Perennials Plants with fall and winter interest

Daylilies That Bloom in Fall

They are easy plants. Everyone loves them! There are daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) in almost every garden! These beautiful plants with slender foliage give their best in the heart of summer and the flowering, quite spectacular, can last up to 6 weeks! Afterwards, it’s dead calm. At least, for most daylilies. Some daylilies can extend the show well beyond the month of August.

Image:Proven Winners

So, I became interested in these varieties which still give us a few flowers, sometimes until the first snows. Of course, everyone knows the champion of champions, ‘Stella de Oro’. This small daylily, which flowers well before the others and which offers us flowers until October. But there are hundreds of varieties of daylilies that continue to send out flower stalks, sometimes until the first frosts.

Late Flowering, Ignored by Hybridizers

Every year, dozens of new varieties of daylilies enter the market. The quality of their flowers is breathtaking, their numberper stalk is only increasing and the blooms are mainly concentrated in the heart of summer! Yes, hybridizers are little interested in the late flowering period. After August, it’s pretty much over for many varieties. By chance, probably accidentally, some daylilies have developed the ability to flower non-stop, like ‘Stella de Oro ‘, or to produce a second series of flower stalks after the summer boom.

Let’s acknowledge that late-blooming daylilies rarely bear blooms as spectacular as summer blooms. But these few spots of color are a pleasure to see, in our gardens which are beginning to look tired.

Several Winning Recipes

Another interesting point to make about fall flowering daylilies is that there are no typical patterns. They are not all small plants like ‘Stella de Oro’. Foliage heights vary and flower spikes can match or exceed the foliage. There are as many diploid as tetraploid cultivars. There are as many dormant, semi-evergreen or evergreen plants, although in northern climates we have a preference for dormant plants. There are varieties with double flowers, fringed petals, contrasting hearts… and flowers of all colors. Fall daylilies don’t just bear red or orange flowers!

Here are some interesting varieties, whose flowering extends well beyond mid-August. For each plant, the diameter of the flower, the height of the foliage and some notes for the description of the flowers will be indicated. Where possible I have tried to include varieties that are easy to find in nurseries. But there are a few exceptions that are marked “pretty rare”.

Stella’s Big Family

Let’s start with ‘Stella de Oro ‘ and its variants, because there are many of them. Most varieties with Stella in their name have similar dimensions and flowers of the same diameter, with a few exceptions. They are also plants that flower non-stop from early summer to fall.

  • ‘Black Eyed Stella’: 3’’ (8 cm); 15’’ (40 cm); Like a ‘Stella de Oro’ with a black eye, or rather an orange stripe in the center of the flower!
  • ‘Purple de Oro’: 2’’ (5 cm), 15’’ (40 cm); Also called ‘Razzmatazz’. Purple flowers until it snows.
  • ‘Stella de Oro’: 2’’ (5 cm); 12’’ (30 cm); The most popular of all. Flowering is very early and continues non-stop until the snow. Apricot yellow flower.
  • ‘Stella in Purple’: 2’’ (5 cm); 24’’ (60 cm); Flower of a slightly more diluted purple than ‘Purple de Oro’.
  • ‘Stella in Red’: 2.5’’ (7 cm); 18’’ (45 cm); Slightly larger ruby red flower.
  • ‘Stella Supreme’: 2.5’’ (7 cm); 12’’ (30 cm); Very similar to ‘Stella de Oro’, but with slightly larger, lemon-yellow flowers.

The Returns Series, We Always Come Back to It!

Another very interesting collection with prolonged flowering is the Happy Ever Appster collection. Developed by the hybridizer Darrel Apps, these daylilies are recognized for their very long flowering period, their good hardiness (zone 4) and a flower quality worthy of modern hybrids. In general, there is often the word “Returns” or “Happy” in the cultivar name!

  • ‘Big Time Happy’: 4’’ (10 cm); 18’’ (45 cm); Lemon yellow flowers, larger than ‘Happy Returns’ whose petals have curled margins. Tetraploid variety.
  • ‘Happy Returns’: 3’’ (8 cm); 20’’ (50 cm); Lemon yellow flowers.
  • ‘Red Hot Returns’: 5’’ (12 cm); 24’’ (60 cm); Cherry red flowers that last a long time on the plant. Abundant flowering.
  • ‘Rosy Returns’: 3.5’’ (9 cm); 15’’ (40 cm); Fairly popular variety with dark pink flowers.
  • ‘Stephanie Returns’: 3.5’’ (9 cm); 15’’ (40 cm); Very beautiful pink flower, with a darker center, whose petals are a little paler than the sepals.

And the Other Daylilies That Bloom Late!

Finally, here is a hodgepodge of various cultivars that still bear flowers late in the season. These are, most of the time, varieties which emit a second series of flower stalks, after their spectacular flowering in July. Of course, if a variety contains the words “August”, “September” or “Fall”, we suspect that flowering will be late.

  • ‘August Pioneer’: 3.5’’ (9 cm); 24’’ (60 cm); Beautiful tangerine orange flower with slender petals. The flowers stand well above the foliage. Pretty rare.
  • ‘Beethoven’: 5.5’’ (14 cm); 24’’ (60 cm); Large pale-yellow flowers with light pink reflections. Pretty rare.
  • ‘Double Pardon Me’: 4’’ (10 cm); 18’’ (45 cm); A double-flowered version of the famous ‘Pardon Me’. The flowers are purple-red.
  • ‘Glorious Autumn’: 5’’ (13 cm); 25’’ (65 cm); Double flower of a beautiful pumpkin orange. The heart of the flower is paler and the tips of the petals are scarlet. Pretty rare.
  • ‘Going Bananas’: 4’’ (10 cm); 20’’ (50 cm); Banana yellow flowers!
  • ‘Little Wine Cup’: 2’’ (5 cm); 20’’ (50 cm); Small wine-red flowers with green throats. Also an early flowering variety.
  • ‘Pardon Me’: 2.5’’ (7 cm); 18’’ (45 cm); A very popular variety due to its prolonged flowering. Purple-red flowers.
  • ‘Prester John’: 5’’ (12 cm); 25’’ (65 cm); A generous sunny yellow bloom! The flowers are double. Pretty rare.
  • ‘Siloam Little Girl’: 4’’ (10 cm); 15’’ (40 cm); Another series of plants well known for their beautiful flowers and prolonged flowering. Pale pink flowers. This one stands out for its later flowering than the other varieties in the ‘Siloam’ series.
  • ‘Wild Wolf’: 6’’ (16 cm); 27’’ (70 cm); Single flowers, purple with a greenish heart. The margin is also lime green and fringed. Pretty rare.
  • ‘Work it Girl’: 8’’ (20 cm); 27’’ (70 cm); Very large variety with tangerine yellow flowers. Pretty rare.

This is just an overview of all these daylilies that can bloom in the fall and the choice of varieties is largely based on my own observations. I would be very curious to discover which varieties are still in flower in your garden, in August, September and even October!

Julie Boudreau is a horticulturist who trained at the Institut de technologie agroalimentaire in Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec. She’s been working with plants for more than 25 years. She has published many gardening books and hosted various radio and television shows. She now teaches horticulture at the Centre de formation horticole of Laval. A great gardening enthusiast, she’s devoted to promoting gardening, garden design, botany and ecology in every form. Born a fan of organic gardening, she’s curious and cultivates a passion for all that can be eaten. Julie Boudreau is “epicurious” and also fascinated by Latin names.

1 comment on “Daylilies That Bloom in Fall

  1. Ferne Dalton

    Thank you, Julie. A useful list. I will save. They may still be difficult to find in my small town but at least it is a start.

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