I know, I know. Stargazer lilies have been around forever, why are you even bothering to write a post about them? Well my friends, because I love them, of course. Speaking honestly, I have the tendency to fall in love with whatever’s blooming profusely at the moment – but these beauties have never let me down.
Like Casablanca, Stargazers are also oriental lilies. These blooms were one of the few flowers that I could recognize before I got into this whole grand gardening adventure. In fact, their lovely pink and white petals are so common, I’m almost certain that most folks have seen them before.
As with the majority of lilies, these are extremely easy to grow, and what I consider to be somewhat “fool proof”. This means that I’ve managed to have success, even with my not-so-stellar record of keeping my gardens alive.
Pick a nice sunny location that’s well drained. In fact, the only issue that I’ve ever had was this season when my bulbs were planted in a rather soggy spot in the garden. This, in tandem with weeks of rain, caused a handful to rot. Like all lilies, blooms are somewhat short-lived when they remain in the garden. Bulbs that were planted in the fall (or that were planted long ago) will usually bloom before the new bulbs that may have been planted after the last spring frost. I always plant new bulbs for this reason – an extended display. Lilies from previous years bloomed in about Mid-June (the 16th or so), while new lily plantings bloomed around the beginning of July (the 7th). This will obviously be impacted by your climate and will vary from year to year depending upon weather patterns. There’s always the chance that the weather may help to sync the plantings and you’ll have a double crop on your hands. But hey, is it really all that bad to have too much of a good thing?
Stargazers are very fragrant, which as you know, I absolutely adore. The aroma feels almost impossible to describe without using some cheap word like “floral”.Either way, I find it to be absolutely heavenly. As with all lilies, it’s important to keep in mind that the foliage you leave on the plant is what fuels the bulb for the next season. Therefore, if you plan on cutting your flowers, be sure to leave enough foliage on the plant to ensure flowers for the next season. I find that leaving about 3/4th of the plant in the ground does the job for me, but it may differ depending on where you live and grow. I’m sure that some folks treat these beauties as annuals (for cutting), I opt for a shorter stem length and have successfully gotten yearly cuts from my plants. I find that sometimes it’s just best to experiment and see what happens. To cut these lilies, I usually wait until the first buds have started to crack open and the rest have swelled and are showing their pinkish/white tint. I avoid buds that are still small, firm, and green as much as possible.
Pollen drop is an issue. The current crop of lilies were “ruined” when the relentless rain poured down whilst the flowers opened. The pollen fell to the petals and the gorgeous pinks and whites slowly turned to a sad and disheartened orange. I knew I should have thrown on my rain poncho and hoped for the best. The good news is that all is not lost. These perennials will be back next year, and even better! When the flowers wither and drop, I’ll make sure to dead head the plant so that energy can go into the bulb and not into forming seed pods.
I think that’s all. I sincerely hope that this was at least a little helpful. If you’ve got a question, please ask. If you’ve got experience, please share. I love hearing your stories. Until next time, much love!