There are more than 60,000 registered daylily cultivars developed from roughly 15 species in the Hemerocallis genus of flowering perennials, but none is more popular than the little 'Stella de Oro'. Developed in 1975, Stella has all the traditional merits of other hybrid daylilies, plus 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 varieties, 'Stella' will potentially rebloom from early May all the way into September and October. This, combined with an unusually vigorous growth habit and minimal maintenance needs, makes 'Stella de Oro' the most popular cultivar in the most popular genus of all perennial garden flowers.
'Stella' is the golden-yellow flower with clumps of arching foliage that you often see planted in mass 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' still has a role in almost any garden design.
'Stella de Oro' has also served as the genetic parent for dozens of other repeat-blooming hybrid daylilies with a similar compact growth habit.
|Botanical Name||Hemerocallis 'Stella de Oro'|
|Common Names||'Stella de Oro' daylily, Stella|
|Plant Type||Herbaceous perennial|
|Mature Size||9 to 12 inches|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Medium moisture, well-drained soil|
|Soil pH||6.0 to 8.0 (acidic to alkaline)|
|Bloom Time||May to August|
|Flower Color||Deep yellow|
|Hardiness Zones||3 to 10 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Cultivated hybrid|
How to Grow 'Stella de 'Oro' Daylilies
'Stella de Oro' will thrive in almost any sunny location you choose to put it, including rocky, salty soils where few other plants survive. But keep it away from areas that get drenched with water, such as beneath roof overhangs. For best performance, medium-moisture, humusy, well-drained soil is ideal. When planting in masses, space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart; they will expand rather slowly and will not require division for several years.
'Stella' 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 in the heat of summer, but this plant is so sturdy that it generally survives almost any planting time.
Removing each flower stalk as the bloom fades will stimulate continued bloom periods all the way into fall. You can remove the browned foliage prior to winter snows, or leave it in place as a protective mulch over winter, then remove in the spring just as new growth appears.
'Stella de Oro' is largely free of serious pest and disease issues. Mites, aphids, and thrips may appear occasionally, and fungal rust disease may be a problem in some regions.
'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' will also do fine in dry, even rocky soil. It accepts a wide range of soil pH levels, from acidic to alkaline.
Ideally, 'Stella' should get about 1 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, water through ground-level soaking rather than overhead sprinkling.
Temperature and Humidity
You can grow 'Stella de Oro' in all climate conditions through its hardiness range, USDA zones 3 to 10.
In good soil, 'Stella de Oro' doesn't require much in the way of feeding, though it will appreciate a thick layer of organic mulch applied each spring. Where 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.
Propagating 'Stella de 'Oro' Daylilies
When the plants seem crowded and to be waning in vigor—or if you simply want to propagate more plants—dig up the tuberous root clumps, split them apart by hand, and replant. This is best done in fall or early spring, but 'Stella' usually survives division whenever you perform it.
Any number of repeat-blooming daylily cultivars are available, some derived directly from 'Stella de Oro'. Some of the best include:
- 'Rosy Returns': Rose-pink flowers with 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 edges
- 'Purple de Oro': 3-inch plum-purple flowers
Few perennial flowers have proven to be more versatile than 'Stella'. 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. It is sometimes even grown in containers. Unlike many daylily hybrids that require division every couple of years, Stella is a well-behaved plant that will stay nicely compact until you choose to divide it to propagate new plants.