Happy Returns Daylily

Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’

Description & Overview

Bred by Darrel Apps, Happy Returns Daylily is a vigorous reblooming miniature selection. Radiant, 2¾ inch lemon-yellow flowers are held above the foliage throughout the season, adding interest to any border or mass planting. An excellent choice to add reliable, bright flowers in any tough site.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 18 inches
Mature Spread: 16-24 inches
Growth Rate: Perennial
Growth Form: Clump forming perennial
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Tolerant of many sites, best in deep, rich soils
Flower: Lemon-yellow, ruffled petals, miniature
Bloom Period: May-June, rebloomer
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: Insignificant
Fruit Notes: Capsule

Suggested Uses:

Use Happy Returns Daylily in borders or mass plantings for best results. Be sure to leave them room to fill out as the plant will spread. As a tough, reliably flowering perennial, Happy Returns Daylily is an excellent choice for restricted urban spaces with poor soils and pollution where few other plants will reliably grow.

Wildlife Value:

The profuse, reblooming flowers of Happy Returns Daylily will attract a wide variety of hummingbirds and butterflies, although this plant is not of significant importance to any species.

Maintenance Tips:

The spent flowers of Happy Returns Daylily can be deadheaded to keep the plant looking tidy. The dead flower stalks, called scapes, can be pulled once they’ve completely dried. In spring, the leaves and stalks of last year can be cleaned up to keep your bed tidy.

While drought tolerant, watering Happy Returns Daylily during drought will keep the foliage full and attractive. In periods of low moisture, some foliage may brown out and become unattractive. These damaged parts of the plant can be removed once supplemental water has been provided.

Happy Returns Daylily should be divided every 3 years in spring to improve flowering and reduce crowding. Dig up the clump, remove ½ to ¾ of the mass, and replant the remaining portion. Water well after replanting to develop a healthy, deep root system.


Daylilies are generally pest and disease free. Rust, mites, aphids, and thrips may occur, but these problems are exceedingly rare. In general, Daylilies will be happy and healthy as long as they are able to establish and receive adequate sunlight. Occasional slug and snail damage may occur, but this is typically negligible.

The flower buds are tasty fodder for deer, especially in periods of drought when other food sources may be unavailable. If excessive browsing is problematic, a repellent spray or fence may be used to protect the flower buds.

While the Daylily Rust fungus is of concern in southern states, the fungus has not been observed to successfully survive our cold winters in the Midwest.

Leaf Lore:

Daylilies are put into one of three categories depending on their flower size; miniature daylilies, that have flowers that are 3 inches or less in size; small daylilies, which have flowers that are between 3 and 4½ inches; and Large daylilies, with flowers greater than 4 ½ inches in size.

Daylilies are native to Asia and Central Europe and were brought to North America as a hardy ornamental. While over 55,000 registered cultivars exist, no one has successfully created a cultivar with pure blue or white flowers. The current focus of many selection and hybridization programs is to develop cultivars with better hardiness and unique flower traits. With so many cultivars available, we try to stock only those cultivars that have proven themselves in our climate and soils.

Daylilies get their name from their flowering habit. A single flower will last one day, opening in the morning and withering at night. However, the plants produce huge quantities of flower buds and the spent flowers are quickly replaced the following day.

Companion Plants:

Pair Happy Returns Daylily with Russian Sage, Rozanne Geranium, or Hummelo Lambs Ear for contrasting color and texture. Make sure you leave enough space for Happy Returns Daylily’s full size as this will make dividing easier.

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