Pickled daylily flower buds

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In this article, you’ll find out how to make pickled daylily flower buds — an explosion of delicious flavors and colors! 

Pickled daylily flower buds - A color and flavor explosion!

A color and flavor explosion!


First, a daylily warning

Not every plant with the name “lily” is edible. For instance, lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) can be deadly. Consuming Asiatic lilies can make you very sick. Got it? 

However, the flowers, flower buds, young shoots, and tubers of daylilies (Hemerocallis) are generally safe for human consumption with proper preparation and precaution. Even then, an additional word of caution is warranted… There are now over 100,000 daylily cultivars with new ones developed yearly, so it’s impossible to make sweeping generalizations as to the edibility of them all.

Hemerocallis fulva — the common orange daylily you often see blooming in ditches in the spring and early summer — is edible, as are its close relatives. So for the sake of this article, this is the plant we’re referring to when we say daylilies.

A jar of daylily flower buds from our garden, ready for pickling.

A jar of daylily flower buds from our garden, ready for pickling.

Even then, for every food, there is a person who is allergic to that food. Thus, exercise caution and consider preparation methods when eating daylilies for the first time. For instance, I find daylily flowers and flower buds slightly irritate my throat IF I eat them raw. However, once cooked, fermented, or pickled, I’m good to go. 

How to make daylily bud fridge pickles

This is a super simple recipe for making uncooked, pickled daylily flower buds. They need to be stored in your fridge and eaten within a month or so, not stored at room temp

Here are the key details to get this recipe right:

1. Use the correct plant. 

It bears repeating: make 100% certain you are using daylily flower buds, not any other type of plant with the word “lily” in its name. See warnings above! 

Daylily flower buds.

Daylily flower buds.

2. Use firm fresh flower buds.

The perfect daylily bud will be firm to the touch and snap right off the plant when you twist and/or pull down on it where the flower stem attaches to the stalk. No garden pruners required! 

3. Use the garden-fresh flavorings of your choice.   

Add some fresh herbs to your pickled daylily buds for extra nuance. Some options to consider:

Bronze fennel flowers add a subtle hint of licorice flavor.

Bronze fennel flowers add a subtle hint of licorice flavor.

4. Use the right ingredient ratios. 

  • Vinegar & water – Use a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar to water.
  • Salt – For every cup of liquid, you can use anywhere from 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp salt, depending on your tastes. We err on the higher side of this salt range since we like a salty pickle. 
  • Sweet – We use honey instead of sugar in our pickled daylily buds, about 1 tablespoon per cup of liquid. You can use sugar if you’d prefer.  

Measuring tip: Need a simple way to measure how much vinegar and water you’ll use? Pour water over your jar of daylily buds until its full. Then pour the water off into a measuring cup. That’s your total liquid. 

From here, you’ll simply pour off half the water and replace it with an equal part of white vinegar. Then whisk in your salt and honey. Boom! Brine made.  

5. Use a weight to hold the flower buds below the surface of the liquid. 

Daylily flower buds will try to float until they’re saturated. So place a glass fermentation weight or other kitchen implement on top of the daylily flower buds to hold them below the level of the liquid in the jar. 

Make sure you use something to weight down your daylily flower buds or they'll float!

Make sure you use something to weight down your daylily flower buds or they’ll float!

Don’t use anything made of plastic or it will leach into your food. 

6. Wait 24 hours before eating.  

Pickled daylily flower buds are best eaten after about 24 hours. It takes a bit of time for the brine and flavors to work their way through all the inner layers of the unopened flower. 

A cross section of a pickled daylily flower bud. Gorgeous!

A cross section of a pickled daylily flower bud. Gorgeous!

You can store your pickled daylilies in the fridge for a month or more, but they’re best eaten within the first week for ideal texture. 

Recipe: Pickled daylily flower buds

Pickled daylily flower bud recipe by Tyrant Farms.

recipe: pickled daylily flower buds

Pickled daylily flower buds

Course: Appetizer, charcuterie, Preservation
Cuisine: American
Keyword: daylily flower buds, daylily recipe, pickled daylily buds
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration time: 1 day
Author: Aaron von Frank

Pickle your daylily flower buds for a delicious and refreshing summer treat!


  • fresh, firm daylily buds loosely packed in glass jar
  • 1 part water
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • salt (use between 1/4 tsp to 1 tsp per cup of liquid depending on your salt taste preferences)
  • honey (use 1 tbsp honey per cup of liquid or substitute sugar 1:1)
  • fresh herbs such as fennel flowers, dill, green coriander, mint to taste


  1. Pick fresh, firm daylily flower buds and loosely pack them into glass canning jar.

  2. Pour water over flowers until jar is full, leaving enough room for weight on top of flower buds which will float. Pour water off into measuring cup to get total volume of liquid (water/vinegar) needed. Pour off half the water and replace it with white vinegar.

  3. Put herbs into jar with daylily buds. Add salt and honey to the water-vinegar combo and whisk until dissolved. This is your brine. Pour the brine over the daylily flower buds in jar. Place weight on top of flower buds (a glass fermentation weight works great).

  4. Refrigerate for 24 hours before eating. Store up to 1 month in your fridge. Do NOT store at room temperature.

Drop us a comment and rating below to let us know if you enjoy your pickled daylily buds!



Other edible flower articles you’ll love:

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  • Reply
    April Gordon
    June 28, 2024 at 2:01 pm

    I found your article and recipe so intriguing that I made 2 quarts of them. The only significant change I made was to use organic apple cider vinegar rather than white vinegar. I used fennel flowers and two varieties of mint that I grow to season them. I just ate some today after letting them sit in the fridge for almost three days. They are so good that I ate several of them. But in line with your cautions I will wait until tomorrow to have more. I am hoping my daylilies continue to produce enough buds so I can make more of these without losing too many flowers. It’s a hard choice! Thanks and keep your interesting and unique recipes coming.

    • Reply
      Aaron von Frank
      June 28, 2024 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed your pickled daylily buds. Good to hear they turn out well with apple cider vinegar as well.

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