Question: What are the best varieties of daylilies for a beginner, where can I buy the plants and are there some basic growing instructions for South Central Texas?

Answer: Daylilies provide a maximum of color to the landscape with a minimum amount of effort. Blossoms now come in pink, purple, red, peach, apricot and all shades in between, including dramatic color combinations. Petals may be ruffled, twirled or flecked with eye-catching glitter called "diamond dust." And there are many new sizes and shapes, ranging from giant spidery blooms a full 12 inches wide to biscuit-shaped miniatures barely two inches across. Some daylily experts have compiled a list of the some of the best varieties. Some of the best daylilies include:
Midnight Magic -- 5.5" flower, tetraploid, evergreen. Average price: $8 for a double fan;
Victorian Collar -- 6 1/4" flower, evergreen, tetraploid. Average grower price: $18 for a double fan;
Moonlit Masquerade --;
Hunters Torch -- 6.5" flower, evergreen, tetraploid. Average Price: $10 for a double fan;
Elizabeth Salter -- 5.5" flower, tetraploid, semi-evergreen. Average price: $20 for a double fan;
Barbara Mitchell -- 6" flower, semi-evergreen diploid. Average double fan price from growers: $10;
Jason Salter -- 2.75" bloom, evergreen diploid. Average price: $8 for a double fan;
Orange Velvet -- 6.5 " bloom, semi-evergreen diploid. Average price: $12 for a double fan;
Dragon's Eye -- 4 inch flower, semi-evergreen diploid. Average double fan price from growers: $15;
Olive Bailey Langdon -- 5" bloom, semi-evergreen, tetraploid. Average price: $6 for a double fan.
Others to consider are:
Mary Todd (buff yellow), Butterscotch Ruffels (peach blend), Baja (red with green throat),
Wide Wide World (reddish rose),
Winning Ways (greenish yellow),
Seductress -- 5.5" bloom, evergreen, tetraploid. Average price: $5 for a double fan.(lavender),
Mountain Violet (vivid purple), Sudctor (bright red),
Pandora's Box (cream with purple eye),
Pony Ride (light golden yellow) and Painted Lady (orange bronze).
Curly Ripples (gold cream blend),
Deek (orange gold blend),
Serenity Morgan (cream),
Seductress (lavender) and Super Double Delight (yellow) are fragrant forms.
If you want to plant during the ideal planting season of fall you will have to order roots by mail. Also, due to the nature of daylilies -- that they bloom for only 6 to 8 weeks per season -- there are very few that actually are sold at "local" nurseries. Most plants MUST be ordered from the suppliers, and the best ones are located in Florida.

They are:
Daylily World, P.O. Box 1612 Sanford, Florida 32772-1612
$5 for a giant color catalog with tons of color pictures.

Rollingwood Gardens, 21234 Rollingwood Trail, Eustis, Fl 32736
These guys are the largest supplier garden in the U.S.

Ladybug Daylilies, 1852 S.R. 46, Geneva, Fl 32732
$4 catalog.

Some other sources of the best varieties listed are:
Serendipity Gardens, 3210 Upper Bellbrook Road, Bellbrook, Ohio 45305
(Tel. (513) 426-6596;

Daylily Discounters, Rt.. 2, Box 24, Alachuca, Florida 32615; and

Sunnyridge Gardens, 1724 Drinnen Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37914 (615) 933-0723.
The minimum order accepted is $20. The cost per root will average $7.

These suppliers may/may not carry the recommended cultivars from above. We recommend writing them and requesting their catalogs.

Some nomenclature you should be aware of:

Miniature daylily: blooms are less than 3" .
Small daylily: blooms are 3" or more but less than 4 1/2 ".
Large daylily: blooms are 4 1/2" or greater.
Flower forms: Circular, triangular, star, flat, recurved, spider, and spider variant, as well as double.

Color patterns:

Self: the entire flower is all one color.
Blend: the flower segments are a blend of 2 or more colors.
Polychrome: the flower segments are a blend of 3 or more colors.
Bitone: The petals and sepals of the flower differ in shade or intensity of the same basic color.
Bicolor: The petals and sepals are of 2 different colors.
photo of daylily variety Midnight Magic
Midnight Magic

photo of daylily variety Victorian Collar
Victorian Collar

photo of daylily variety Hunter's Torch
Hunter's Torch

photo of daylily variety Elizabeth Salter
Elizabeth Salter

photo of daylily variety Barbara Mitchell
Barbara Mitchell

photo of daylily variety Seductress

photo of daylily variety Dragon's Eye
Dragon's Eye

photo of daylily variety Orange Velvet
Orange Velvet

photo of daylily variety Olive Bailey Langdon
Olive Bailey Langdon

photo of daylily variety Jason Salter
Jason Salter

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