In the Florida fall, when the days are shorter and the air is dryer and cooler the leaves on the Maple and oak trees begin to turn a beautiful golden orange and red. This is the signal that its time to examine the daylily plants closely. They have stopped blooming for now and it is time to prepare them for the coming winter. This preparation will carry them through to the warmth of the spring into the next glorious blooming cycle. We always start by separating the many babies, which are actually new fans. They have grown up in the pot next to the original mother fan. It’s becoming very crowded now with all these fans competing for water and nutrients from the soil. It’s better to separate them and put them in their own pot. Now your garden has just doubled or tripled in size, unless you can bear to throw the babies away and toss them aside into the garbage pile. This is where I have problems and is why our garden is getting so large. It has become an emotional thing and we all have to deal with it in our own way. When separating these young fans, you will notice that they don’t always come apart easily and may have to be gently separated with a sharp knife.
After two years the soil in the pots need to be changed out with new soil. We use a mixture of our own which is not too heavy and not too light but will drain well. We use the soil mixture we have talked about earlier. It will do them good if you add a little low nitrogen timed release pelleted fertilizer and mix it in with the new soil. This will stimulate the root. Trim the leaves back, removing all the old outer leaves as we did in the pictures. Water them thoroughly. So far they have all taken the Florida winters very well. Water them good before a freeze. This will help to protect the roots. Now, what to do with the old soil which is not only depleted of the needed micro nutrients but it now contains a concentration of minerals like calcium, lime, iron, sulfur or whatever is in the water you use. Too much of these minerals can interfere with the plants absorption of the fertilizer. Other reasons to change out the soil is to remove any insect larvae and other pests that’s in the soil and is also waiting on the spring to do what they always do and that is to feed on your plants. It can be very wasteful to discard all of the old soil as it is our case with so many 5 gallon pots. What we do is first examine the old soil and plants to see if it is healthy with good roots and we find no trace of pests or disease. We then mix some of this soil in with the new batch but no more than half of it. If we find the plant diseased or infested with pests we dispose of it well away from our garden.