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Some daylilies make surprisingly good cut flowers

Three yellow daylily flowers with a ray of sun shining on them
‘Hyperion’ daylily makes a nice cut flower

Hemerocallis (hybrids)

Daylilies are a surprising cut flower. Because, as the name implies, the flowers last only a day. So what makes a daylily a good cut flower?

On one stem there are several buds. You will cut the stem and enjoy the first flower. At the end of the day, or the next morning, you’ll remove the spent flower, and in the next day or so, the next bud will open. And so on until all or most of the buds have opened.

Pair the daylilies with long-lasting alstroemerias for a nice, simple bouquet that carries through the stem-with-buds stage.

What’s more, some daylilies have a fragrance. But not all of them have a nice fragrance.

The variety I like best for cutting is ‘Hyperion’. It has a very nice fragrance. To me, it’s reminiscent of Easter lilies, one of my all-time top five flower fragrances. It’s not too strong but it can fill a small room, or delight passersby. And better, it stays open longer into the evening making it usable for evening bouquets.

And daylilies are edible! All parts are, but the most fun part is the flowers.

Daylilies are NOT to be confused with lilies. They are very different plants. Daylilies are edible, but lilies are poisonous! (See more about what parts are edible and more in Special Info below)

Daylilies are so easy to grow that they’ve naturalized. Many people think they’re native to parts of North America. None of them are, most of them come from China. They’re easy to hybridize which explains the plethora of varieties you’ll see.

Daylily flowers and plants

Five inch trumpet-shaped, flowers grow atop a 3-4 ft. stem, called a scape. One flower on each stem opens at a time and lasts only a day. One plant can produce many “scapes” when it’s established. Each year a new “fan” grows from the plants which makes new flower stems, or “scapes,” and which means the number of bulbs is increasing.

Daylilies come in an enormous array of colors and markings. Most plants bloom in early to mid-summer then the foliage dies back and disappears,

‘Hyperion’ is a soft lemony yellow. It’s said to be a rebloomer. And it stays open longer into the evening!

Yellow daylily flowers on the plants
This yellow daylily is worth considering as a cut flower

They grow to 40 inches tall and up to 2 ft. wide, with green strap-like leaves.

Daylilies attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

How to grow them

Zones 3-9; full sun to part shade

   How to plant 

Daylilies grow from fleshy roots, making it easy to dig them up and start new plants. They can be purchased from growers in small potted plants or as bare roots in the winter-spring.


Daylilies can handle tough conditions. Poor soil, drought, heat, and even salted roadsides and  (though I wouldn’t recommend these conditions if you want the most pretty flowers).

Average to low water.

My new ‘Hyperion’ put up one stem the first year. The second year it will have more and it will have produced offshoot plants and more stems. Eventually it will become quite a productive plant.

Daylilies are famous for generating increasingly large plantings. So, start with one if you’re patient or three if you want to get a good start.

Every 3-4 years the plant will need to be divided, giving you more to landscape with or to share with friends.

The foliage dies back after flowering is done. The unharvested scapes stand there begging to be cut back. But if you have a lot of them you can wait until the scapes dry completely, that’s when they pull out easily.

How to harvest the flowers

Yellow daylily in a bouquet with Alstroemerias
Day one bouquet
Yellow daylily open on day 3
Second flower opens on day 3

Harvest early in the morning of the day it is going to open. Or in the evening before. You can tell it’s ready because the bud’s lips will be barely opening at the tip.

Cut the stem at the base. Each stem is all you’ll get, unless your variety is a rebloomer. (‘Hyperion’ is supposed to be a rebloomer, but I haven’t seen that yet. In my new garden I’ll be anticipating that this year.)

You can condition the flowers as all the others —but given the time that takes you’d want to pick your flowers in the evening. So you can skip that step.

Since this is a daylily, each evening or morning after the flower has finished its bloom, pick or cut off the spent bloom. In the next day or day and a half the next bud will open. Maintain this process until all have bloomed. You may not get all of the little buds to bloom, but most will.

Fourth yellow daylily flower open on day 9
Day 9, fourth flower opens
Third daylily flower open on day 6
Third flower opens on day 6

 Favorite daylily variety

‘Hyperion’: It’s a soft lemon yellow with a lily-like shape. What’s more,  it has a very nice fragrance! To me it’s reminiscent of Easter lilies…one of my five favorite flower fragrances.

Hyperion is a daylily that stays open a little later into the evening, too, making it an even more useful cut flower.

Sources for ‘Hyperion’ Daylily plants

Bluestone Perennials


And there are many other sources of daylilies.

Special Info

Daylilies are great for landscaping

They make a showy perennial. Since ‘Hyperion’ is purportedly a rebloomer (giving two bloom periods a year) this makes it an even more useful for perennial beds.

It’s often said that they are deer resistant. I’ve tried that. My foliage didn’t get eaten but the flowers did. So I grow mine inside the deer fence. Your deer may be different. Ours are facing drought challenges, so the deer pressure is high.

The flowers are edible!

Yup, you can have fun with this! You can eat the tubers, the shoots, and the flowers and buds. Here’s a nice rundown of what you can do with them. Some people may get an upset stomach from them. And lilies are poisonous, so be certain you have the right plant!

Flowers to go with daylilies

Bouquet of dark and light pink alstroemeria flowers


Classic flowers that last long in the vase, easy to grow, and bloom all season long.

Purple bee balm flower

Bee Balm

These flowers look like fireworks in a bouquet. Comes in many bright colors, easy to grow.


Choose the varieties with tall stems for good cut flowers, in a variety of colors.

Yellow 'Hyperion' daylily on the plant
Ready for picking, one flower on a first year plant