Why Do People Love Stargazer Lilies So Much?
Everyone has their favorite flowers, and if pressed, many gardeners have their favorite variety of that flower. Take lilies, for example — lilies are a much-loved flowering bulb for gardeners everywhere, but when the topic narrows down to Stargazer lilies, suddenly there’s a cult following.
Stargazer lilies are prized by both home gardeners and flower farmers alike; their stellar features make them nearly universally loved and widely grown.
What are Stargazer lilies?
Stargazer lilies are Oriental lilies, which are native to Japan. Oriental lilies are characterized by their exotic beauty and intense fragrance, and typically bloom late in the summer or even early fall. While most Oriental lilies have flowers that tend to hang down, Stargazer features upward-facing flowers, leading to the origin of the name.
But that’s not the only standout feature Stargazer lilies have — they take all the best features of Oriental lilies and push the envelope even harder.
Why are Stargazer lilies so popular?
If you like incredible beauty with easy to grow features, Stargazer is for you!
- Earlier bloom: While most Oriental lilies bloom in late summer, Stargazer lilies typically begin flowering in mid-summer.
- Strong stems: Their ultra-strong and sturdy stems rarely need staking, and make them ideal for flower arranging. Tip: Their orange stamens can stain clothing, so if you’re planning to use them extensively in flower arranging, we suggest cutting off those stamens.
- Large flowers: Jumbo, 6”+ showy flowers are the hallmark of the Stargazer.
- Brilliant color: Stargazers have a blend of pink, red, and white with orange anthers.
- More blooms per stem: An impressive 4-12 flowers form at the ends of each stem, giving you even more bang for your buck.
- Easy to grow: They do best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade, they’re not picky about soil, and don’t need winter protection after they’re established.
- Wide growing range. Stargazers are reliable bloomers in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-9.
- Pollinator magnets: If you’re trying to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators to your garden, this lily will do the trick.
Care Tips for Stargazer Lilies
Although they’re easy to grow, Stargazer lilies do have some preferences and care requirements.
- Plant in fall or early spring if you miss fall planting.
- Choose a sunny spot in the garden that has well-drained soil. Although not picky about soil, they don’t like to be waterlogged.
- Give them about 1” of water per week.
- Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) in early spring when shoots emerge, and then more lightly during the growing and blooming season.
- When the flowers are done blooming, prune them off just under the flowerhead.
- Leave the foliage alone as long as it’s green — when it turns completely brown, go ahead and cut it down to ground level.
Note: Lilies are toxic to both dogs and cats, but they are particularly lethal to cats. If you have curious furry friends, plant Stargazer lilies in an area of the garden where they don’t have access and showcase them indoors where your pets cannot investigate them. We want you to have a gorgeous garden as well as healthy and safe pets!
- Jenny Peterson