Looking for drought-resistant flowers? Try daylilies from Lasting Dreams Daylilies
ORCHARD PARK –– When it was so dry in the middle of July, I saw fields of healthy, beautiful, blooming daylilies at Lasting Dreams Daylilies, 6425 South Abbott Road in Orchard Park.
“We don’t water,” said Carol Haj, who owns the farm and retail shop with her husband Anthony. “We couldn’t water; we’re on a well. This is the middle of a drought and this is how good they look. These are very drought-resistant plants.”
As an added bonus, those pesky Japanese beetles do not like daylilies, which produce beautiful flowers.
Daylilies get their name because each flower lasts for just one day. The scientific name, Hemerocallis, means “beauty for a day” in Greek. Each stem gets several blossoms and, as one blossom dies, a new one blooms.
You can pluck a flower and set it on a tabletop to display. It will look beautiful all day without water, said Carol Haj, who is a member of the Hamburg House and Garden Club, the Buffalo Area Daylily Society, the New York Farm Bureau and many other gardening groups.
Early daylilies bloom in late June; middle daylilies in mid-July and late daylilies at the end of July. Reblooming daylilies can produce a second stem of buds, which prolongs the length of time that the plant will flower.
Daylilies range in height from 12 inches – 6 feet. The flowers come in many sizes, shapes and colors. There are more than 70,000 varieties of registered daylilies.
There are 1,000 types at Lasting Dreams Daylilies. Haj is expanding that number by breeding her own to create a variety that she can register. The new plant must be different from the parent plants and it must be brighter, bolder, bigger or, in some other way, superior. Haj said she aims to create new reblooming varieties with extensive branching so that the flowers are spread out.
If you let your hybrid daylily go to seed, the new plant will not be the same as the parent. If you want a plant that looks like the parent, you need to transplant the baby plants.
The plants sold at Lasting Dreams are field-grown. “All the plants live on my property for a year before I sell them,” Haj said. “They go through the winter. I’ve got to be sure they’re going to bloom for you and grow for you.”
You can look through a catalog to find a particular specimen or just browse through the fields to see what appeals to you. When you see one you like, Haj will dig it up for you.
Daylilies are also edible. The lighter colors taste better and darker colors are spicier.
There is just one drawback to the daylily: Deer like them, too. But if that is not a problem you have to contend with, the daylily is a hardy flower that can withstand even drought conditions.
Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com.