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The Waning Daylily Season

August 4, 2020

Outrageous Ramona & Sun-upA few short weeks ago, I was eagerly anticipating the peak of daylily season. I had more than a dozen varieties that had already begun to bloom, and more and more were opening their first flowers every day. Now I have more than a dozen varieties that have finished blooming and more and more open their last flowers every day. I always feel a bit sad as the daylily season wanes and I say goodbye to so many favorite flowers for another year.

While the daylily season is waning, however, I still have many daylilies to enjoy. Some late bloomers have only recently opened their first flowers. Those that began to bloom in the past week include Olallie Star,’ ‘Orchid Corsage,’ and ‘Cathedral Bells.’


Olallie Star 2020 Orchid Corsage Cathedral Bells 2020

There are still two late bloomers with buds that have not yet opened their first flowers and two very late bloomers that could still send up flower scapes (fingers crossed).

front slope2 8-1-20

Monarda punctata bractsOn the front slope, where daylilies are still a strong presence, the hot color scheme of July has been softened by lavender hues of some late-blooming daylilies, a drift of Monarda fistulosa in the middle of the slope, Agastache foeniculum, and by the lavender pink bracts of Monarda punctata.

And, as the daylilies wane, late summer flowers like Liatris and Phlox paniculata have begun to bloom.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat Leuchtman permalink
    August 4, 2020 1:28 pm

    You make me a little jealous. I have quite a few daylilies, in many shades and shapes, but in spite of watering, our summer has been so hot and dry they are not lasting like they usually do.

    • August 8, 2020 12:11 pm

      Pat, My daylilies have also suffered from this year’s hot and dry conditions (for us, mostly from mid-May until the end of June). The early bloomers seem to have fared best, presumably because they started to make flower scapes when there was more moisture in the soil. A few varieties did not make any flowers at all. For the rest, with a few notable exceptions, there were fewer flower scapes and those scapes were shorter and had fewer buds. I have been trying to give some supplemental water to my two very late bloomers and had hoped they would still make flowers, but I think the window of time in which they might do so is quickly closing.

  2. August 4, 2020 2:47 pm

    You have a beautiful daylily collection, Jean, and I LOVE that Monarda.

    • August 8, 2020 12:16 pm

      Kris, I love Monarda punctata, too. Someone has described its flowers as looking like something imagined by Dr. Seuss. I wondered if you might be able to grow it (it likes dry conditions), but it turns out to only grow to Zone 8. At the beginning of summer, I thought my plants hadn’t come back this year because they weren’t where I remembered planting them. But then the self-sown seedlings began appearing. They have a sneaky way of seeding themselves into the crowns of other plants, so that what starts out being an Echinacea sprouts Monarda growing on one side.

  3. August 17, 2020 7:40 am

    I’m always looking for late blooming daylilies to extend the season. Hate to see them go. Interesting that your liatris blooms after the daylilies. My white liatris blooms at the same time and has just finished here in Zone 5.

    • August 27, 2020 8:05 pm

      Carolee, I think I would still have daylilies blooming with the liatris, if the daylilies had bloomed as prolifically as they normally do. Unfortunately, we’ve had two droughts this summer — one in June and one in August — and both have reduced the number of flower buds on daylilies. I was just looking at my records for last year and seeing how many more daylilies I still had in bloom last year at this time. My very late bloomers, ‘Sandra Elizabeth’ and ‘Richard’ did not make flowers at all this year.

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