Plant of the Month by Martin Fish
Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.
We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.
Hemerocallis “Day lilies”
One of my favourite summer flowering perennials is the “Day lily” or Hemerocallis to give it its proper name! This is a range of herbaceous plants that originate from the forests, river valleys and meadows of Japan, Korea and China that form dense clumps of arching strap-like foliage in summer.
They come in a wide range of colours and as a result of hybridising and breeding, there are some really exciting cultivars with very showy flowers.
What I like so much about them is the fact that they adapt very well to most garden soils and situations. I’ve grown them on wet, sticky clay and free draining sandy loam, semi-shade and full sun and in all these situations they have thrived.
New growth pushes through the soil in spring and flowering starts in late June, but it’s July when they are at their best. The attractive flowers are produced on tall stems and as their name suggests, the individual blooms only last for a day.
Fear not though, as there are plenty of buds to follow to give a continued display in the garden. Come autumn, the plants naturally die down and all the old foliage can be chopped off. They are also very easy to propagate by division and I prefer to do this in early spring when new shoots start to appear.