How And When To Cut Back Daylilies: Daylily Trimming Made Simple

Daylily trimming after bloom time will keep these beauties tidy and disease-free. Trim the plants back after they bloom and before you divide them.

Orange Flowered Daylily
cut daylily
(Image credit: marinowifi)

Daylily Trimming Made Simple – How And When To Cut Back Daylilies

Daylily trimming is an important part of upkeep and maintenance of these beautiful plants. They establish themselves quickly, and require only a minimal amount of care. In this article, we will explore when and how to prune daylilies properly, with a special emphasis on preparing the plant for winter.

When to Trim Daylilies

The best time to prune daylilies depends on your growing zone. Though pruning is not generally required, it can be used to maintain the plant’s appearance and keep flower beds looking tidy. Deadheading, or removing old flowers is also beneficial.

Cutting back plants just after they have finished blooming can refresh a tired flower bed. Routine trimming can help to prevent disease. If you see damaged or suspect stems, you should trim and remove them from the garden. Do this during periods of active growth to rejuvenate your plants and prevent the spread of any potential problems.

Daylilies respond well to pruning that’s done before you divide the plants. Trimming each plant at this time will help to make it more manageable in terms of size, and will help to encourage growth after new divisions have been made. Daylilies are most commonly divided in spring, though experienced growers have found success at most any point throughout the summer.

How to Cut Down Daylilies

The arrival of frost in fall will mark the end of the plant’s growing season. At this time, the foliage will die back to the ground naturally. Trim all dead plant matter and dispose of it, safely away from the garden.

Trimming daylilies for winter will help to prevent disease and ensure that the plants are ready to resume growth in spring. To prune daylilies, growers need a clean pair of garden pruners or secateurs. Handfuls of foliage can be bundled together and clipped carefully from the plant at the base level, making certain not to damage the crown.

Trimming Daylilies in Containers

Daylilies grown in pots can be trimmed in the same manner. You can help promote their continued bloom through routine deadheading and removing any stems that have dried or yellowed over the course of the season. Pruning each plant back after flowering helps to rejuvenate potted plants and promotes lush foliage for the duration of summer.

The Dangers of Over-Trimming or Trimming Incorrectly

Aside from deadheading, most daylily plants only need to be trimmed twice per year; once in mid-summer and again in fall. Proper pruning will help your plants to produce vigorous new growth which will, in turn, prepare the perennial for the arrival of winter.

Overtrimming through the summer may result in diminished vigor, or in severe cases, complete loss of your plants. This is especially true toward the end of the growing season, as daylilies continue to gather and store much-needed nutrients.


How Do You Keep Daylilies Blooming All Summer?

True to their name, each daylily bloom lasts only a single day. It is easy to understand why one would want to extend the flowering period of such a fleeting beauty. Though most cultivars will flower for approximately one month throughout the growing season, you may be able to briefly extend the production of buds through deadheading.

What Do You Do When Daylilies Have Finished Flowering?

After flowering, individual blooms can be removed from the plant to prevent them from producing seed. You may choose to trim your plants back at this time, which helps enhance their appearance as they begin to look tired, and will encourage new growth in preparation for winter.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel