What is a Daylily and Why You Should Grow Them
You can earn big money selling daylilies. Daylilies are perennial plants that returns year after year and their fans double every year. A daylily is made up of many fans. A fan, if divided from the plant is an entirely new plant in itself. It doesn't take very much math to figure out how to earn big money with this plant. The botanical name for a daylily is Hemerocallis.
I started with just a few and ended up with over 100 varieties. If you get as excited about them as I did, selling them just makes sense. You'll find how to find the right varieties to sell, how to sell them, where to sell them, how to plant and grow them and how to ship.
Every Daylily is Different
Each variety blooms at a different time. Most bloom in the North of the US from May to September. The biggest bloom period is in July. At that time you'll see a sea of blooms.
Daylilies can be grown in the southern states. Due to the milder weather, they grow faster there. There are also varieties available that are gorgeous that are hardy only in those zones.
Most of the early varieties will be yellow in color. There are late varieties, but you won't find as many of these available. Mid season bloomers are the most common.
There is a daylily available for every spot in the garden. You can find one in every height and color, so you can find one that will work anywhere in the flower bed. Some are only 8 inches tall. A few grow as tall as 3 feet.
How Much Money Can You Make?
Most of the information I've learned about selling daylilies was shared with me by the Daylily King. He was willing to share all of the information he knew. If you'd like to learn more about him visit the article The Daylily King and How to Become a Millionaire Selling Daylilies. There you will learn how it is possible to earn good money selling them. All of the math is included to show you that you can make a good profit.
Hunter's Torch Daylily Garden claims that you can earn $300 to $6000 in a 16 foot x 12 foot bed. When I purchased the daylilies from the Daylily King, he had 2 1/2 acres of ground that he used. He shared that he was earning $10,000 a year, 7 years ago. At the time he was selling fans for $3.00 each. The last I knew he raised his price to $5.00 each. This is a more reasonable price and he should be earning more money now.
In my area, daylilies are selling for $7.00 each, but at least 2 fans are included. They are more if the plants are larger. The price is for plants that aren't newer or unusual. Those are sold for more.
Choosing the Daylilies You'd Like to Sell
If you'd like to sell daylilies you have several choices to make. Do you want to invest a lot of money on newer varieties or less money purchasing older varieties? The newer ones will sell for more money when you divide the plants. The older varieties will sell for less, but you don't have as much money invested.
Doubles and spiders sell well. It is a good idea to invest in some of these. Those with double blooms, are considered special too. Other daylilies have extended bloom and some rebloom.
Watch for daylilies that have heavy branching. They have more bloom. If you are selling in person, plants that are blooming are the ones that sell. Some daylilies grow faster than others. Watch for these. It means the plant will make fans faster and that means more profit.
The newer varieties sell best at places like eBay and The Lily Auction. I think you'll be shocked by prices for newer daylilies. Several hundred dollars isn't out of the question for the newest ones.
Another decision you will need to make, is how much money do I need to earn? This will be determined by how much space you have and how hard you want to work marketing them. If you have a few acres of ground, you can earn better money than someone growing them in their gardens.
Where to Purchase Daylilies
You can try eBay or The Lily auction, but there are many local sellers. I prefer purchasing the dayliies locally. That way you know just what you are getting and you'll know they'll do well in your area.
- Search online for your state. I was surprised how many sellers I found.
- Smokeys Daylily Garden sells them in wholesale lots of 10 of each cultivar.He is located in Northern Indiana.
- ClassyGroundcovers offers them for as little as $1.95 a plant in lots of 25.
- I purchased daylilies this year from Along the Fence Daylilies. The plants were huge with at least 2 fans each, but one had 8. The daylilies were the best I'd ever bought. She has a page on Facebook where you can contact her. Mail orders are accepted or you can visit the farm that is just a few miles southwest of Lansing Michigan.
- Your local greenhouse may have a few to choose from. You will pay a premium price for these. Only purchase one if you find something special.
- Farmer's Markets are good places to find plants. Often these won't be identified with names. You want to be able to identify your plants. If they have unnamed daylilies, pass them up unless you plan on selling at farmer's markets yourself. Some sellers will have them with names. You often get a bigger plant for your money.
Planting and Organizing
If you are going to sell daylilies, you need to keep track of their names. With over 8000 different varieties, this can be a job. When you plant them they will need to be organized in some way. The best way is to make large plant markers at least a yard tall. Each marker should have a letter of the alphabet. If you are planting just a few in your personal gardens to sell, you'll choose a different type of marker.
The best way to plant the flowers in a field is in rows. Place all daylilies starting with an "A" in your first row. Plant a fan of each variety starting with an "A" in the row leaving some extra space for each one. This will leave room for plants as they increase. Now make a marker for the named variety you planted. Record this in a tablet.
Then plant the next plant that starts with an "A". When you are finished with that letter, leave some space for purchases you may make in the future starting with the same letter. More than one letter can be placed in a row, if the rows are long.
Continue in this manner until all the daylilies are planted. Plan on small markers being lost. It is a good idea to use large makers for each varieties. Be sure to use a type of ink or paint that is weather resistant. I've had paint markers that faded. Double protect yourself. Squirrels and other animals like to pull the markers out and even put them in their nest. I've had this happen year after year. This is why it is so important to have each variety recorded in the book. You can make a map if it helps.Using rocks to divide each type helps too.
If you are planting them in gardens in your yard, you should keep a map where each variety is planted. Markers are a good idea too.
By expertvillage via Youtube
Caring for Daylilies
Daylilies require very little care. Applying cow manure every year is a good idea. It will keep your soil in good condition and help feed the plants.
Using alfalfa is a good idea. The alfalfa contains a growth hormone that make plants mulitiply faster. The best place to purchase it is at a farm store. They sell it in big bags to feed horses. The smallest bag I could find weighed 50 pounds, so it is not practical for home gardeners unless you have a lot of plants. For those with fields, this is just the right size.
Daylilies can survive a drought, but it will hurt them. It is best to keep them watered, especially before the bloom period and during it. This will ensure beautiful and plentiful blooms.
Daylilies do need to be divided from time to time. Once the plants start getting large, just divide with a knife. Replant the fans. For selling, you can divide them into individual fans and replant into your rows.
Proliferations are a big bonus. Some daylilies produce little plants on the scape (stem). You'll find these when the daylilies are finished producing bloom. Cut off part of the scape, leaving enough to plant in the ground. Cut the top as near to the proliferation as possible without damaging it.
If you live in a warm state, you can place it in a glass of water and allow it to grow more roots. Here in Michigan, so little time is left, that there isn't usually time for rooting in water.
Planting it right in the ground is often the only choice. If you have some rooting hormone, it will help it develop roots faster. In that case, plant the bottom of the scape, just allowing the proliferation to just go near the top of the soil. Keep it watered. In cold climates, this may or may not work. It is well worth a try especially if you have a lot of them.
Where to Sell Daylilies
The Daylily King sold his plants by travelling from rest area to rest area dropping off brochures. Most rest areas have brochure stands where you can place them. There is an advantage to this type of marketing. He visited his son in the winter and he could deduct the gas mileage from his income tax, since he used the trip for business.
If you live on a busy road or just off of one, place a sign in a visible location. This alone will bring customers. Be sure to check local laws. If you live in a residential area, this may not be allowed. You need to also consider that someone will need to be home to dig the daylilies for customers.
Creating your own daylily website is a good way to sell them too. Start selling them at an auction site and then slip in a paper letting them know you have a website. You'd be surprised how many sales you can make this way. You can get regular customers that return year after year.
Local nurseries may be interested in purchasing them from you. Plan on getting wholesale prices only, which is about half of what you will get elsewhere.
Selling at farmer's markets is a good plan too. Don't plan on selling a lot this way unless it is one that gets heavy traffic. This is a case where it may be more profitable to travel a bit farther to a bigger farm market.
I've sold plants at garage sales even. The price was cheaper than I'd sell elsewhere, but this is an easy way and I've sold as many as 50 each year this way.
There is a site called the Lily Auction online. I haven't tried this site, but it is well known. Selling on eBay is a good way too. Before setting prices, visit the sites and see what prices competitors are charging.
Packing and Shipping Daylilies
- Daylilies should be shipped dry rather than using something to keep them wet. The reason is, they will rot if they are wet too long. It is best to cut the plant down and just wrap them in newspaper.
- Clean all of the dirt off of the roots. Spraying with a hose is the best way.
- Using a clean garden shears, trim them down until about 4" of the leaves are left.
- Unless the daylilies will be in transit for a long time, you can just wrap them in newspaper. Use several sheets of newspaper and completely fold it around the entire plant. Be sure the roots are covered well. If it is going to be a lengthy trip, place a little damp soil in a plastic bag and wrap just the roots, not the leaves.
- Place a note with the plants that they should be placed in a bucket of water when they arrive. After several hours, they can be planted.
- Ship the plant the same day. Priority mail is best.
Your Local County Extension Office will provide you with all the information you'll need to sell daylilies. Each township can have different laws. Be sure to ask if you are allowed to have signs in your area, and if you need a license to sell them. Some areas require you to register the name of your business.
Another consideration is if your state requires a sales tax license. My state does, but a few states don't. I also need a perennial plant license. Besides getting the perennial license, the state may inspect your gardens each year for disease.
The American Hemerocalis Society site has a list, many with photos of every registered daylily in the US. If you get your daylily names mixed up, this is a good way to figure out what you have. It also provides a list of daylily exhibitions, daylily news, and show gardens. This is a site that will be helpful.
The Daylily King and How to Become a Millionaire Growing Daylilies contains all the math you'll need to figure out how much money you can earn.
jane on August 18, 2018:
my husband , jack, and I are just getting started, thanks for the information, we planted our 1st 100 fans this morning
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on September 01, 2014:
Sandy, Thanks for reading. Yes, I enjoy them when they bloom.
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin on August 31, 2014:
These are some real pretty flowers. Good information.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on August 25, 2013:
teaches12345, Thanks for reading the hub. Daylilies are a passion of mine. The orange ones grow wild here, but I was surprised that yellow and red ones grow wild in some other states.
Dianna Mendez on August 24, 2013:
I remember seeing Day Lilies growing wild along the roadside when we lived in the midwest. They are so beautiful. I love the purple ones you feature here. I enjoyed this post very much.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 13, 2013:
Carly, Thanks for commenting. That is the beauty of daylilies. You don't need a green thumb to grow them, because they are so easy.
Carly Sullens from St. Louis, Missouri on May 13, 2013:
They are beautiful!!! Too bad I can not grow much, I just do not seem to have a green thumb.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 13, 2013:
Fossillady,You don't live far from me. It is nice that daylilies are hardy here. If you can believe, we got a freeze last night. With you by the lake, you might have gotten a little warmer weather. Thanks for voting it up.
Kathi from Saugatuck Michigan on May 13, 2013:
Hi Barbara Katy, I love em all and have more day lilies than any other plant cause they are easy and hardy and I live in zone 5! Voted +
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 10, 2013:
ThelmaC, Hello to a fellow daylily lover. I'm happy to hear that you might put the info to use and you enjoyed the photos. Thanks for commenting.
Thelma Raker Coffone from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA on May 09, 2013:
Great hub. I love daylillies. Lots of good advice that I am going to save. Your pictures are gorgeous!
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 09, 2013:
heidithorne, Don't compost them! They are worth money. Thanks for reading.
Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 09, 2013:
I never even considered selling 'em! I LOVE my daylilies and always have bunches. Something to add to the To Do list for the future. Like Sheri Faye, I've been "composting" them, too. Thanks for the suggestion!
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 09, 2013:
moonlake, It is nice to find a fellow daylily lover. Thanks for reading and voting it up.
moonlake from America on May 09, 2013:
I was looking at your beautiful day lilies. I have many of the ones you have but not as many. Very interesting hub with great information. Voted up.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 08, 2013:
Sheri Faye, You need to give it a try. They even sell ditch lilies on eBay, but those are sold in big lots. Thanks for reading.
Barbara Badder (author) from USA on May 08, 2013:
I got started doing this and then I lost 50 of my plants when we moved. I had about 150 at the time. I know - ridiculous. I traded for most of them though. Now I am considering giving it a go again. It would earn some good retirement money.
Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on May 08, 2013:
Holy cow! I have load of day lilies that are almost invasive so after I give away as many as I can I just compost them...shoot....I have been composting money!
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 08, 2013:
I had no idea people made that much money selling daylillies. They are beautiful flowers but obviously there are people out there who have a lot more money than I do. :) Great information, Barbar!