The Q&A Archives: Stella 'D Oro

Question: I just purchased a Stella 'D Ora this weekend. It is such a beautiful plant. But I know very little about it. Please give me some background and caring information.

Answer: Your Stella d' Oro is a daylily (Hemerocallis). Daylilies produce an abundance of flowers which open over a long period of time. They are useful in the perennial flower border, as a garden centerpiece, or any corner of the garden which needs to be brightened up. They will form a quite large cluster in just a few years.

For the best quality flowers, daylilies should be grown in full sun, however they will tolerate light shade. Daylilies take quite a bit of water and food so they shouldn't be planted to close to trees or shrubs which compete for the moisture and nutrients. Daylilies grow best in slightly acidic, well drained soil which has a high organic content. Although daylilies can tolerate drought, they perform best when they receive a deep watering of an inch of water or more each week. More frequent watering may be necessary if they are planted in sandy soils.

A spring application of manure, compost, or a good complete fertilizer such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5 is very beneficial. A low nitrogen fertilizer (3-12-12) should be applied in the late summer or early fall.

Remove the seed capsules after the bloom has faded to prevent seed production which weakens the plant and would decrease the number of flowers next year.

Daylilies can be divided every three to four years. The best time to transplant or divide plants is in early spring or immediately after they finish flowering. Dig the entire plant up and gently pull the leaf fans apart, with each division having a minimum of 3 fans. (Newly divided plants may not flower the first summer)

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