Question About Transplanting Daylilies

alameda/zone 8June 11, 2012

I live in east Texas - its starting to heat up here, rainfall is dwindling. Unfortunately....I didnt get all my beds redone earlier in the spring as planned. I am continuing to work on them and in order that the lilies already planted will not be buried too deep, I will need to dig them out for a short amount of time while I fill in the beds with new fresh soil. Then plant them back. Is this going to be a problem? Should I pot them up and leave them in the shade during the summer or can I do small areas at a time, dig them out and soak them then trim the leaves back a bit and replant them? I have had a beautiful bloom season and dont want to kill these that are growing so well. I was going to wait until they finished blooming to do this.....Also, I plan to dig them out with a good sized clump of dirt as well so as to disturb them as little as possible. Would sure appreciate some advice on this situation! Thanks.....


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If they are established plants and you can keep the root ball intact, I think they will do fine. If you do any dividing while you have them dug, I would pot them up and keep in partial shade till the fall or they are growing well. I don't think you need to trim any foliage back unless you get to bare roots. Regular water. Good luck Ed

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 8:38PM
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alameda/zone 8

Most of the plants are a year old, some are two years. I dont plan to do any dividing....just want to replenish the soil and raise the beds. Usually I topdress my beds with composted horse manure, mix of mushroom compost/barkfines/sand but havent in the last couple of years, the beds have sunk and the plants suffered in our 105 temps last summer - I want to get them back in first class shape. I plan to just do a section at a time so I can dig a rootball around the lilies, put them in the shade and sprinkle them with water while I am putting the new soil in the bed, then replant them. I plan to dig them, rework the beds then have them back in place as the sun is fading, so they will have the evening and night to settle back in. Of course this means I will have to be shoveling soil in the heat of the afternoon, but so what?

Oh, and one other question......I have quite a few potted lilies that are doing well and have bloomed this year. When I get these beds finished [and am building a couple of new ones], will it be OK to go ahead and plant the potted lilies, even it if means they will be in alot of sun once planted? If so, any special treatment I should give them? I thought about errecting some stakes and staple sunfabric over them for protection. Any thoughts on this?

Thanks, appreciate the advice!!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Most daylilies are tough enough to sit out for some time before planting. The big danger is high temperatures, so putting them in the shade is good. Amending your beds and replanting in the heat of the summer can be dangerous. New amendments usually break down quickly causing extra heat in the soil. This can cause crown-rot. The soil temperature is most important. Planting them in partial sun this time of year would be good.
I personally would take the plants out, amend the beds and water good for a couple of weeks, and then replant the daylilies. Put some coarse stuff in your amendment to create air/water pockets. Ed

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 12:41PM
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alameda/zone 8

Ed, thanks for your advice! The soil I am going to amend with is premixed by this great company who has these huge piles of all kinds of things. I get a mix of aged mushroom compost, bark fines and sand. I hadnt planned to mix anything else in there. I have a great organic recipe that I use in the spring on the lilies that seems to work great, so didnt plan to do anything else except raise the beds with new soil - dig them quick and put them in the shade, build up the beds and replant them at end of day and water in. Do you think this will be OK?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 5:06PM
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I think so Judith. It's going to be some work though! I usually try to redo my beds about every three years, because of the same problem. Ed

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 8:35PM
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alameda/zone 8

Oh, no doubt about the work! I got behind due to 3 knee surgeries - also have a horse farm so lots of work in that department too. I was concerned about uprooting them this time of year but if I dont do it now.....dont want to wait until fall as I want these beds put back together now. I cant plant anything else in them the way they are. Know I will be proud of them when they are finished - just dont want to lose any lilies, but if I do.....there are plenty more for sale! Last summer was such a horror, we had 105 from early June on into September. It looks like this summer will be more normal so hopefully I can get this done before July 1.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2012 at 11:04PM
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