Pros: easy to grow, pretty double bloom, affordable
Cons: none really
I think daylilies are lovely, but I do have my favorites. While someone like my grandmother, who adores daylilies, finds something wonderful in each variety, I prefer the ones that have bold colors that contrast and the ones that are double blooming. The Forty Second Street Daylily is one that I have come to appreciate because it's not as ordinary as some of the others are.
To me, up close the 42nd Street looks like it's been in a fight with a cat's claws and lost. Not all come up the exact same, so some are more ruffled and knotted-looking than others. But, from a distance, they appear full and the differing colors give the appearance of a swirl pattern. It's a really pretty daylily. The petals are cream (sometimes almost pale pink) colored, and the eyes are a red color. The double in the center has more of a rose-wine color to it, especially on the edges where the color appears to bleed through. The light yellow-green throat is almost invisible because of the ruffled appearance of the center.
The blooms are fairly large at around 5 inches. They bloom about midseason, but will rebloom before the growing season is up. The plants come up to stand about 2 feet tall, and have a ground width of over a foot, so when I planted them, I put them over 2 feet apart from one another.
The Forty Second Street Daylily is hardy in zones 5 to 10 and will do well in rich soil, mildly acidic soil, or soil that has sand and some clay. I always place their bulbs in holes that are roughly 6 inches deep and always add a little fertilizer to help them along. I also plant them in full sun or partial shade. This plant, in the garden, receives a good 5 hours or so of sunlight every day and it does so well.
It is a diploid, so it can cross with another diploid but I don't think we ever crossed this particular plant. It can be done though. Also, there will come a time where the rootballs will need dividing as the plant grows. I bought a couple of these plants and ended up spacing out a few and giving away a few more. It's really easy to do, separating the plants, because they nearly fall off into my hands. Sometimes they do need a little jiggle to make them separate, but I haven't killed a 42nd Street yet by dividing it.
It's a lovely daylily, and I like it's ruffled center. Some plants have very big centers, and then some come up with hardly any center fill at all. But, the colors are still so pretty that whichever type the bloom opens up to reveal, it's still a nice addition to the garden. I think I only paid $5 each for them through a mail order nursery. So, it's one of the "cheaper" daylilies, but is just as pretty as a daylily that costs $50. They're easy to grow and easy to take care of, and I think any lover of the plant would enjoy seeing this one in their garden. So, recommended!