Transplanting Daylilies – Dividing Daylilies & Replanting

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Depending on the type, daylilies can multiply in short order. These lovely perennials can grow happily in one spot or start taking over a flowerbed. If the latter occurs, it’s time to think about dividing and transplanting daylilies!

Dividing daylilies doesn’t take much gardening experience, to be honest. Most of the time you can simply dig them up and replant the daylilies someplace else.

Transplanting Daylilies - beautiful orange daylily in bloom with wildflowers
Transplanting Daylilies – beautiful orange daylily in bloom with wildflowers – I believe these are from my mother-in-law’s garden in the Adirondacks, NY

Try these simple tips to divide and replant daylilies.

When is the best time for transplanting daylilies?

Most of the time, daylilies are pretty hardy and will withstand division nicely. The best time to divide daylilies is generally after blooming concludes. You can divide daylilies during early spring, late summer, or in autumn to avoid interrupting the flowering season.

Of course, you can still dig up and replant daylilies in the summertime. Just use care not to chop the developing flower stalks underground.

How often should you divide daylilies?

Plan to divide and transplant daylilies roughly every 3 to 5 years. Your individual daylily patch may vary, but daylilies can be vigorous growers. Without dividing, daylilies will continue to bloom and grow. They might just take over your garden!

Common Orange Daylilies at my dad's in NJ
Common Orange Daylilies at my dad’s in NJ

Transplanting Daylilies Benefits

Dividing and transplanting daylilies makes a lot of sense, considering how fast they can grow! Here are some benefits of why you should transplant daylilies in the garden.

  • Free up space for other plants
  • Share and spread the beauty
  • Fill new gardens with color
  • Make a little money or trade for other plants

Transplanting Daylilies: How to Divide and Replant

Daylilies (scientific name: Hemerocallis) tend to be a robust flowering perennial resistant to many stressors.

Here are complete steps on dividing and transplanting daylilies in the backyard garden.

How to Divide Daylilies

Follow these tips on how to divide daylilies and replant them in a new location.

  1. Dig – Use a large shovel to dig all the way around the daylilies you wish to remove or transplant. Go in a full circle around the tubers, estimating a 2 or 3-inch buffer outside of the roots.
  2. Pop – Pop the chunk of dirt out of the ground to reveal the clump of daylily roots.
  3. Separate – Set about separating daylily tubers into individual sets. Look for clues for where they naturally separate. Also, you can cut daylilies to divide them. They are resilient and should transplant just fine.
Transplanting Daylilies - Dividing daylily tubers into clumps and replanting
Transplanting Daylilies – Dividing daylily tubers into clumps and replanting (2021 division)

How to Transplant Daylilies

Follow these simple steps on replanting daylilies in the garden.

  1. Dig – Dig a hole for the daylily transplants. Make the hole twice as wide as the clump of roots. Dig down as far as a foot deep if you can.
  2. Mound – Form a loose mound of soil inside the hole you’ve just dug.
  3. Spread – Fan out the daylily tubers on top of the soil to give them all plenty of space to get established. The roots point downward and any foliage or stems should point up.
  4. Fill – Refill the planting hole with more soil. Fill the hole to the garden soil’s surface.
  5. Water – Give the newly transplanted daylilies adequate water to help them acclimate to the new location.

What to Do Besides Transplanting Daylilies

If you have too many daylilies in your yard and nowhere to replant them, it’s time to get creative.

Here are a few ways to get rid of daylilies when you have no more space in your garden.

Common Orange Daylilies at Lake Pleasant in Speculator, NY (2019)
Common Orange Daylilies at Lake Pleasant in Speculator, NY (2019)

Sell Daylily Tubers

If you realize you have too many daylilies, it’s time to earn some money for… you guessed it… more plants!

In 2021, I sold the excess daylilies that overtook my gardens! We grow common orange daylilies (Hemerocallis fulva) that I got from my husband’s childhood neighbor.

I simply dug the perennials up in “clumps,” placed them in bags, and sold them for about $4 per “clump.”

Posted about the daylily sale on Facebook Marketplace and offered porch pickup with a jar for cash. Easy peasy!

By the end of my available stock, I think I’d sold about $100 to $140 in daylily tubers!

(Right now, we are saving that money for a “beach house” (#dreams) but I was super tempted to spend it on more plants!!

Just be sure to inform any buyers about their spreading habit.

Clump of divided daylilies I sold with a pen for scale / size (2021)
Clump of divided daylilies I sold with a pen for scale / size (2021)

Share with Friends & Neighbors

Likewise, dividing and sharing extra perennials is a great way to maintain your gardens. When daylilies overgrow a space, you can pass some along to friends, family, and neighbors.

Just as with selling daylilies, be sure to tell any takers about their multiplying potential.

You can ask around your neighborhood, put a free sign with a box in your driveway, or throw an offer up on Facebook.

Big Orange Daylily Flower in our Garden
Big Orange Daylily Flower in our Garden

Trade them in a Plant Swap

Trading plants is a great way to switch an abundance of one thing into a nice variety of other plants.

Look for local garden events, gardening groups, or even create your own. You can even offer extra daylilies for swap in a local Facebook plant and seed swap group.

(Or mail them if you don’t mind the shipping costs.)

Throw them in a Pot

Last but not least, if you don’t have room for them and have no takers, you can always plant daylilies in pots.

Transplanting Daylilies in Pots when dividing tubers and daylily plants
Transplanting Daylilies in Pots when dividing tubers and daylily plants

You will surely need to divide daylilies again as they grow and multiply, but it’s a good stopgap when you don’t have another plan.

By the way, if you enjoyed learning about replanting daylilies, you might also want to check out our posts on transplanting hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils. Like daylilies, you can also transplant lilies from pots or packaging.

Are you planning on dividing and transplanting daylilies this year? Feel free to ask any questions or share tips on daylily division in our comments below – we love hearing from you!

Happy Gardening!

08.05.22 – Updated to add link to post on lilies.

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    1. Hi Cindi! Great question – since daylilies spread pretty quickly, I would space them out by about 2 feet unless you are looking for a tighter grouping. You can always dig them up and transplant again – and may have to – but I think anywhere from 18″ to 3 feet apart is just fine. 🙂 Best of luck with your garden!

  1. How long can you keep the plants out of the ground? Once dug up and divided in the fall, do the plants have to be in water?

    1. Hi James, thanks for stopping by and great question! I’ve mostly moved my daylilies in the same weekend I’ve dug them up, putting them in a pot if I can’t fully transplant them to the ground. You could try this as well. I also lift most of my tender perennials (dahlias, etc.) and keep them in my basement over the entire late fall through mid to late spring. You can most likely get away with overwintering them in a paper bag or in a pot with some soil / peat moss if you weren’t able to plant them in time. I would suggest checking at least once per month give or take, and spritzing with water if you notice them getting too dry or shriveled. Best of luck!

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