Daylilies Not Blooming

Category Perennials
Growing these hardy perennials is generally quite easy, so when they don't bloom it can be frustrating. This is a page about daylilies not blooming.


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August 24, 2006


For the past 3 summers my daylilies have bloomed so well. This year, half the group did not develop scapes, while half did and are now in bloom. They are in the same location with the same amount of sun, same type of soil, etc. Do you know what is happening and what I need to do to make these bloom next season?

Hardiness Zone: 6b

Natalie from Fairfield, CT



It could be that your lilies are feeling a bit overcrowded. Once established, daylilies need dividing every few years. When kept in close quarters too long, their dense fibrous roots form masses and flower production tends to slow down or even stop. Daylily enthusiasts recommend dividing and replanting daylilies after they have finished blooming, in late summer, early fall, or early spring.


In truth, daylilies are tough. Most anytime will work, but it's easiest when they have less foliage to contend with. Just make sure if you divide them in the fall, that you leave them enough time to become established before winter.

To divide them, cut back the leaves to about 6 inches to make them easier to handle. Use a pitchfork to loosen up the soil around the clumps and to free as many of the roots from the soil as possible. You may have to dig pretty deep to reach the perimeter of their extensive root systems. Using the fork, pry clumps out from the ground and shake off excess soil so you can see the individual fans (spray them off with water if necessary). Do your best to separate the clumps-using a sharp knife to cut them apart. Dig new holes 18 inches deep and wider than the size of the roots and create small mound in the center of each hole to set the crowns on. Space the holes 2 feet apart and make sure the crowns rest under no more than 1 to 1 1/2 inches of soil when finally covered. Next season you should see more blooms.



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August 9, 2006


I have had daylilies for about 3 years now, planted in full sun. I've never had them bloom yet. Any suggestions?

Hardiness Zone: 3b

Deb Tilbury from Manitoba, Canada



Several things could be going on here.

  1. Are they planted too deep? Daylily plants should be set in the ground so that their crowns (the point at which the foliage and roots join) are about 1 inch under ground. Bulbs should be planted 6 to 8 inches deep.

  2. Are they getting enough sun? Most varieties bloom best in full sun. More sun equals more blooms with daylilies.

  3. Are you fertilizing them? Depending on your soil, a light fertilizer (and plenty of water) will help improve performance.

  4. Are you growing the right lilies for your growing conditions? Your short growing season is best for early or mid-season bloomers. Late-season lilies may not have enough time to set buds.

  5. Did you plant tissue culture or garden (field) grown daylilies? In recent years, there has been some controversy surrounding nurseries selling tissues culture daylilies. These lilies are produced in a laboratory by taking a few cells from the mother plants and developing a new plant in test tube. This is a fast, inexpensive method of developing lilies that allows more expensive varieties to be priced more reasonably. Unfortunately, there have been problems with most of the offspring. They aren't true to the parent plant and often produce poorly. Sometimes they fail to ever bloom again after the first year!

    Some unscrupulous retailers (usually garden centers and mail-order nurseries) have marketed their plants as field grown, when actually they were originally tissue culture plants. If you see a normally expensive lily being offered at rock-bottom prices, it's probably a good idea to steer clear. You can't tell the difference by looking at them, so you need to rely on a trusted nursery to sell you true, field-grown lilies. For more information on this, email the Manitoba Daylily Society.

Hope these ideas help!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

October 16, 2017

I've had a day lily plant for about 4 yrs now and it was blooming perfectly until my mom picked the flower off the stalk because she thought it was dead. That was about a year and a half ago, but no flowers since. What is going on? Please help.


October 17, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

Day lilies that won't bloom; getting them to bloom; items needed: small spade or hand spade, water, sunshine


Step 1
If a Day lily won't bloom it likely is stressed or not getting enough sunlight.Things to try:

Step 2
1. Make sure it has enough room for the roots. If you have it in a pot, it may be root bound and needs to be separated and or re-potted.

Step 3
2. Be sure that it's getting enough water. Or not getting too much. They need a happy medium.

Step 4
3. They need sunshine or a grow light if inside. Day lilies only bloom during the day and they require a lot of light to do so.

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June 30, 2019

My daylilies have buds on them, but after one week they just stopped blooming. What's wrong? They are not crowded; there is 2ft or more between each one.


June 30, 20190 found this helpful

Daylilies need a lot of sun to bloom.

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July 1, 20190 found this helpful

In addition to sun, day lillies may not bloom the first year, regardless of what you do.

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June 21, 2015

After years and years of flourishing, this year my orange daylilies aren't going to bloom. Not a single stem on any of them. My neighbours' blooms are either side are ready to burst into bloom; they always come out a few weeks before mine.

Yes, we had a very cold winter. I live in southern Ontario.

Any thoughts?


November 12, 20171 found this helpful

You may have to divide your daylillies. They get crowded over time and that will reduce blooming

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