How to Winterize Daylilies

Daylilies are perennial plants. They are hardy plants but still require extra care, especially during winter. Some of the care practices include mulching, covering them, and more to overcome extreme temperatures, preparing lilies for winter. After the dormancy period, these plants will later flourish in spring.

What to Do with Lilies Over Winter

Will daylilies survive a freeze? Some of the lilies can survive shallow temperatures as they are tolerant, but they require extra care. The following practices will help your lilies survive during winter;

Trim them Back

Make sure to trim off the dead, brown leaves. It would help if you also cut off any old blossoms that turn brown or about to fall.  Trimming helps your plant roots get protection from rotting and ensures new healthy buds in spring. Additionally, make sure to clear the ground around your plants to remove any pests that may affect the plant.

Divide Your Daylily Bulb

After trimming your flowers, divide the bulbs and replant them to increase the number of plants. Make sure to choose favorable locations with sunlight and proper drainage.

Soil Preparation

It’s good to prepare your soil well and fertilize it to provide proper nutrients for the plants. You can also mulch or use compost manure to add extra nutrients. The mulch will also help smoother weeds.


Mulch can be any materials like hemlock, pine peelings, dried grass, and more. The mulch acts as an insulation to the roots due to the cold weather and preserves winter moisture. Again, it prevents the bulb from sprouting too early in spring, having a longer lifespan.

Lilies risk losing their roots due to tissue damage by the freezing and thawing conditions. Wait until the soil freeze slightly to use mulch.

Keep them Covered

Cover your bulbs with a light cloth, which acts as a blanket when the temperatures freeze. The fabric also protects the bulb from slugs and snails.

Improve Soil Drainage

The lily bulbs don’t do well in wet, soggy soil over winter months. To prevent rotting, ensure you improve your soil drainage. It would be best if you incorporate plenty of perlite during planting time.

Raise Bulbs Above Water Level

It’s wise to raise the lily bulb above the water level. To do this, increase the surface level of soil by creating a low mound over each bulb. You protect the bulbs from sitting in water and rotting in wet winters.

If overwintering daylilies indoors, ensure you do the following;

Lift Your Lily Bulbs

After the first frost, especially in colder areas, lift your bulbs for better chances of survival. Cut foliage and let wither to about 0.3 inches. Then unearth the bulbs and store them indoors.

Carefully Dig out the Bulb

Be sure to dig a much wider hole than needed to avoid damaging the bulb. Remove soil, and be careful not to damage the roots. Rinse the bulb under cold running water to remove the rest of the earth. Check the bulb for any signs of infections or rot.

Put them on a Tray to Dry

Space them well on a tray for air circulation. Store the bulb in a chill garden shade or garage to dry. Avoid placing the plants in a heated room as sudden heat may shock them. Molds may also appear in warm areas. Ideal temperatures are 16-21 degrees and don’t expose them to sunlight.

Dust the Bulb for Storage

After drying the bulbs for a few days, dust them with fungicides. Place them into paper bags with some little dry peat. You can also use a carton with some ventilation holes for ventilation. Avoid letting the bulbs touch each other to prevent the spread of infections. Ensure you place some moss between them.

Store the Bulbs in Dark Dry Place

Protect the bulbs from dampness to prevent rotting and keep them in the darkroom. Don’t dry them thoroughly; if they become too dry, mist them lightly.

Replant them Outdoors

Plant them in mid to late spring when the ground is warm. Make sure the soil is well-drained to avoid rotting.


Water lilies take some experience to overwinter year after year successfully. Remember to look over on them every few weeks during the winter. Your daylilies require proper drainage, warmth if outdoors, dry area if you store bulbs, and more to overcome the harsh weather.