Stella De Oro
Garden Clippings for July 14, 2018
The easiest job in the world is being the landscape architect for a shopping plaza or self serve gas station. All you’d have to do is specify Stella De Oro daylilies in the parking lot islands and your job would be done. Perhaps you would add few trees, although big retailers don’t like trees because they might block the view of their precious storefronts.
Stella De Oro daylilies are the go-to plant for commercial properties because they are fool proof and require no maintenance.
Parking lot islands and boulevards that were once grass are now slowly being replaced with Stellas, because grass requires weeding, cutting and watering. Stellas need zero attention. Zip. Nada.
Of the 60,000 odd varieties of daylilies, Stella De Oro quickly rose to the top thanks to Walter Jablonski who, in 1975 introduced the first daylily classed as a repeat bloomer. While most daylilies bloom for a few weeks in midsummer, Stella starts blooming earlier and stops blooming later. With skill they can be coaxed to bloom all summer long.
Stella De Oro is a tidy, compact plant reaching heights of about a foot. Its grassy stems are attractive even when the plant is not in bloom. Blooms are like wild tiger lilies but remain tight amongst the foliage rather than at the end of tall stems. Colour is bright golden.
Like all daylilies, Stella is tolerant of heat, draught, cold and moisture. It will grow in full sun or partial shade. Stella does not mind poor soil, which bodes well for parking lot islands. It is not bothered by salt or piles of dirty snow.
Stella De Oro is a hardy vigorous grower. It can be planted solo or in a mixed perennial border.
Each Stella De Oro flower lasts only one day, after which it dries up and soon falls off. But there are so many flowers on each plant that as soon as a flower falls, it is quickly replaced by another and another.
Soon after the 1975 introduction of Stella, daylily ‘Happy Returns’ entered the market. Everything about these two plants are the same, but the flowers of Happy Returns are pure yellow rather than gold. There are now several additional varieties of repeat blooming daylilies but none as popular as the top two.
The trick to even more blooms is dead heading. Parking lot maintenance firms won’t bother with dead-heading but home gardeners find that if they cut off the spent flowers before they fall off, the plant will keep on blooming. Be sure to cut off the entire plant including the seed pods at the base of the flower. If you leave the seed head as is the plant will concentrate its efforts on seed production rather than flower formation.
Just because Stellas are a mainstay for commercial properties does not mean they are not suited for home gardens. Quite the contrary. In our backyard we have oodles of daylilies in many varieties. We love them for their interesting flower, dependability and ease of growing. Daylilies are also the easiest plant to clean up in late fall.