Should you cut leaves off daylilies in autumn?

daylilies after blossoms
You can cut off the flower stalks and brown leaves, but not the green leaves on daylilies. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Local gardeners have been asking whether they can cut down the leaves on daylily plants.

The flowers are gone, leaving brown stems. Some of the leaves are browning, too. It’s not a pretty sight.

If you need something to do and you would like a tidier garden, pull out the brown bloomstalks and pull off the brown foliage, said Kathy Guest Shadrack, who does communications for the Buffalo Area Daylily Society.

But don’t cut back the green daylily foliage; the leaves are still working for the plant. 

Keep the green leaves on an amaryllis that you force inside during the winter, too.

Spring plants such as daffodils and tulips also need their leaves to recharge the bulb. Here are some suggestions on what to plant near spring bulbs to disguise the yellowing leaves.

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