There's A Daylily In There Somewhere

This daylily, Hemerocallis sp., was nearly overtaken by a large dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, thus requiring extraordinary procedures to eradicate the dandelion.

In other words, I had to perform a dandelionectomy, which is sometimes referred to as a taraxacumectomy by some high-brow haughtyculturists.

Some plants can withstand this procedure, while others can not. Fortunately many daylilies, including this ‘Stella d’Oro’ that I swore I was getting rid of but haven’t, can easily withstand a dandelionectomy.

Warning! This type of weeding is advanced in nature. It requires a bit more time than most weeding because it must be done “ex terra” which is Latin for “out of soil”

Here’s a rundown of how to do this procedure on daylilies.

First, dig up the entire daylily with the dandelion.

Then, using your bare (or gloved) hands, forcefully remove the dandelion from the daylily. This may result in extra daylily divisions, called "fans", so don't be alarmed if you end up with more daylily plants. In some cases, you may need a sharp knife to cut away the dandelion roots.

As you can see from this picture, I ended up with one dandelion, on the left, and three or four daylily divisions as a result of this dandelionectomy.

Once you’ve removed the dandelion by hand or by knife, toss it out, and then replant the daylily in the spot where it was dug up.

After the dandelionectomy, if you do have a few extra divisions of the daylily, plant these somewhere else in your garden, or give them to a friend.

Any questions?

Oh, by the way, if you want to dig and divide your daylilies, you can follow this same procedure, but skip the part about removing the dandelion. Just split up the daylily into separate "fans" and replant.


  1. I have had to perform more dandelionectomies than I care to confess to, but I never knew there was a name for it.

  2. Looks like the procedure was completed in the nick of time, Dr Dreams! Those seeds were getting ready to fly and infect the whole flower border. Dandy-line Flu is nothing to sneeze at.

    I see that Stella is surrounded by nice little sedums and is that an alchemilla leaf unfolding, too? Stella can behave like a a Garden Flower in that setting, perhaps with something blue added, like lobelia or Evolvolus?
    It's when you call her "Plant Material" and clone her for mass landscaping effects that she acts like such a common floozie.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    PS Wish you had been at the Austin gardenblogger get together on're a kind of honorary Austinite, to my mind!

  3. The dandelions seems to be more prolific this year. Hope you are enjoying this nice summer weather we are having. What happened to spring?

  4. Congratulations doctor… procedure well done indeed…

  5. I have dandelions in bloom already, too, I noticed yesterday (the third or fourth straight day of summery, spring-destroying heat). Ugh. Perhaps if I go out and warn them that an -ectomy is their fate they will move on and go grow elsewhere? Thanks for the laugh about one of the coming month's most repetitive of tasks.

  6. Another great post. I love your wit and wisdom.

  7. I have quite a few sections of my garden that needs a dandelionectomy. Ha.. Great tutorial here.

  8. I'm always happy to see the first dandelion flower but don't want them taking over the other plants. Not sure I'm up to performing a dandelionectomy. Very funny post.

  9. My first dandelion appeared yesterday, at least a week early, but this morning I have whole constellations of dandelions. White and blue violets too. The blooming of the Flowery Mead (lawn) has begun. Great post and a wonderful vocabulary lesson.

  10. Dandelions are thugs aren't they?

  11. Excuse me, Carol, while I clean up the coffee I just sprayed over my computer desk...Dandelionectomy, LOL!

    I have found that for performing such a delicate procedure in places other than the middle of daylilies, my new Cobrahead tool that I bought at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show is just perfect. I know you have one, too; this is probably where I first saw it.

    I divided my Stellas this weekend, too; fortunately, I found some willing takers. I still like these reliable lilies, but mine were getting a little out of hand.

  12. The dandelions can sure get annoying some times.

  13. And how is our patient feeling today? That was one huge dandelion. Stella is pretty tough to have lived with that choking her out. Thanks for the reminder, I have a Daylily that needs dividing, but not a Dandelionectomy.

  14. You crack me up. Very good information on how to perform such a delicate task. Your daylily will thank you for it. Now, you need to get some daylilies other than poor overused Stella. She's o.k., but others are splendid. My, aren't I the bossy one this a.m.? Sorry.~~Dee

  15. This was a great post, both informative and entertaining. All great teachers know students learn better if the lesson is accompanied by laughter.

    I have done those sort of -ectomies before when it became evident that the offending weed was never going to be completely separated from the invaded plant without really radical treatment. The first time I ever did it I was sure I had killed my perennial. But it survived.

  16. DANDELIONECTOMY... I LOVE it! (Well, I don't love doing it, but I love the post. Very amusing, as usual, Carol!)


Post a Comment

Comments are to a blog what flowers are to a garden. Sow your thoughts here and may all your comments multiply as blooms in your garden.

Though there is never enough time to respond to each comment individually these days, please know that I do read and love each one and will try to reciprocate on your blog.

By the way, if you are leaving a comment just so you can include a link to your business site, the garden fairies will find it and compost it!