grow in either shade or full sun and grace us with their display of big beautiful blooms from the middle of summer all the way until the beginning of fall. Gardening enthusiasts are able to enjoy a new display every day.

It’s best to get plants from a reputable nursery and even though the plants can take sun or shade, they seem to do best in full sun. They will grow in a container or planted directly in your garden or as a decorative border.

There are so many types of daylilies to choose from and just as many different colored flowers to look forward to seeing daily.

What Causes Daylilies Not to Bloom?

Why My Daylilys Not Blooming

One problem gardeners come across when dealing with these plants is when they fail to bloom. What happens to them that they aren’t able to produce their daily flower?

Here are a few simple reasons why your daylilies may not be showering you with their floral display:

  • They may need to be in an area that has more sunlight. If the lighting has changed in the area where they are planted, such as a tree has grown and now is producing much more shade, you may need to move the non-blooming daylily to a sunnier location.
  • Even though they are not usually bothered by any specific types of pests or insects, check to make sure that they have not been invaded by a disease of any kind.
  • Sometimes daylilies find themselves becoming too crowded along with other equally strong plants. If you find that the surrounding plants are fine and producing their own type of flowers, you may want to relocate your daylily plant to a place where it won’t have to compete for sun, soil, and nutrients in order to be at its best. This is especially true if the daylily has been planted near a fast-growing tree whose roots are expanding rapidly and taking over the daylily’s area.
  • If your plant seems to have grown fuller and is not producing flowers, try thinning them out and planting smaller sections. Make sure you give them enough room to spread out and grow and avoid becoming overcrowded again.
  • The time period when you thin them out may be preventing them from blooming. If you reorganize the large clumps in your daylily at the end of the fall it may not give the plant enough time for its roots to spread out and be ready to bloom.
  • If your plant has never bloomed since you purchased it, make sure that the daylily is able to bloom in your area. Look up the map that shows the best areas for the type of daylilies that you want to grow and that where you live is included in one of those areas.

What Is the Proper Way to Cut Back a Daylily?

If your daylily has stopped blooming because it has become too crowded, this is an easy fix. It is suggested that you trim the roots of your daylilies every couple of years to make sure that they continue to bloom without interruption.

When the roots of the plant get too full you have to divide them and replant them. Start by trimming the leaves of the plant down to around 6 inches to make it easier. Next, you will want to loosen the dirt that surrounds the clumps so you can create several smaller plants from the one large one.

Once you are able to free the clumps from where they are planted, shake off the extra dirt to expose the single fans. Remove as much soil as you can so you can separate the clumps.

To plant your newly divided clumps, dig holes a little deeper than the roots, which can generally be about 12 inches deep. The holes should be approximately 12 to 18 inches wide. Pile some dirt in the middle of the hole to create a mound for the roots to spread around. Cover the roots with up to 1 1/2 inches of dirt above the crown and water well.

This video shows the process outlined above.

How to Get Your Daylilies to Re-Bloom

There are several things you can do to get your daylilies to re-bloom.

  • Divide them and replant when they become overly crowded.
  • Make sure that you have the type of daylilies that are able to re-bloom. Several of these include: “Barbara Mitchell,” “Dragon’s Eye,” and “Stella de Oro.”
  • When you replant your daylilies make sure you keep them watered so they don’t dry out.
  • Plant them in a spot where they will get at least six hours of sunshine every day.
  • Put 2 inches of mulch over the top of your daylily so it will keep the soil from drying out and it will keep any weeds from taking over.
  • Remove any flowers or buds that are old and wilted. This will encourage new growth.
  • Use a slow-release kind of fertilizer that is low in nitrogen. Look for a 5-10-10 mixture and water the plant immediately after fertilizing it so it can soak into the soil for the most effectiveness.
  • At the end of winter, when your daylily is resting, cut your plant all the way down to the ground and remove any wilted or dead leaves so it will be ready to re-bloom in the spring.

Even with all of these extra instructions, daylilies are genuinely easy plants to take care of. Just a few extra steps will reap great rewards and you will get to enjoy beautiful blooms every day and even longer than you expected.

Choose a couple of different types of daylilies and you can wake up to a rainbow in your yard every day.

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Saturday 2nd of July 2022

18 inches deep for planting the bulb? That seems like a typo.


Tuesday 12th of July 2022

Hi KC, The 18 inch depth was a typo, thanks for catching that. It is actually about 12 inch depth for planting the roots of a divided plant. I have updated the paragraph and added a video for visual.

Happy Planting! Lisa


Thursday 12th of May 2022

Good morning! I'm in Zone 8a/9b (Alabama Gulf Coast). I bought 5 beautiful (approximately 6" tall) orange daylilies in late-March. They each had 3-5 blooms/buds & no more than 2 stems. All looked great a week after planting & the blooms fell off as they are supposed to. Plants still look very healthy, they get 6-8 hours of sun each day, they are mulched & get watered for 90 minutes each morning just after sunrise. The sun doesn't reach them until 11am-noon. They have yet to grow any new blooms. What have I done?! My Daddy was my go-to gardener. He's recently & suddenly/ unexpectedly passed. Desperately trying to make him proud.

Thank you!

Iceni Summersides

Friday 9th of July 2021

I thank you for your advice about plants. Very helpful. I have had a delphinium growing for the past 10 years but in the last 2 years, something appears to eat it before it can fully bloom. The leaves are curled and look like spiders web around them. I love this plant. Any idea on what to do would be very much appreciated. At present, it has one spindly stalk with a flower bud.


Tuesday 28th of April 2020

It is late April in zone 5. There is a day lily that was in the garden when I moved here. It bloomed last year but I know nothing about them. Trying to learn. There is lots of foliage (long leaves) nothing g that looks like a flower stem at all. Should I try to transplant some or should I wait? I really don’t have much of a green thumb. I wish I did. I’m working on it. Thank you.

Lisa | The Practical Planter

Thursday 30th of April 2020

Hi, Dee!

You’re doing great so far! They sound very healthy. Daylilies don’t typically bloom until at least June, but more likely July and August. I have an article on daylilies you might want to check out!

Also, if you’d like to transplant or divide them, I would wait until after they bloom, so late summer to early fall. Good luck!!