A Guide to Growing Stargazer Lilies
My love affair with Stargazer lilies
I first discovered Stargazer lilies when I was picking out flowers for my wedding, and it was love at first sight. I just had to have one in my bridal bouquet, and every time I see one now it brings back happy memories.
For some reason, I always assumed these flowers would be difficult to grow. I finally decided to plant a few Stargazer lily bulbs in my garden a few years ago when I found some on sale at a local garden centre. Am I ever glad I did! Growing these lilies has proven to be very easy, and they're always one of the star attractions in my garden during their blooming time.
Stargazer lilies are a variety of Oriental Lily, or lilium. They are grown from bulbs, and flower from mid to late summer. They are perennial flowers, and so will flower each year once planted, as long as they are planted in the appropriate conditions. They have a sweet, exotic scent that is quite strong.
The flowers on stargazer lily plants are large and showy. Each ruffled petal is deep fuschia in the middle, which fades to a lighter pink. The edges of the petals are white, and the petals are covered in dark pink speckles. The plant itself is quite spindly and plain, but once the plants starts blooming, all will be forgiven. Each stem may hold up to 4 or 5 flowers, and the flowers are truly magnificent.
Stargazer lilies make excellent cut flowers, with their large bright flowers and sweet scent. If you do plan on cutting some of these lilies for a bouquet, be careful to avoid getting the pollen on your hands or clothes as it will stain quite easily.
How to Grow Stargazer Lilies
Stargazer lilies are quite easy to grow. They are typically hardy in zones 4-8, and require very little care once established. They can be grown in containers or in the garden.
These lilies can be grown in full sun or partial shade, and do best in fertile, well-drained soil. It's best not to let them dry out, so mulching is recommended to help the soil retain moisture and keep the roots cool. They do not however, like soil that is too wet as the bulbs can rot.
Bulbs can be planted either in the spring or fall. They should be planted 4-6 inches deep, and about 6-8 inches apart. For an attractive layout, plant them in groups of three or five bulbs.
Many books recommend that you fertilize your lilies monthly with a 4-8-4 fertilizer, but I have had good success without adding any fertilizer in my garden.
Stargazer lilies are perennials and should return year after year. Like most lilies, the bulbs will get bigger each year, resulting in a bigger and more beautiful display of blooms as the years go on.
Eventually, you may find that the plants start to outgrow their space - or you may want to grow some in other areas of your yard. In this case, you can easily divide the bulbs. Bulbs can be divided any time of year that they are not flowering, but early spring or fall are usually the best times.
See the video below for tips for dividing and transplanting your stargazer lilies.
Transplanting Stargazer Lilies
Stargazer lilies make a beautiful and fragrant addition to any perennial garden.
Whether you leave them in your garden, or cut some to bring inside for beautiful bouquets, they are certainly a flower that you can't help but notice.