Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You can't keep a good Stella down

Now that Spring is long gone, chances are your landscape is lacking flower power. Bright purple, pink and yellow blooms have given way to a canvas over-wrought with green, green and only green. -- Especially if your landscape is "Daylilly heavy" like mine, you may be left wishing you'd planted something that offered more punch during the hotter months.

Not to fear my friends, your Stella's (Stella-de-oro daylillies) can keep pushing blooms all the way until first frost!
That's right, with a little trimming and cutting back, Stella will continue to push out flowers.

Here are what most daylillies look like right now (from a neighbor's yard):

These Stellas were in full glory just a few weeks ago, but now look anemic and sickly, with spent stalks drying up in the wind, and worst of all: NO MORE FLOWERS!

Here's a closeup of a spent stalk. Notice the seed pod left on top. Many folks think this is a flower ready to bud, but it is not. Flower buds on Stellas are long and "torpedo" shaped. The seed pods are stubby and wrinkly..., and in most cases, the seeds are sterile anyway.

Not to worry! ...

...you can stimulate Stella to send up more blooms by cutting off her "spent" stalks.

Flowers are much like strong-willed people: you just can't keep them from "blooming."

It's the old, "You can't keep a good man (or Stella) down" thing.
We all know people who thrive under pressure. And of course, the cliche's are numerous:

"Diamonds come forth from extreme pressure" ...well, something like that.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get rough" as sung by 80's literary icon, Billy Ocean.

etc etc.

For a more credible reference, read John chapter 15 from the Bible.
The Heavenly Father can much better convey the similarity in pruning people and pruning plants, trees and shrubs; after all, He created both.

If you're not the religious type, then look at it through human wisdom.
How many times has someone told you, "You can't succeed at that, it will never work..."
(they cut you down)

..and you pushed and prodded, and worked (failing several times along the way) and in the end, you proved them wrong and you did, indeed succeed?
Chances are, that critic performed some "mental pruning" that caused you to push harder and with more gusto then you would have otherwise.

Hence our lovely Stellas blooming at a time when others are tired and spent!

You should cut the spent stalks off as low as you can get your pruners. Be sure to make a clean cut. It is also mandatory to cut them off immediately while they are still green. This "tells" the plant that is has lost something viable and it must replace it by sending up more...more flowers!

If you wait until the stalks dry up on their own, then they are worthless anyway and the plant sees no benefit in replacing what was already dead. Make sense? (that's a reference back to John 15 by the way)

At right, I can count at least 10 new blooms shooting up just 5 days after cutting off the spent, green stalks. What's more?...that's 10 blooms on a single stalk! Wow! Most stalks produce between 3 and 5 blooms, but the cutting has really "pissed Stella off" man!!!! Ha!

Now that's resilience!
Don't you just love 'ole Stella?!

And don't you, too, feel good when you accomplish something that forced you to fight through some pain and suffering to get there?

So, next time someone "cuts you off," or "sweeps your legs out from under you," remember Stella! ...and get pissed off and grow!

(yes, Mom, I had to throw in some mild cuss words to convey my point!)