Daylily Problems

Gulf Coast Daylily Society of Southeast Texas










Some have called the daylily the "perfect perennial."  It is almost true.  Many daylily varieties are close to carefree.  They don't show many signs of pests or disease.  Most varieties of daylily require very little fertilization, can tolerate cold and heat and drought and lots of rain, too.  They will bloom year after year and thrive in our area without much attention.

One of the keys to carefree daylilies is bed preparation before planting.  A good raised bed with plenty of soil amendments, such as sand, to break up the clay gumbo soils of Southeast Texas, and plenty of organic matter, such as well rotted manure or humus or compost.  See PLANTING DAYLILIES PAGE.

Once the daylilies are established, most will do just fine.

There are a few problems though.  Here are some and some tips, from experience.


Aphids and thrips can be a problem, found on leaves and between petals.  The feed by sucking plant sap.

Thrips have natural enemies, beneficial insects, so avoid insecticides as much as possible.  Blue sticky traps (blue painted cardboard with petroleum jelly near daylilies) will help protect daylilies from thrips.

Aphids are sometimes a problem during cool spring weather.  Like thrips, they suck plant sap.  Again lacewings and ladybugs are natural enemies.  Encourage them.  Insecticides don't control aphids well. 

Some do use Cygon 2E, a systemic insecticide to control aphids and thrips.


Something causes the crown and sometimes the roots to rot.  It is thought this is bacteria in the soil.  Some of the factors that favor rot are:  high temperatures, poor air circulation, poor soil drainage, and over fertilization.

To prevent crown rot, avoid the above factors.  Permit wounds in plants to heal or dry out before planting.  Discard all rotted plant material. 

Some find they can stop crown rot by removing the plant, washing off all soil to a bare root plant, cutting away all rotted areas back to firm flesh, soaking in a bleach solution and allowing the bare root daylily to completely dry, even 24 hours or more, before repotting.

Bill Jarvis of the Houston Hemerocallis Society has a good page on crown rot treatment see BILL'S DAYLILY CROWN ROT PAGE

Clarence and Beth Crochet of Prairieville, Louisiana, about 14 miles south of Baton Rouge, have a page that is helpful, too:  SOUTH LOUISIANA DAYLILY GROWING TIPS AND CROWN ROT ARTICLE.

(If you have other treatments for Crown Rot, please contact the Webmaster.)


Daylily Rust is a BIG PROBLEM with many varieties, particularly here in the South.  See the helpful site on on DAYLILY RUST.

Rust first appeared in 2000 and 2001 and quickly has spread throughout the daylily world.  Rust looks like small brown dots or dusty brown residue on the leaves of the daylily.  Although it does deter from the appearance of the plant, in many cases, it does very little harm to the plant.  

Here is a list from a Texas A&M Extension Service bulletin in 2004

and a Cornell University Report

"More than 700 varieties have been or are being put through rust trials by the AADSC and University of Georgia, as well as Cornell University and the USDA. Here are the results on some of the most commonly available varieties:

Susceptible to Rust

  • Always Afternoon ,
  • Attribution,
  • Colonel Scarborough,
  • Crepe Eyed Ruffles,
  • Double Buttercup,
  • Flower Shop,
  • Hello Sunshine,
  • Imperial Guard,
  • Irish Ice,
  • Karie Ann,
  • Lemon Yellow,
  • Little Gypsy
  • Vagabond,
  • Lonesome Dove,
  • Mary Todd, 
  • Ming Toy,
  • Pandora’s Box,
  • Pardon Me,
  • Patience Plus,
  • Pink Beacon,
  • Quannah,
  • Rosie Pinkerton,
  • Royal Ebony,
  • Russian Rhapsody,
  • Silken Touch,
  • Siloam Doolebug,
  • Siloam Ralph Henry,
  • Solomon's Robes,
  • Splendid Touch,
  • Springtime Treasurer,
  • Strawberry Candy,
  • Violet Explosion,
  • White Wow, and
  • Woodland Romance..
Moderately Susceptible to Rust (USDA):
  • Butterflake
  • Chystal Tide
  • Gertrude Condon
  • Happy Returns
  • Joan Senior
  • Prelude to Love
  • Star Struck
  • Stella D'Oro
  • Wilson's Yellow

Least Susceptible to Rust Varieties

  • Age of Gold,
  • All-American Hero,
  • Antique Rose,
  • Barbara Mitchell,
  • Butterscotch Ruffles,
  • Catherine Neal,
  • Creole Blush,
  • Dainty Designer,
  • Devonshire Cream,
  • Ed Brown,
  • Fashion Design,
  • Femme Fatale,
  • Gentle Rose,
  • Golden Melody,
  • Happy Returns,
  • Heartfelt,
  • Holy Spirit,
  • Joie de Vivre,
  • Joylene Nichole,
  • Lavender Bonnet,
  • Lilac Lady,
  • Little Business
  • Mac the Knife,
  • Mae West,
  • Meadow Sweet,
  • Mini Pearl
  • Neon Pink,
  • Pink Flirt,
  • Prairie Blue Eyes,
  • Raspberry Splash,
  • Siloam Bill Monroe,
  • Siloam Double Classic,
  • Siloam Ury Winneford,
  • Yangtze.

Among the AADSC's "All-American Daylilies" -- Black-Eyed Stella, Lullaby Baby, Bitsy, Frankly Scarlet and Plum Perfect have been reported as rust resistant; Judith as moderately resistant; Star Struck as moderately susceptible, and Leebea Orange Crush as susceptible.

The Gulf Coast Daylily Society of Southeast Texas, under the direction of Dr. Gene Orgeron, is conducting a continuing rust resistance survey among our members to identify even more plants which are least susceptible to rust in our area.


Some daylily varieties just don't grow well this far South, where it can be extremely hot and humid and there is little winter for dormancy.

It is equally true, that some daylily varieties do not fare well in harsh northern climates either, where they are not suited to the very cold temperatures and severity of the winter.

We have found some varieties don't do well here.  The extreme heat and humidity or the lack of cold weather for really going dormant in the winter does not suit some varieties.

Although the daylily "habit" labels Dormant, Semi-Evergreen, and Evergreen may give some hint of where a particular daylily variety will grow best, with Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen tending do fare better here in Southeast Texas, the "habit" is not a 100% accurate predictor of viability here in the South.

Some of the varieties our club members have found DO NOT FARE WELL in Southeast Texas are:

(Coming Soon)

Some of the varieties our club members have found DO FARE WELL in Southeast Texas are:

(Coming Soon)