'Stella d'Oro' has all the traditional merits of other hybrid daylilies, plus a few more. It has the classic colorful trumpet-shaped flowers that individually last only one day; but rather than the normal one- to three- week bloom period typical to other daylily varieties, Stella d'Oro can potentially bloom from early May into September and October. This, combined with an unusually vigorous growth habit and very little maintenance makes Stella d'Oro the most popular cultivar in the most popular genus of all perennial garden flowers.
Stella d'Oro produces golden-yellow flowers with arching strap-like foliage that you often see planted en masse around office buildings and retail businesses, which is one reason it has now developed a reputation for being somewhat tired and overused. But when used selectively, Stella d'Oro still has a role in almost any garden design.
|Common Name||Stella d'Oro daylily|
|Botanical Name||Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||9-12 inches tall, 10-12 inches wide|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Acidic, neutral, alkaline|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Golden yellow|
|Hardiness Zones||3-10 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Cultivar, no native range|
Stella d'Oro Daylily Care
Stella d'Oro will thrive in almost any sunny location, including rocky, salty soils where few other plants survive. But don't plant it in areas that are drenched with water, such as beneath roof overhangs or next to a downspout. For best performance, medium-moisture, humusy, well-drained soil is ideal. When planting in groups, space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart; they spread rather slowly and will not require division for several years.
Stella d'Oro is usually planted in the spring when all danger of frost has past, or in the fall a month or so before first frost. It's best not to plant them in the heat of summer, but this plant is so sturdy that it generally survives almost any planting time.
Stella does best in a full sun location in most regions, but in very warm southern climates it will appreciate a bit of shade in the afternoon hours.
Humusy, well-drained soil is the ideal environment, but Stella d'Oro will also do fine in dry, even rocky soil. It accepts a wide range of soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline (6.0 to 8.0).
Ideally, Stella d'Oro needs about one inch of water per week in the form of rainfall and/or irrigation, but it will easily survive two or three weeks of drought, though with diminished flowering. Consistent moisture produces the best flowering. Where possible, apply water via a ground-level soaking rather than overhead sprinkling.
Temperature and Humidity
You can grow Stella d'Oro in all climate conditions through its hardiness range, USDA cold hardiness zones 3 to 10.
When grown in fertile, organically-rich soil, Stella d'Oro doesn't require much in the way of feeding, though it will appreciate a thick layer of organic mulch applied each spring. When flowering is weak, a feeding of slow-release granular fertilizer in the spring, then another immediately after the first major flowering period, is a good regimen. For the amount of fertilizer to use, follow the product label instructions.
Types of Repeat-Blooming Daylilies
Any number of repeat-blooming daylily cultivars are available, some derived directly from Stella d'Oro, which has served as the genetic parent for dozens of other repeat-blooming hybrid daylilies with a similar compact growth habit. Popular daylily varieties are:
- 'Rosy Returns': A reblooming variety with rose-pink flowers and yellow centers
- 'Happy Returns': Pale yellow flowers; reblooms from early to late summer
- 'Apricot Sparkles': Apricot flowers with golden throats; grows to 18 inches
- 'Always Afternoon': Huge, raspberry-pink flowers
- 'Dragon's Eye': Pastel pink flowers with dark red centers; begins blooming in mid-summer
- 'Indian Giver': Rich purple flowers with pale pink or white edges
- 'Purple de Oro': 12 to 14 inches tall with three-inch plum-purple flowers
Frequently deadhead spent flowers before they can turn into seed pods ensure continuous bloom. Each flower produces a seed pod that looks like a miniature green pumpkin, the size of a dime. If you see them forming, remove them.
For daylilies like Stella d'Oro, use hand pruners for deadheading. Be careful not to remove any unopened flower buds on the stalk. When no buds are left on a stalk, remove the entire stalk to keep the plant looking tidy.
Unlike many daylily hybrids that require division every couple of years, Stella is a well-behaved plant that will remain nicely compact until you choose to divide it to propagate it, which also rejuvenates the plants when they seem crowded and waning in vigor.
- In the early spring, soon after it starts growing, or in the fall, use a spade to lift the entire clump out of the ground.
- If propagating in the fall, cut the foliage down to five to six inches with garden shears before lifting out of the ground.
- Remove excess soil by brushing or rising it off with a hose to find the best points at which to cut apart the daylily clump. Use a clean sharp garden knife to slice through the root system.
- Replant the divisions in a new location at the same depth as the original plant.
- Water it well. In the spring, keep it well watered until you see new growth.
Growing from Seeds
Although Stella d'Oro produces seeds from numerous flowers, it is not recommended to use them for propagation as the plant is a hybrid and it won't result in a plant that is true to type.
Potting and Repotting
Stella de Oro can be grown in containers. Use a three- to four-gallon container to give the root system room to grow to its mature size without requiring repotting. Make sure the container has drainage holes. Containers made of terracotta are best because that material enables excess soil moisture to evaporate.
Like all container plants, daylilies needs deep watering whenever the top layer of soil feels dry, which can mean daily waterings during hot summer days,
When a container-grown daylily has outgrown its container, divide it the same way as a garden-grown daylily and replant the sections in new containers with fresh potting soil.
When grown in the garden, Stella d'Oro doesn't need winter protection because it is hardy to USDA cold hardiness zone 3. After a hard freeze in the fall, remove the dead foliage. Browned or blackened foliage and bare stalks that don't add any visual interest to the winter garden and mushy dead leaves could protect slug eggs that will hatch next season.
If you don't move potted plants into an unheated garage or shed, they can remain outdoors during the winter. If you do so, protect the plants by wrapping the containers in a combination of burlap and bubble wrap, move the container to a southern-facing location, or by building an insulating silo.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
Stella d'Oro is largely free of serious pest and disease issues. Mites, aphids, and thrips may appear occasionally, and fungal rust disease can be a problem in some regions.
How To Get Stella d'Oro to Bloom
Failure to bloom can be caused by insufficient sun. Stella d'Oro needs at least six hours of full sun to bloom. Removing each flower stalk as the bloom fades will stimulate continued bloom periods all the way into fall.
Yellow and brown foliage might be caused by daylily leaf streak, especially in warm, wet weather. To prevent it from spreading, remove any diseased foliage and dispose of it in the trash. The fungus overwinters in the foliage so if your plants are infected, do a thorough fall cleanup of all foliage.
Where should I plant Stella d'Oro?
Few perennial flowers have proven to be more versatile than the Stella d'Oro daylily. It can be used as a massed ground cover for sunny areas, an edging plant for border gardens, or as a specimen plant in mixed perennial gardens, where it adds a warm spot of color that works well with almost any other hue.
Are Stella d'Oro daylilies native?
No, they are one of the more than 60,000 registered daylily cultivars developed from roughly 15 species in the Hemerocallis genus of flowering perennials.
Is Stella d'Oro invasive?
The plant grows in a dense clump but does not spread beyond that so it's not invasive.
Jauron, Richard. “Fall Garden Cleanup.” Iastate.Edu, https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2014/10-24/cleanup.html
“Cutting down Perennials in the Fall.” Penn State Extension, https://extension.psu.edu/cutting-down-perennials-in-the-fall
Marsden, Christy. “Daylily Leaf Streak.” Wisconsin Horticulture, https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/daylily-leaf-streak/