Skip to Content

Dividing Daylilies In Early Spring – How To Create More Plants With Ease!

Early spring is the perfect time for dividing daylilies! Not only does it help promote healthier growth, it’s also a great way to gain additional plants for your landscape. And all for free!

Daylilies are a great choice for the home landscape. They add a big burst of colorful blooms and foliage to flowerbeds, and are extremely easy to maintain as well.

dividing daylilies in the spring
Daylilies can provide large swaths of color and blooms to the landscape.

In fact, it’s truly hard to find a more low-maintenance perennial. Both drought resistant and tolerant of poor soil conditions, daylilies can be grown nearly anywhere.

Maintaining Daylilies In The Landscape

The only real maintenance needed for daylilies is an occasional division of the plant. Dividing daylilies every 3 to 5 years helps keep their foliage in check, and their blooms booming.

If allowed to grow too large, the roots and foliage begin to use all of the energy needed to produce blooms. The result is an overgrown plant that produces fewer and fewer blooms with each passing year.

filling bed space with flowers
Filling beds with more plants helps to crowd out weeds. It also means having to use less mulch in your beds.

But dividing dividing daylilies in the spring is the perfect way to eliminate this issue. It also lets you create more plants in which to fill beds with more foliage, and far less mulch.

Which just so happens to be the best way possible to keep your flowerbeds weed-free, and of course, save a lot of money on mulch! See: How To Eliminate Weeds In Flowerbeds – For Good

The How To – Dividing Daylilies In The Spring

If you did not clear the spent foliage from plants in late fall, begin by removing it first. Although the decaying material can be cut off, in most cases it can simply be pulled away from the base.

Once removed, depending on the temperature, you may already see some new green growth. Daylilies are one of the first perennials to begin growing in early spring.

spring growth
New spring growth will usually be underneath the dead foliage from the previous year.

Once the foliage is cleared and the base of the plant is exposed, you are ready to start dividing.

Removing Plants From The Soil

Begin by loosening the soil with a shovel a few inches behind the outer edge of the shoots coming from the crown. Don’t worry if you happen to sever a shoot or two in the process. Daylilies are extremely hardy and tough to kill, and a few injured shoots or roots will not kill them.

digging up plants
Use a shovel to dig a few inches behind the crown of the plants when digging up.

Next, using the shovel, dig down behind and pop the daylily out of the soil. If it happens to be extremely overgrown, you can remove the plant in sections. Again, it will not harm the plant’s health at all.

Dividing The Daylilies

Now that the plant is out of the soil, flip it over so you can see the shape and size of the root cluster.

Dividing is as simple as taking a shovel or an all-purpose garden knife and cutting sections from the root ball. The size of the new cutting directly determines the first year size of the new plant. Product Link : Hori Hori Garden Knife

creating new daylilies by dividing
Flip the plants over to see the root structure, and then slice down through the plant to create new starts.

In general, dividing new plants into 3″ x 3″ root sections will create a nice-sized plant that will be able to grow another 3 to 5 years without issue.

Replanting After Dividing Daylilies In The Spring

Now it is time to find a space for your new cuttings. And planting couldn’t be easier!

Dig a hole slightly deeper and wider than your cutting. Next, put a bit of loose soil into the bottom of the hole so the new cutting can easily send roots into the soil. Be sure the top of the plant’s soil line is level with the existing soil line.

dividing daylilies in the spring
New divisions will quickly develop strong foliage and even blooms in their first year.

Next, fill in the edges of the hole with dirt and lightly press the soil to the roots. And that’s it! If the soil happens to be extremely dry, you can water. But in most cases, it simply isn’t necessary.

The plant will quickly begin to grow from the roots in the coming weeks, and in nearly all cases will produce blooms the same year.

Late Frost / Freeze

There is no need to worry about dividing daylilies too early in the spring when it comes to a frost hard freeze.

Daylilies truly are one of the strongest and hardiest perennials around. And as long as your soil is thawed, you can begin digging up and transplanting new plants in the early spring months.

new perennial plants
If you have extra cuttings, pot them up and give them to friends, family and neighbors.

Although a hard frost or freeze may damage any new growth above the soil, it is temporary. The plant itself will survive just fine, and will quickly begin to shoot new growth up from it’s base.

See how easy it is! So now it’s time to get out there and start dividing your daylilies this spring. You will be rewarded with healthy plants, and a more full, weed-free flowerbed.

This Is My Garden is a website dedicated to spreading the love and knowledge of gardening around the world. We publish two new garden articles each week. This article may contain affiliate links.