When Is the Best Time to Plant Daylilies?

Daylily care is very straight forward. Planting them is also fairly simple. Unfortunately, when to plant daylilies isn’t quite as clear cut. Daylilies aren’t bulbs so planting them isn’t season specific and there’s no across-the-board answer. The truth is, the best time to plant daylilies depends on where you live.

When is the Best Time to Plant Daylilies?

If you live in planting zones 3-8, you can plant in the spring, summer or fall. For gardeners in the hottest areas of the country (zones 9-11), the best time to plant daylilies is in the spring, fall, and often straight through the winter.  Folks in these areas may want to avoid planting in the heat of the summer.

Oakes Farm is in planting zone 7. Our best time to plant daylilies—mainly because it’s our favorite time to plant— is in the fall. Plants planted in the fall have time to get established and bloom next summer. If you choose to plant in the fall, try to finish planting 4-6 weeks before your first hard frost. You can plant later in the fall if you take care to water and mulch your newly-planted daylilies.

We also consider spring to be the best time to plant daylilies just because it’s a great time to plant in general.  If you choose to plant daylilies in spring, you should wait to plant until after the danger of hard frost has passed. If you plant earlier in the spring, you should take care to water and mulch your newly planted daylilies.

First Things First: Know Your Planting Zone!

Before you buy any daylilies (or any living plant, really) it’s crucial that you know your planting zone. A planting zone is a designation assigned by the USDA that is determined by the average temperature in your very specific part of the world. Some areas are too warm or too cold for certain plants to grow successfully. Your planting zone designation helps educate you on what will grow in your specific zone. If you don’t know which planting zone you live in, the USDA has a handy map you can access here.

In most areas, you can plant daylilies in the summer (here at our nursery we plant straight from March through October), just be sure to give your newly-planted daylilies plenty of water.

What About Frost?

If you order from us, we take the guesswork out of when to plant. Spring shipments should arrive after the ground has thawed and danger of hard frost has passed. Fall shipments should arrive several weeks before freezing weather, although you can plant later if you will mulch the plants.

What Kind of Daylilies Should I Plant?

Evergreen (E) and Semi-Evergreen (SEV) daylilies
Evergreen and semi-evergreen daylilies are those that like to grow foliage all year long. They only flower during bloom season, so you won’t get daylilies throughout the year, but if you live in an area that doesn’t get freezing weather, chances are good that you’ll have daylily foliage throughout the winter.

During extreme winter weather, evergreen and semi-evergreen foliage (semi-evergreen daylilies are more likely than evergreen varieties to lose their leaves) may get bitten back or look scraggly. Those of you who live in zones 9-11 should plant evergreen or semi-evergreen daylilies.

Dormant (D) daylilies
A dormant daylily is one that needs a respite from the blooming season. In other words, they like to take a winter nap. Although they may look great for a year or two, if they are planted in an area that doesn’t have a cold period,  the constant growth and bloom cycle is just too much for them and they wear themselves out.

You’ve heard the phrase “no rest for the weary?” That’s a very real conundrum for ill-placed perennials in zones without a dormant period. There are a few dormant varieties that do quite well in warmer zones. Those daylilies are acknowledged on our website. Those of us who live in zones 3-8 can plant dormant, evergreen and semi-evergreen varieties.


If you follow these easy planting rules, you’ll have a garden full of beautiful daylilies in no time! After all, daylilies make the world more beautiful.

If you are interested in watching a video about how to plant daylilies, please visit our YouTube channel and watch “Plant A Daylily Bed: Everything You Need for Successful Planting.”

How to Grow Daylilies in Containers

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...