Daylily Propagation & Hybridization [HOW TO]

Mike's Backyard Garden is supported by its readers. If you buy something with our links, we may earn a commission.

We always want to propagate the plants we love. If you have a beautiful plant like a daylily in your garden, some kind of propagating desire will surely arise in your mind. You want them to grow in multiple places in huge numbers. So for this purpose, you must know the easy and successful method through which a daylily will propagate.

How do daylilies propagate?

Following below are the best methods for the propagation of daylily that you can try at home:

  1. Dividing
  2. Seed propagation
  3. Proliferation
  4. Tissue culture

We divide these methods into two types, sexual and asexual methods. The asexual method is also known as the vegetative method, it produces identical copies like the parents because they don’t involve genes. For the sexual method, variations are not noticed in the generation. The reason is it is made by a combination of two genes.

Out of the methods listed above only seed propagation is the sexual method and the rest of the three dividing, proliferation, and tissue culture are the asexual methods. Mostly, the sexual method is used to get new varieties, whereas asexual is used for quick propagation of daylily.

Hybridization in Daylily:

From the sexual method category arises the hybridization method. Select two plants of your choice. They must have some properties or characteristics you like the most. These are the characteristics you wish to include in one combined plant at the same time. For example, one day lily has double color petals, and the other has enlarged petals, you wish both characteristics in one plant at the same time then hybridization works here.

The breeder combines both varieties, and after many trials, they have gotten the characteristic in a single plant. The next job is to get the pure generation by further breeding and multiplication. This process is very long and requires a lot of patience.

What type of propagation is used for daylily?

I will describe all the methods of daylily propagation easily so you can try them out in your home.


The division is the easiest and most flexible way to propagate and grow daylilies. It is the most recommended method, especially when a daylily forms clumps. If you leave the clump unchecked and don’t divide them, then their production of flowers decreases and it loses its attraction too. So you must divide the clumps of daylilies in a timely fashion. The best time to divide daylilies when they clump is in early autumn. You can also do the practice in late spring, but the preferred time is early autumn.

Some quick facts about the division method of propagating a daylily…

Division methodPreferred for daylilies clumps
Time to divideEarly autumn or late spring
WaterWater frequently
FertilizerAfter a few weeks of division

The best way to tell that the division time is upon you, is when daylilies present sprouts. To make sure for more confirmation if you can see the fans then you can start the procedure. At this stage, daylilies are at their peak growth levels and they can recover easily from the division process and start further growth.


Take out the whole clump carefully without damaging the roots. Soak their roots in water for two to three hours for easy separation of roots. Divide them into two or three, making sure each get their own fan/crown. Place those parts in separate places. Water them frequently. It takes a few weeks to recover completely for a typical daylily.


  • After division keep the soil of daylilies damp, it will enhance the quick recovery of the plant.
  • Apply fungicide on the fan after the piece is taken for propagation, it will heal the wound and help in preventing disease.
  • After a few weeks of division apply a little fertilizer that contains low levels of nitrogen.

2-Seed propagation:

The second method is the seed propagation or the sexual method. This new seed has the characteristics properties of both parents. From the same method, we make a hybrid seed that contains the desired characteristic. In this method you need to select two varieties which contain the desired characteristics. So take the pollen of one plant and pod of other plants, cross them, and you get the character in one seed.


In cross-breeding select two plants which have the best characteristics. Take pollen from one plant and pour them on the pistil of other plants. You can also do one more step to get even better results, by wrapping the stamen of the plant from which you collect the pollen. This will ensure that the exact pollens are transferred to the ovary of the flower.

After crossing, wait for the blooming of the crossed plant. When the flower matures completely and sheds its leaves, then lets its seed mature and form seed pods. The pods of seed required almost 8 weeks. When the seed matures, its pod changes color to brown and the seeds turn shiny black. You can collect the seeds when seed pods split. For storing purposes, keep them in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. After that, give them moisture and plant when needed.


The third way of propagation is proliferation. This is also an asexual process for increasing your number of daylilies. Proliferation concerns the small plants of a daylily that grow after the blooming stage near the scape/surrounding of mature daylilies. These are almost like daylily babies 🙂


Proliferation is considered as complete mini-plants which have small leaves and crowns. You can take them as they develop their roots and further grow them in your greenhouse. If you don’t have a greenhouse, then you can also grow them anywhere where you can maintain and completely control the environment. The reason is you have to maintain the optimum temperature and moisture for the proper growth of these daylily proliferations.

4-Tissue culture propagation:

The fourth method is tissue culture, it is also an asexual propagation practice mostly done in labs. It is also used to produce plants in bulk quickly.


Tissue culture is a little bit difficult, and the growth appears only if all the steps are followed properly. For this, you need any growing part of a plant that may be a growing bud. Sterilize this bud, however with tissue culture you have to be more careful in sterilization and cleaning. After sterilizing, soak the bud in a nutrient solution with the help of a test tube. Make sure that the nutrient solution is best for the growth of the bud. Maintain the environment to give the growing bud under observation the best chance of gowth.

Make sure that you maintain the following factors during the tissue culture:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • pH level
  • Sterilization before and after use
  • Air and water
  • Prevent from any fungus or infection

When you achieve the proper size of tissue growth in the test tube after controlling all the factors, you can remove it and grow it further. Cut the tissue into smaller pieces and place them in a larger beaker. They will develop their roots and leaves, and then you can plant them in small pots.

Do daylilies self-propagate?

If you are considering sexual fertilization, then daylilies are not self-fertile. You need the pollen from the different plants. So for fertilization, the gardener crosses with different daylily varieties and gets the desired seed.

If you are considering that daylilies can spread by themselves, then the answer is yes. They spread quickly and even crowd your flower bed in a few years. You need to divide them because they produce less flowering if they get overcrowded.


These are the ways through which you can grow a lot of daylilies. You don’t need to be an expert in any method, you just need to follow the steps properly and you can make it. If you practice and propagate some of the daylilies from any method, you gain the courage to do it more and more in the future. You can use some of the above tips in the propagation of any plant because the basic method remains the same. So you could be a master in any method and propagate a lot of plants from your garden. Wouldn’t we all love that!!