Daylily Companion Plants

Daylily is the never fail plant that will grow in almost any garden situation. It likes to have full sun and heat, making it an excellent choice for areas in the yard that are hard to grow more tender plants. The fibrous roots of Daylilies also make them a natural choice to plant on slopes, along driveways, or anywhere that needs a stable ground cover. Because of the fast-growing and somewhat aggressive nature of the larger Daylily varieties, some careful thought needs to be given to which plants should or should not be grown alongside these herbaceous perennials. 


Shrubs To Plant With Daylily

Daylilies are very drought tolerant after establishment in a landscape. Their dense mat of fibrous roots needs to have room to spread out in search of moisture from the surrounding soil. Because of this, Daylilies are often not good companions under trees or shrubs where they have to compete for moisture and sunlight. Some shrubs with less aggressive root systems may pair perfectly well with Daylilies. Butterfly Bush, Lavender, and Shrub Roses would make good companions as long as the Daylilies are divided on a regular 2-3 year schedule to keep their spread in check. 

Perennials To Plant With Daylily

The mounds of grasslike leaves and tall flower spikes of Daylilies complement a wide range of herbaceous perennials. Virtually any perennial that likes to grow in full or partial sun and slightly acidic, well-drained soil is a good choice. Try growing them with ornamental grasses, Artemisia, or Hostas to add contrasting foliage shapes and colors to your garden plan. 

Perennials native to meadows and prairies add a naturalistic element to your yard and are extremely low maintenance when grown alongside Daylilies. Yarrow, Coneflowers, and Red Hot Poker are ideal long-blooming partners. All manner of early spring perennial bulbs can be planted with Daylilies. Daffodils, Tulips, and Crocus bloom at the same time the Daylilies emerge, giving the bulbs a lovely backdrop of fresh green foliage. As the spring bulbs die back, the daylilies work as a camouflage hiding dying foliage.

Annuals To Plant With Daylily

Annuals can be a little tricky to plant with Daylilies in a garden bed. Typically Daylilies form large mounds and act as a dense ground cover, which means that any annuals planted as ground covers will have some tough competition. The best annuals will have height and long-lasting color to highlight or complement the Daylilies. Cosmos, Cleome, and Zinnias all thrive in full sun and will add a vertical element to a garden with mounding Daylily shapes. Wax Begonia, French Marigold, and Calendula have particularly bright colors that look great alongside the smaller and lower-growing varieties of Daylilies such as Stella D’oro. Allow for plenty of spacing when using lower-growing annuals so that they do not get shaded or overtaken by the more aggressive Daylilies.  

Best Companion Plants For Daylily in Containers

Daylilies can be combined with other colorful plants for seasonal interest on a deck, patio, or empty spot in the garden. The smaller varieties of Daylily can tolerate container growing longer and will not compete with other plants for root space. Look for varieties of Daylily that stay under 2-3 feet in height and spread. 

Annuals are the best choice to fill in around your Daylily. Think about plants that are fillers and/or spillers to accent the natural fountain shape of your Daylily focal point. Petunias, Ageratum, Sedum, and Alyssum have nice shallow roots and can perform as either filler or spiller plants. 


Watering a daylily planter will be the most demanding maintenance task. The fibrous roots tend to dry quicker in a pot and will be more sensitive to hot or dry periods. Plant daylilies only in a container that has excellent drainage, and aim to keep the potting mix consistently moist throughout the summer. Place your container in a location that has protection from the hottest part of the day to minimize stress to all of the components and reduce watering demands. 

Plants Not To Grow With Daylily

Although Daylilies thrive in full sun, they will tolerate partial shade as long as the soil is well draining and moderately rich. Plants that thrive in wet conditions do not make great companions. Marsh Marigold, Gunnera, and Reed grasses are just a few pond-side plants that require far too much moisture for growing Daylilies. Daylilies do not like to have their roots sitting in boggy or seasonally wet soil, as they are prone to root rot diseases. Daylilies also do not grow well under thirsty trees or large shrubs. Their root systems will not thrive in shallow soil that dries out. Only plant Daylilies where they have fairly deep soil to establish a healthy root system. 

Best Plants To Grow With Daylily

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush







Daylilies are easy-to-grow plants that look best when they are paired with equally tough and easy-to-grow perennials. Full-to-part sun exposure, moderately rich soil, and good drainage are the key elements to consider when choosing partner plants for Daylilies.

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Author Robbin Small - Published 8-28-2023