Daylily Companions

Jul 13, 2020

Daylilies are the showy queens of the perennial garden. Reliable, sturdy and beautiful all in one flower. They are almost impossible to lose, even with all of the things Mother Nature throws at them. But, unless you want total uniformity in your planting, you’ll want to consider some close friends for your lilies that will highlight her.
Hemerocallis (Daylilies)
Sun to Part Sun
12” – 5’
Summer bloomer
All flower colors except blue
Zones 3-9
The plant gets its common name from the fact that each flower only lasts one day.  Thankfully there are many buds per stalk!  Daylilies can be early, mid or late bloomers as well as repeat bloomers.  A repeat bloomer (also called twice bloomers or rebloomers) send up additional bud-loaded stems after the first round has finished. ‘Stella D’Oro’ was the first rebloomer to hit the market but now there are MANY choices. Flowers can sport single or double petals and blooms range from 2” to 6” across. So many choices, so little space!  The only one to steer clear of is the orange species daylily from the roadside (sometimes called ditch daylily). It will run you out of house and home – literally.


tequila_sunrise_prides_corner Daylily CompanionsCoreopsis (Tickseed, Threadleaf Coreopsis)

6” – 30”
Summer bloomer
Yellow, white, pink, red and bicolor flowers
Zones 3-9
Deer resistant

There are 8 different species in the Coreopsis family, resulting in a whopping number of cultivars.  All are long bloomers and quite drought tolerant.  Threadleaf cultivars with their wispy foliage are prized for their ability to bloom a long time without deadheading.  These also look striking when paired with heftier-leaved perennials such as Hibiscus, Sedums and Peonies.

A few popular Coreopsis picks:

‘Moonbeam’ (soft lemon flowers)
‘Big Bang’ (red and yellow flowers)
‘Redshift’ (yellow flowers turning a reddish hue)
‘Heaven’s Gate’ (pink)
‘Tequila Sunrise’ (variegated leaves, yellow flowers, pictured)
‘Jethro Tull’ (golden-yellow with fluted petals)

panicumcheyenneskyperres Daylily Companions



Ornamental Grasses

Sun to Shade
8” – 7+’
Summer and fall bloomers
White, cream, rose and pink flowers
Zones 3-9
Deer resistant

Here is another plant family with many shapes and sizes.  Their physique can range from petite, spikey, porcupine-like blue spikes (Fescues) to towering, wide-bladed, variegated specimens with arching rosy plumes (Miscanthus s. ‘Variegatus’).  Some are cool season bloomers that shoot up feathery flowers in early summer while those in the warm season group hold off the floral show until late summer.  Most love sun and are very drought tolerant but a few relish the shade (Japanese Forest Grass, many Sedge, Northern Sea Oats)