When you’re in the process of beautifying your home garden, you need to go beyond planting trees, herbs and vegetables.
Although growing plants like butter lettuce will make your backyard look greener, they’re not enough to make your garden visually pleasing. If you want your yard to be the talk of the town, plant flowers.
The stargazer lily is one of the beautiful flowers that can make your garden pop. The Stargazer lily is an exotic flower that can uniquely beautify any garden. With its large, fragrant blooms in shades of pink and orange, this perennial plant will bring a new level of vibrancy to your outdoor space. Planting stargazer lilies is relatively easy but requires some planning and preparation.
To ensure success with your stargazer lilies, follow these gardening tips for planting them correctly. With the proper care and attention, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous blooms year after year!
This guide will tell you why you should plant stargazer lily flowers and teach you how to grow and care for this plant in your backyard as well as inside your house.
Stargazer Lily History
The stargazer lily is a hybrid variety of the Oriental lily. Compared to Rubrums and Asiatics, the stargazer lily is a more recent addition to horticulture. It was developed in 1974 by Leslie Woodriff, who wanted to create an upward-facing flower with large, vibrant blooms, thus its name “stargazer.” This hybrid has since become a garden favorite, with its petals and distinctive fragrance.
In gardening, stargazer lilies are used for beds, borders, and large containers. Because of their bright colors and heady fragrance, they are also popular cut flowers. But, if you want to enjoy the stargazer in your garden, they should be planted correctly and cared for properly.
Why Grow Stargazer Lilies?
A stargazer lily is famous for its flamboyant mid- to late-summer blooms and delightful perfume. This is ideal for homeowners who want their garden to look and smell great.
A stargazer lily also comes in different colors and varieties. You could plant a white stargazer lily, a pink stargazer lily, a purple variety, and even bicolor blends. This is an excellent way to make your garden more colorful and vibrant.
Another reason for choosing this flower is it’s easy to grow. Stargazer lilies do best in full sun but can tolerate partial shade. They can also thrive in nearly any kind of well-drained soil, including heavy clay.
Stargazer lilies are perennial plants. Although they will die back to the ground during wintertime, they’ll send up new stems from the stargazer lily bulb during spring. If you’re on a budget and want a plant that will last you several seasons, consider planting this flower in your garden.
How Do You Grow a Stargazer Lily?
Once you’ve chosen the stargazer lily variety you want, you’ll need to think about planting time. Ideally, you should begin growing this flower in spring or autumn. Place the stargazer lily bulbs in a sunny garden bed with well-drained soil.
When adding this flower to your garden, plant clusters of three to five bulbs. Make sure the bulbs are about four to six inches deep. Also, space them six to eight inches apart.
When planting the stargazer lily bulb, don’t simply shove it to the ground. Plant the root side of the flower down, with the pointy side facing up.
Stargazer lilies prefer well-drained soil that is slightly acidic and rich in organic matter. They do not tolerate overly acidic soils; sandy or clay soils should be amended with compost to provide the correct drainage.
Sunlight and temperature
The warm climate of the Southern United States is ideal for the stargazer lily. They should be planted in a spot that receives full sun in cooler climates. They also require temperatures above 40°F, so they should be covered with a frost blanket or brought indoors during cold winters.
As with most plants, stargazer lilies require consistent watering. Be sure to water them deeply to saturate the root system and keep the soil moist but not soggy. Fertilize the plants twice a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Use a water-soluble fertilizer that can be mixed with the planting soil.
Caring for Stargazer Lilies in the Garden
Depending on the soil you have, you could grow beautiful stargazer lilies without adding or using any kind of fertilizer.
The North American Lily Society, though, highly recommends adding a generous amount of 10-10-10 fertilizer in the early spring, preferably after the shoots of the lilies have emerged. They also suggest supplementing throughout the season with small amounts of fertilizer. Make sure you water thoroughly after applying the fertilizer.
You need to keep your stargazer lilies uniformly moist. Just make sure that you don’t overdo the watering.
High humidity along with excessive moisture can result in botrytis, a fungus that attacks the stems and foliage of a flower. You’ll know that your stargazer lily has this fungus when you come across white spots on the leaves.
When watering this flower, soak the soil to a depth of about six inches. Refrain from watering overhead, as this can destroy the blossoms. You can keep the soil moist by mulching.
Deadhead the individual flowers after they finish blooming. This will separate the bloom from the rest of the plant. Deadheading stops the formation of seed pods on the stargazer lily, which expends energy that would otherwise go to rejuvenating the bulbs.
Just like other bulb plants, you should allow the stargazer lily to continue to stand after blooming. Do this for as long as the foliage stays green. Cut the stalks down to ground level as soon as the foliage turns completely brown.
Certain pests can harm stargazer lilies. Lily leaf beetles and aphids are two insects that can cause unsightly damage.
Lily leaf beetles are reddish and look like an elongated ladybug, minus the spots. They eat the buds, stems and leaves of lily plants.
On the other hand, aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that you can find along the stems and on the bottom sides of the leaves. They damage the flower while feeding on sap.
Both insects are controllable. You can pick them off the stargazer lily by hand. Alternatively, you can use a contact insecticide if you come across an infestation.
Stargazer Lily Companion Plants
When planting stargazer lilies, choosing companion plants that will enhance the beauty of the blooms is important. Select tall grasses, such as pampas grass or maiden grass. These will provide a backdrop of foliage and create an attractive contrast with the bright colors of the lilies. Taller plants, like a cedar or poplar tree, may also be planted near the stargazer lilies to provide dappled shade and protection from high winds.
Avoid planting them next to plants that require frequent maintenance, as the stargazer lilies need plenty of room to grow and spread. For example, avoid planting them next to roses, which need more frequent pruning and fertilizing. Because stargazer lilies are slightly more acidic, companion plants that prefer slightly acidic soil may be planted nearby.
Stargazer Lily Plant Varieties
When selecting Stargazer lilies, you’ll find different varieties available. From tall and stately to petite and delicate, these blooms come in various colors and sizes. Here are some of the most popular varieties:
This variety of stargazer lily is the most popular and produces large, white flowers with a sweet scent. It grows to two to four feet and features bright green foliage.
This variety produces large, yellow blooms with a hint of pink. Similar to the White Stargazer, it is easy to care for and ideal for garden beds.
The striking pink petals of the Pink Stargazer are sure to add a pop of color to any garden. It grows to one to two feet and has an intense, citrus-like fragrance. When choosing between these varieties, select the one that best fits your garden’s needs and climate. Some may require more care than others, so thoroughly research the variety before planting.
Stargazer Lily Pollination
Bees pollinate stargazer lilies, so providing suitable habitat for them in your garden is essential. Planting flowering herbs, such as basil and oregano, between the lilies will attract bees and other beneficial pollinators. You can also consider planting flowering vines or tall shrubs to provide shelter and food for the bees.
You may also choose to hand-pollinate your stargazer lilies. This can be done by gently rubbing the lily’s male (anther) and female (stigma) parts together. Wear protective gloves when doing this, as the pollen can irritate your skin.
How Do You Take Care of a Stargazer Lily Indoors?
You might be thinking, “What if I want to grow stargazer lilies inside my house?” Don’t worry, though, as we’ll provide you with tips on how to grow stargazer lilies in pots.
Start by planting the stargazer lily bulb in pots at least six inches wide. The pot should contain soil with a pH of 6.3 to 6.5 and that’s heavy with organic material. An example is a soil heavy in peat moss.
Stargazer lilies grown inside the home are usually smaller and require relatively warm temperatures (68 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit during nighttime). Place them in areas that receive bright sunlight, such as a sunroom. Bright and indirect sunlight for at least six hours a day will produce regular and healthy growth.
A stargazer lily is an excellent flower that you can grow in your garden. You could also grow this flower in a pot to beautify your living space. Whatever option you choose, you’ll enjoy the flower’s fragrant scent and vibrant colors.
With the proper knowledge and preparation, you can plant stargazer lilies and enjoy their beauty for years. Whether you choose to plant them in beds or pots, these vibrant blooms will surely make your garden pop! Be sure to follow the tips outlined in this article, and you’ll be admiring your lilies in no time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do ‘Stargazer’ lilies only bloom once a year?
Stargazer lilies typically bloom from mid-summer to fall. They may also bloom two or three times a year if they receive enough sunlight and water.
2) Are stargazer lilies easy to grow?
Stargazer lilies are relatively easy to grow if planted correctly and adequately cared for. Ensure they have a suitable habitat for pollination and follow the tips outlined above for optimal success.
3) Do you have to dig up stargazer lily bulbs?
Stargazer lily bulbs should be planted in the late fall or early winter. They do not need to be dug up, but dividing them every few years may be necessary to ensure they continue to grow and bloom.
4) Do stargazer lilies glow well in pots?
Stargazer lilies can be planted in pots. Ensure the pot has plenty of drainage and is deep enough to accommodate its root system. Additionally, use premium potting soil to ensure the plants have adequate nutrition.
5) How long do potted lilies live?
Potted stargazer lilies can last for several years with the proper care. They should be brought indoors during cold winters and trimmed back in late winter or early spring to promote new growth.