Gardeners love the burst of colour of daylilies. In a widely available choice of colour, size, texture and blooming period, this adaptable perennial is excellent for Northern gardeners.

Daylilies look great in borders and mass plantings or as a focus in container gardens. They also reduce erosion in steep areas.

With an infinite number of species, cultivars and hybrid daylily varieties, Hemerocallis “When My Sweetheart Returns” is outstanding, one that blooms all summer long. Hardy to Zone 2, this daylily has 10-centimetre lemon-creme flowers with ruffly petals with rose-coloured centres and bright-yellow throats.

Another outstanding ever-blooming Hemerocallis daylily is “Romantic Returns”. With slightly curvy flowers and ruffly petals, this cultivar sports flowers up to 10 centimetres wide.

With striking, deep-coral-coloured petals and yellow centres, this daylily flowers all summer. An added bonus: the flowers are edible.

A deep-golden-yellow variety offering more gusto than the old faithful “Stella d’Oro” is the Hemerocallis “Scentual Sun dance” with its impeccable fragrance – another edible Zone 2 perennial.

Daylilies grow in most lighting, from full sun to full shade, but produce fewer flowers in less light. Lilies prefer moist, fertile, well-drained soil, but eventually adapt a grow-anywhere attitude.

For abundant blossoms, remove spent flowers. Daylilies should be fertilized using a 5-10-15 fertilizer (lower nitrogen with higher phosphorus and potash) from early spring throughout the summer.

To maintain plant vigour, divide plants every three years. Cover bulbs with organic mulch in early spring and again in fall.

The ideal time to plant bulbs is early spring or autumn. Container-grown lilies can be planted anytime. Avoid planting during excessively hot, dry periods.

Before planting, adding enriched compost and bone meal to your soil. Daylilies should be planted 40 to 50 centimetres apart. The crown is the indicator for planting depth.

Keep this white area of the foliage just below the soil. Daylilies are drought resistant; however, do water them during the first two months following transplanting.

Daylilies are disease-resistant, but sometimes have aphids and spider mites. Should you find a plant bug, try an natural organic solution such as neem oil.

Daylilies are dependable, low-maintenance and showy. With natural versatility, they add a rainbow of colour and a multitude of sizes and textures to Northern gardens.

Shari Morash is a gardening enthusiast and an accredited designer. Contact her at [email protected]