I've always enjoyed
daylilies, but they don't provide much color until summer. Can I
interplant with something that will provide some spring interest?
Daffodils and daylilies are the perfect companions in the perennial garden.
Both require full sun to bloom to their full potential and they politely
take turns in the garden. The daffodils emerge and bloom early while the
daylilies are still waking from their winter rest. As the daffodil foliage
matures and yellows in preparation for summer dormancy, the daylilies grow
rapidly, obscuring the waning daffodil leaves. The daylilies also use up
soil moisture through the summer months and help to keep the daffodil bulbs
from being waterlogged.
How often should
I divide my perennials?
Different perennials have different needs. Peonies don't require division
at all and are only divided when more plants are needed. Daylilies develop
a dead spot in the center of the clump with age and should be divided every
five to seven years. Some perennials like chrysanthemums and yarrow grow
best if divided even more frequently; as often as every two years. Check
your favorite book on perennials to find out when each of the perennials
in your garden should be divided.
ants all over the buds of my peonies. What should I do?
Nothing. The ants are only on the buds to collect sugars excreted by tiny
nectaries on the surface of the petals. While they need not be present
for the buds to open properly, they won't hurt your peonies either.
flowers are distorted and the petals have white spots and streaks. What
is causing this?
Thrips often damage daylilies. Look for small cigar-shaped insects in the
blossoms or tap blossoms onto a sheet of white paper to spot the thrips.
Thrips are very difficult to control and should be treated early before
they develop large populations capable of causing a lot of damage.
In severe cases, they may even prevent the development of some of the flower
buds. A neem-based pesticide may help control them, or you may apply a
systemic insecticide. Be sure to look for minute pirate bugs before you
spray your plants. They are tiny insects just a bit larger than thrips
with wings that are black at the front and transparent at the back. Minute
pirate bugs are voracious thrips predators and are very effective at controlling
a summer thrips outbreak. If they are present, don't spray your daylilies.
Let them take care of the problem for you.
Where can I find
more information about perennials?
Daylilies and peonies each have their loyal followers; check the following
web sites for more information: