Daylilies for the South


Inspired by last month’s article on daylily breeder Dr. A. B. Stout, our good customer David Allen wrote to us about his experiences growing daylilies in Friendswood, Texas. His zone 9b garden is warmer than we’d expect daylilies to thrive, and we thought we’d pass along his results, especially for those of you in areas where spring is coming soon! David reports, “Three or four years ago I ordered from you (and others) many daylilies, trying to go back to the earliest hybrids for strongest plants to combat the intense heat and humidity and at time freezes as low as seven degrees Fahrenheit (Dec. 22, 1989). Most daylily hybrids fail here.” While he lost some to summer drought and others were weakened by a February freeze coming after active growth had begun, some varieties excelled for him. While we probably will keep our zone recommendations conservative, if you’ve been wanting to experiment with daylilies, here are some of his favorites.


‘Caballero’ is “the most beautiful grower and flower I got from you” which can outlast “freeze and heat and drought and take high humidity without mildew.” He also recommends ‘Mikado’ and ‘Challenger’ and says that ‘Hyperion’ was “very hardy to all this and beautiful. ‘Salmon Sheen’ was vigorous, despite other pinks performing poorly for him. “Finally,” he says, “from the hand of Bertrand Farr, who died young in the 1920s but his firm as mentioned in your email article of 07Jan2024 did most of the introducing of Stout hybrids to the world, I highly recommend Farr’s hybrid, ‘Ophir’ which takes all heat and humidity and freezes and multiplies wonderfully and flowers over [a] very long season.”


Since we offer different daylilies in rotation over several years, not all of David’s favorites are available this spring, but you can sign up for an email alert on any that you’d like to try in the future.