daylily vs lilyDid you know there is a difference between the daylily and lily plants? In this post, I share why it is important to know the difference between these two amazing perennial plants with captivating blooms.  Check out the images and more on Daylily Versus Lily.

Daylily Versus Lily

Ditch Lily 2023

One of the first plants in my garden is the beautiful orange lilies that grew along the ditches out near my sister-in-law’s home. We moved clumps of those daylilies (hemerocallis) in the heat of summer. Much to my surprise, with a little watering they pop right back up as if they never moved!  Shortly after this I found the Lillium lilies.  Today I’m sharing what lilies (Lillium) and daylilies (Hemerocallis) are and why it matters to know what you are adding to your garden.

Casa Blanca Oriental Lily

Why Does It Matter? I’m the first one to admit I forgot the name of a plant and don’t EVEN ask me the scientific name for most species that I grow.  Knowing the difference between a lily and daylily is important because of the way each species grows.  The daylily is very durable and can take traffic or what I like to call a beating.  The Lily is delicate and if you break the stem you have to wait until next year for a bloom.


Daylilies grow in clumps and many bloom most of the summer into hard frost.  When the plants leaves gets rough looking after blooming I cut it back to about 1″ from the mulch and it grows back green leaves in a few weeks looking just like new.  I LOVE daylily plants mostly because they grow from tuberous roots that are easy to divide.  Most of my wood-line is where you will find the extra cuttings of the daylilies that have been divided in my main gardens.  In the photo above is the ditch lily or (burst of orange) and the roots of a Happy Returns (reblooming) daylily.

Read More About the Ditch Lily at : https://www.uaex.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/plant-week/ditch-lily-7-10-09.aspx

Each daylily blooms only once … you can pluck the old bloom off if you like but it isn’t necessary.  The plant usually keeps on pushing new clusters of blooms as seen in the photo below.


The Lilium lily grows from a bulb that you plant late spring or early summer.  Once the long steam arrives you will experience an amazing bloom.  After the steam blooms … it is done for the year. These lilies are usually super fragrant but very delicate. I remember the year I accidentally stepped in the area the new green was arriving in early spring and had to wait a full year to experience the bloom.  Be careful to plant these in an area that will not get stepped on!

Plant this lily with other perennials that will keep on giving throughout the summer.  Once the Lillium is done blooming … it is done for the year!  (see photo above).

The three basic groups are Asiatics, which are typically the first lilies during the summer. The next group are the trumpets, basically like the Easter lilies forced to bloom in April (not their normal bloom time) and, lastly, the Orientals, which are the fragrant florist types that include ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Casablanca’

Does that help?

I’m a wee bit obsessed with Lilium! ???  – Facebook Riz Reyes

Let’s Connect

I hope my information inspires you to grow both the daylily and lily in your home garden.  Tell me if you grow this perennial in your home garden by commenting on this post.  Be sure to reach out to me by commenting below.  In the days to come I will showcasing some of the unique varieties growing in my home garden so stay tuned.

Happy Planting,

Bren Haas

3 Responses

  1. I have both lillies in my garden, love them. You took me one step closer figure out that the higher one is daylily. I got a half decade ago from my mother workmate around 3 of them and for now maybe more than 20 are on the same spot. I didn’t know until today what flower is this, but I noticed, that its flower very similar to the Lillium flowers. I am very happy for your article, now it is clear what it is. I love , that they grow very high, so it is providing a great background in the garden.

    1. Thanks for stopping by Mona – Happy to get you thinking about the plants. I wish I would have paid closer attention back in the early days – it would have seriously made MORE BLOOMs in my garden knowing that the lillum blooms once a year and NOT to mess with the green steam until after the bloom. Great to connect – I hope to hear from you again.

  2. Yes, the Lillium species is very fragile. I also had an accident with it, when I tried to weed out around it, and the weeder broke its stem. So better go carefully with hand or with handrake. I hope I used the proper words, because English is not my mother language. I enjoy to read your articles and I am happy for you, that you exactly feel that excitement about plants, as me. I wish, there would be more people, so this world could go into full bloom, just like a desert after a big rain. 🙂

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