*Daylilies are generally sold in double fans (as is the case with all other vendors in this table). I could find no indication on the Oakes Daylilies site that the $40 price is for double fans. If in doubt, always contact the grower before you order.
MAKE SURE THAT THE WEBSITE YOU'RE VIEWING IS UP TO DATE. If not, prices listed may be for prior years and thus higher than current average prices.
Daylily pricing is based on a number of factors:
Perceived need of a particular cultivar in hybridizers’ breeding programs
Year in which cultivar was released
Vigor or speed of growth
How much of a particular cultivar the grower has to sell
How much the grower paid to acquire the cultivar
The average asking price in the United States (In the past this information was readily available in the annual Eureka Daylily Reference Guide. Unfortunately, it is no longer published. To research average prices for a cultivar, one must now scour the Internet, but even this is not always helpful.)
Daylily prices can vary from a few dollars for a double fan to well over two hundred dollars or even more for a single fan. Basically, it's the law of supply and demand. A new cultivar may be introduced at a starting price of $100.00. It can sell for this amount because it is rare. As more growers obtain this plant and propagate it, it becomes less rare and the price drops. If the cultivar is very popular or if it multiplies slowly, the price stays up longer. Likewise, if the daylily multiplies very fast or is not that popular, the price will drop fairly quickly.
Does this mean that the cheaper cultivars are not as nice nor as garden worthy as the expensive ones? Not necessarily. It may just mean that there is more of that cultivar available. You can find hundreds of beautiful cultivars in the $5.00-$10.00 per double fan range because they have been around for years and lots of growers sell them, driving down prices.
There are other factors than list price to consider when evaluating a mail order grower's prices. Does the grower include gift plants with the order? Most do but some are much more generous than others. How many fans does the grower send? Most will send at least two but some will send a whole clump for the same price as a double fan. I once received 12 fans of a cultivar for the 2-fan price. Does the grower send large healthy plants? I have received plants no bigger around than a pencil at the base, and I have received some that were over 3 inches in diameter. Size alone does not determine how vigorous or floriferous a cultivar will be. Consider placing only a small order with a grower you have not ordered from before. Then, if the order is up to your expectations, you can place larger orders with greater confidence.