Frequently Asked Questions at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens

They certainly do! Attractive clump-like foliage along with versatility over a wide range of growing conditions move daylilies into the category of being the ultimate companion plant. Other perennials, annuals, bulbs, biennials, shrubs and trees combine beautifully with daylilies.

I suggest using yarrow, ornamental onions, perennial geraniums, coral bells, lady’s mantle or catmints. Tall purple monkshood and masses of white phlox look great with almost any color and form of daylily. Sun-loving hostas, and annuals such as sweet alyssum, cosmos and cleomes all work with daylilies. Various dogwoods and small lilacs make good shrub companions. Whatever you choose, make sure they are as easy going as the daylilies themselves, have attractive foliage for most of the growing season and ENJOY.

The beautiful three-season foliage of daylilies makes a strong design statement when placed beside shade loving ferns or the big, exotic looking heart-shaped leaves of Ligularia.

The old daylily cultivar ‘Kwanso’ will produce flowers even in moderate shade, however it may send underground runners to unexpected places!

Daylilies are almost a maintenance free perennial with little if any pest and disease problems in Alberta. In this regard, Zone 2 conditions work in our favor!

If problems do arise, damage is usually minimal and can be easily managed by removing affected parts, clearing away debris around the plants where bugs or disease might multiply, or getting rid of the pests using a few jet spray water treatments with the hose.

With reasonable garden hygiene, the majority of gardeners won’t need to depend on either chemicals or special practises for their daylilies.

No. Daylilies do well in a wide range of soil from sand to silt, loam, and clay. They do enjoy the addition of well rotted manure or compost in the spring or after bloom time.

We have a lot of really great daylilies at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens. Our favorites change from the latest and greatest to the oldest and best. Like peaches and raspberries, we enjoy them all. Every year we fall in love over and over as ‘eye’ witnesses to beauty, vigor and all the other fine qualities that count when choosing plants with the best garden value.

Carolyn’s personal favorite is the cultivar ‘Grape Ice’. It is her very own Happy Plant. ‘Grape Ice’ has the characteristics of all good daylilies – great foliage, strong scapes with a high bud count, multiplies well and of course – a pretty face! Jeff hasn’t decided yet if he has a favorite of favorites, however, his photos tell the story.

A ‘Canadian Collection by Canadian Hybridizers’ would be a wonderful addition to the cultivars already available at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens. Eventually we would like to do some hybridizing of our own to create a line of locally grown Alberta hybrids.

Daylilies that are set either too deep or too shallow will not perform well. The ‘crown’ or point at which the roots meet the foliage should be 1 – 1.5 inches (4 cms.) below the surface of the soil. Some growers recommend spreading the roots over a small mound of soil in the middle of the planting hole. Whatever method you use, make sure the roots are sufficiently covered to prevent them from drying out. Sometimes daylilies heave or push themselves out of the soil and will need to be reset.

Our daylilies are reasonably priced.  When we are open during bloom time at the farm, plants will be dug and sold bare root and in pots.

We sell mainly double fan (DF) size but if roots are extremely large, a new introduction or low in stock, a single fan (SF) may be sold. A multiple fan clump (CL) may also be sold – (4 fans or more). Our prices are based on supply and demand, as well as size.

Most cultivars will bloom from two to four weeks. The foliage is great all season long. Daylilies with good branching and a high bud count have a longer bloom time. The higher the bud count, the longer the bloom time.

Some daylilies are registered as rebloomers. Unfortunately with lots of cool nights and early frosts, rebloom is not reliable in our climate.

The best way to have lots and lots of daylily bloom from early summer to the frosts of fall is by choosing a variety of early, mid and late blooming cultivars. The possibilities are without end!

Daylilies should receive a minimum of four to six hour of direct sunlight. They will tolerate shade but lower light levels cause fewer or no blooms and tall foliage.

Daylilies like to open facing the sun so choose a spot where their pretty faces will be seen by the viewer.

Large clumps of daylilies need to be divided when plants are not blooming well or appear overcrowded. Washing the clump after it is out of the ground will help see the roots and where the best separations can be made. Using a sharp spade or large knife, divide into pieces containing three to five fans each, leaving as many roots in tact as possible.

Dig a large hole, amend the soil as desired and arrange the new pieces in a triangle leaving space between each piece. The closer together the new daylily pieces are planted, the sooner they will need to be redivided. If clumps are split into too many small single fans, it will take many additional years for them to mature and produce blossoms.

The leaves of newly divided daylilies need to be trimmed back to at least half of their original height. (This is not necessary if making divisions in the spring) Trimming back the leaves helps the plant to survive while it establishes a new root system. The use of a fertilizer like 10-52-10 will aid in rapid root development after dividing or transplanting.

Depending on the vigor of the cultivar, it takes one to three years for newly acquired plants or newly divided clumps to become fully established and show their full potential.

Daylilies grow well under a variety of moisture conditions, but will not thrive in wet, shady spots. They prefer dry feet to wet feet.

Like most plants, daylilies need extra water when newly transplanted and during bloom time.

It is better to water thoroughly once a week instead of applying small amounts every day. Fewer but thorough waterings encourage a deep root system that will survive dry spells. Well established clumps will survive long dry periods, however bud count and bloom size will be diminished.

The use of soaker hoses for watering daylilies is ideal. Overhead sprinklers can also be used provided they are turned on early in the day. If watering in the afternoon, give the foliage enough time to dry before nightfall to discourage the development of fungal diseases.

Gablehouse Farm and Gardens has a large selection of daylilies with an excellent track record for a low maintenance schedule. We can assist you with watering and weeding practices that reduce the amount of work necessary to maintain healthy, happy plants.

Because of their low maintenance requirements, daylilies are steadily increasing in popularity, even surpassing the much favored garden rose.

If you can grow grass, you can grow daylilies!

It is not absolutely necessary, however daylilies, like most perennials benefit from some fertilizer. An application of a balanced fertilizer such as 6-6-6 or 20-20-20 according to manufacturer’s instructions is beneficial in spring and as the scapes are beginning to emerge. A thorough watering using Epsom’s salts at the ratio of one tablespoon (15 mils.) salts to one gallon (2 litres) of water will provide an additional boost of magnesium to further enhance your garden beauties but is not necessary for overall plant health.

In our short, northern Zone 2 growing season spring is the best time to divide large daylily clumps. Least amount of set-back occurs when the foliage has emerged to approx. 3-4 inches (8-10 cms.).

New acquisitions or newly divided daylilies may also be planted no later than mid-August. They need a minimum of six weeks to establish a root system strong enough to withstand the rigors of our Alberta winters. Daylilies planted in Aug. are most successfully over-wintered when a thick layer of mulch is applied after the first two or three hard frosts.

There are a huge variety of sensational daylilies in both diploid and tetraploid forms due to advances in modern hybridizing.

Diploids have 22 chromosomes in each cell and tetrapoids have 44 chromosomes in each cell. Double the chromosome count doubles the amount of genetic material which leads to endless possibilities for hybridizing new cultivars.

Generally speaking, diploids are fast growing with “grassy” foliage. In many instances the flowers are round or ruffled.

Tetraploids usually produce wide, heavy dense foliage with thick sturdy stems. Tetraploid flowers are often larger and more numerous with thicker petals and colors are more intense.

We take cash and personal cheques for farm gate sales. A money order or cheque is required for mail orders and commercial customers.

As of 2015, we have over 450 cultivars of daylilies including: singles; doubles; spiders and unusual forms (UFOS); patterned; eyed; and edged daylilies – as well as small, and miniature daylilies. You have chosen the right place for locally grown selection.

We GUARANTEE that the daylilies we sell are healthy and true to type when they leave our care. Our mission is for you to obtain plants that will satisfy your gardening needs. If a plant proves to be incorrectly labeled we request that you return it so we can exchange it for the correct variety. A gift plant will be included for any inconvenience.

Carolyn has a double major in Production Horticulture and a journeyman ticket as a Landscape Gardener, thereby adding professional insight to her Alberta farm-girl background. Jeff doubles in technical expertise and artistry – a great combination for all endeavors.

Jeff and Carolyn’s combined talents bring many years of service and experience to their business. You and your questions are as important and will be addressed accordingly.

Modern daylily cultivars behave very well in the garden, unlike many of the old invasive types. Instead of spreading by underground roots similar to quack grass, the new hybrids of today multiply from the crown or by a fan increasing in size until it splits in two. The modern varieties at Gablehouse Farm and Gardens are vigorous without taking over.

We have many, many cultivars that are absolutely winter care free. In fact, it is the majority!

The use of winter protection when needed locks the cold into the soil, thereby reducing changes in soil temperature. The constant cold actually protects the less hardy daylily cultivars from a cycle of thawing and then freezing again. This is particularly true of those areas close to a south or west facing wall. Several inches of snow also act as insulation against soil temperature fluctuations.

Ready to plant daylilies in your garden?


Jeff & Carolyn Bondy
Gablehouse Farm & Gardens
38061 Rge Rd 22
Red Deer County, Alberta, Canada   T4E 2N3

Phone: (403) 887-6107