Daylilies are a beautiful plant that many gardeners love to have in their yard. They come in an array of colors and sizes, and they can bloom all year long! However, sometimes it is difficult to tell why daylily leaves are turning yellow.
In this blog post, we will discuss the most common reasons for this happening so you can know what to do next time your daylilies start changing color.
Why Are My Daylily Leaves Turning Yellow?
Your daylily leaves are turning yellow because the plant has been overwatered, hasnâ€™t received enough light, is suffering from leaf streak, or the environment is causing stress.
Letâ€™s now explore the most common causes of yellowing leaves on this plant and how to address them.
1. Yellowing from Overwatering
Your daylily leaves are turning yellow because you have been giving it too much water.
While some gardeners love to give their plants a good soak every now and then, overwatering is never a good thing for any plant. Daylilies require moist soil but cannot tolerate being left standing in water as this will cause the roots of the plant to rot.
If you have noticed your daylily leaves turning yellow, this could be because the roots are slowly dying from being underwater for too long.
Decrease or stop watering so that the soil is moist but not soggy and let it dry out before giving it another drink.
It’s advisable to only add more water when the top few inches of soil are dry. You can find this out by simply reaching your finger down into the soil to see if it is dry, or you can take a moisture meter and stick this in the soil to see how moist it is.
If the roots have already started to rot, then you need to act quickly. The first step is to inspect the roots and prune any that are rotten. After allowing the plant to dry out, repot it into fresh soil that drains well.
2. Yellowing from Leaf Streak and Other Fungal Infections
Leaf streak is a fungal infection that primarily occurs during wet weather conditions when the plant’s defenses are weakened. It is a fungal disease that gives a yellow line to the leaves of daylily plants.
It spreads quickly, so itâ€™s important to act fast if you notice this occurring on your daylilies. You can prevent the chances of it happening by keeping the leaves dry when watering, spreading the plants, and removing plant debris on a frequent basis.
If you see a leaf streak occurring, then it is best practice to spray the affected plants with a fungicide, especially products that contain myclobutanil.
3. Yellowing from Lack of Sunlight
Another reason for daylily leaves turning yellow is that the plant simply doesnâ€™t get enough light.
If you notice any of your daylilies turning a pale green color, rather than their typical dark green hue, then chances are they arenâ€™t getting enough sun.
Daylilies need sunlight to produce chlorophyll and keep their vibrant colors. If they arenâ€™t getting enough sun then the leaves will not receive energy from photosynthesis, causing them to turn yellow or white (a condition known as etiolation).
To correct this problem you simply need to move your daylilies to a sunny spot where they can get at least six hours of indirect sunlight.
You may have to move other plants and objects out of the way first. If there isnâ€™t a good spot for them in your yard, you could also install grow lights (Amazon link) overtop to help give it enough light every day.
4. Yellowing from Environmental Stressors
Your daylily leaves may be turning yellow due to environmental stressors, such as cold weather, heat, and frost.
If the weather has been particularly cold or harsh, this may be causing your daylily leaves to turn yellow. It’s recommended to prevent any cold drafts or strong winds from hitting your plants.
You can also protect them by covering the area with a blanket or sheet during cold snaps. This will trap the heat around them, keeping them warm.
Repotting is also another cause of stress for daylilies. This is why I advise only repotting plants when absolutely necessary, like if the plant has root rot or is growing in the wrong size pot.
Yellowing Daylily Leaves FAQs
I will now discuss some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to yellowing leaves on a daylily.
Should I cut yellow leaves off my daylily?
Yes, cutting the yellow leaves off your plant is a good idea. After all, itâ€™s not doing them any favors so why let these old and wilting leaves remain? Simply use a pair of sterilized pruning shears to remove the leaves from your plant.
Does the type of water matter?
Yes, I advise only using water that is free of chlorine or fluoride, as this can kill your plants. Some people even suggest using rainwater to keep it moist but without adding too many extra contaminants/chemicals which could harm the plant.
Will too little light cause my daylily to turn yellow?
Yes, if your daylilies arenâ€™t getting enough light, then they will turn pale green rather than their normal dark green. Daylilies need at least six hours of indirect sunlight every day to keep them looking vibrant and healthy, so move the plant if necessary or install grow lights overtop during winter months when there isnâ€™t any natural sun.
Will too much water cause my daylily to turn yellow?
Yes, if your daylilies are getting too much water they may turn yellow. Make sure that you only add more water when the top few inches of soil is dry. Always avoid overwatering as this can cause root rot or attract insects like fungus gnats which will feed on a wet/moldy plant.
Will yellow daylily leaves turn green again?
No, it is unlikely that the yellow leaves on your daylilies will turn green again. However, if you follow the tips above, then it should help to prevent the future yellowing of leaves and keep them looking healthy every year!
In conclusion, daylilies are very easy to take care of and will provide you with years of enjoyment. Just be sure to put them in a sunny spot, avoid repotting too often, and donâ€™t give them too much water.
I hope this article was helpful. Please do not hesitate to leave any comments or questions below! Thanks for reading.
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.