How to Grow Daylilies in Containers

We’ve been growing daylilies for over 40 years. They’re one of the easiest to grow and low maintenance perennials around (and we think they’re awfully pretty, as well!). We’ve planted them just about everywhere imaginable, but one of our favorite places is, maybe surprisingly, growing daylilies in containers.

Daylilies in containers are not super common. We think that’s why they’re so fun to see: they provide an extra zing of “hey, look at that!” to your garden design.

If you are short on garden space or just want an novel way to show-off your daylilies, planting in a container is a great way to add a pop of color to any garden, balcony, or patio space. Although daylilies are super easy to grow, there are some tricks and tips to keep in mind for successfully growing daylilies in containers.

Daylilies in Containers: Choosing the Right Variety

Plants with smaller blooms often have smaller and shorter plants making them more suitable for pots. Daylily varieties that are on the petite side make excellent container plants. Thanks to their small blooms and small plant size, they won’t quickly outgrow a container or flop over when fully in bloom. Plus, many small bloomed daylilies are excellent rebloomers— perfect if you want bloom throughout the summer.  You can see all our “perfect for pots” sized daylilies here.

Pot Size Matters

When it comes to choosing a pot, size matters. For a small-bloomed, small daylily, a  pot around 16-22″ in diameter will give your daylily room to thrive. If planted in too small a pot, daylilies can become root-bound. You’ll need to repot them every few years or transfer them to the ground for optimal growth. Be sure to use a larger container if you want to add additional plants to your pot. Daylilies planted with trailing verbena, sun-tolerant impatiens or trailing ivy are stunning!

Just like planting any perennial in a container, it’s important to use the right potting soil. A general-purpose, high-quality potting soil is a great choice. You’ll want to add some slow release, granulated (liquid is also fine) fertilizer to your container when you plant your daylilies but please refrain from fertilizing them again. Too much fertilizer can cause daylilies to focus their energy on producing foliage instead of blooms. Although their foliage is attractive, their blooms are far more beautiful!

Provide Extra TLC

One thing to keep in mind about daylilies in containers: they will require extra water in the summer, and extra protection in the winter. Because containers dry out faster than the ground,  daylilies will appreciate daily watering during the hot summer months. Likewise, if you live in an area that receives a sustained winter cold period, winter protection is necessary to prevent the roots from freezing. You can winterize your daylilies by mulching them well and pushing their containers up near your home, placing them in a cool, dry unheated space (like a garage or shed), or moving them to a greenhouse if you have one available.

Daylilies in containers are worth the bit of extra effort they require. They are perfect for small spaces, provide an unexpected pop of color, and don’t require fussy trellising or supports. A gorgeous addition to your summer patio!


For extra instruction, you can watch our “Daylilies in Containers: Expert Tips for Success” video our our YouTube channel.

What Daylilies Can I Grow?

What Daylilies Can I Grow?

We grow a LOT of daylilies! To set you up for success, we add certain information specific to each daylily on our website. One of the things we add is whether a daylily is registered as an Evergreen (EV), Semi-Evergreen (SEV), or Dormant (D) variety. These...