The Shawnee News-Star
  • The George Cunningham Daylily

  • Flower awarded President’s Cup citation in 1959.
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  • I don’t use the word, “cool,” as a part of my usual vocabulary, but it seems to fit in this circumstance. Having a flower named in your honor by a national organization is cool. Recently, John Ayers, who heads the swimming pool reconstruction committee and is staging the “Glory Daze” Independence Day celebration next weekend sent me photographs of a daylily named for his grandfather, George Cunningham of Tulsa.
    The George Cunningham Daylily was hybridized by David F. Hall and was awarded the President’s Cup citation in 1959 by the American Hemerocallis Society. Recently Ayers was able to purchase these plants for his own garden. Mr. Cunningham and his wife, Rachel, were very active in Tulsa horticulture circles and were able to persuade the Skelly Oil Company president, W. G. Skelly, to donate his Tulsa home and grounds to become the Tulsa Garden Center. Many of us have visited and enjoyed those gardens,
    Earlier this spring I wrote about Stella de Oro daylilies which bloom at intervals during the summer. Many of us have the traditional daylilies that are blooming now and will continue for several weeks. If we are fortunate we have varieties that bloom at different times of the summer. One of the delights of these flowers is that they require very little maintenance. If the spent blooms are removed, the lilies tend to bloom longer.
    Over time, the lilies will multiply and can be divided. Dividing is not a requirement, however, if the plant gets too crowded, it will tend to have fewer blooms. Daylilies will grow in full sun or full shade but those in the shade will tend to bloom less. Some of us have daylily plants that were planted in a sunny location but have become shaded as trees have grown larger. This may be the year that they need to be divided and perhaps shared with friends. If you are sharing, alert the recipients so that they will be ready to replant them.
    Dividing daylilies is fairly simple and can be done in spring, late summer or fall. If you are doing it this year, October or early November would probably be the ideal time. When you are ready to dig, you might first consider where you are going to plant the divided plants and at least start the holes for the new installation. Steve Dobbs recommends that you dig the holes two to three times larger than the root ball but keep the crown level with the soil line.
    Once you have dug the clump, it is a good idea to wash the dirt off the roots so that you can determine how to make the divisions. Depending on the growth habit of your day lily, space them from fifteen inches to two feet apart. It is a good idea to mix a balanced fertilizer into the soil before filling in the hole. Water well after planting and provide some mulch around the plant.
    Page 2 of 2 - Once you have completed that task, you can look forward to many more years of daylily blooms.
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