You probably first saw a ‘Stargazer’ lily in a flower arrangement, either a fresh one from the florist, or in a picture of a fashionable living room in a home design magazine. ‘Stargazers’ are one of the most popular cut flowers and are used extensively in the floral trade in almost all seasons. Their large waxy hot pink flowers with white margins have reflexed petals and look upward towards the stars, giving them the name ‘Stargazer’. The long stems and sweet fragrance make them a great addition to any bouquet but don’t think you can only enjoy them in a bouquet. They are easy to grow and add elegance and fragrance there too.
Type: Summer blooming bulb.
Bloom: Large fragrant hot pink flowers splashed with white margins are borne in mid summer; petals reflexed.
Foliage: Small green lanceolate leaves.
Size: 3-5’ H x 1’ W.
Light: Full sun; some afternoon shade in hot climates is appreciated.
Soil: Fertile, well drained, neutral pH; does not tolerate wet feet but need about 1” water in hot weather.
Fertilizer: Side dress three times during the growing season with 4-10-6 fertilizer; or apply 10-10-10 in spring when shoots emerge from soil.
Hardiness: Zones 5-8.
Care: Plant 8” deep and 10” apart in fall or early spring; mulch to keep bulbs cool; let foliage die naturally.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance but aphids can transmit disease. Susceptible to bulb mites, weevils, red lily leaf beetle, root rot (Phytophthora cactorum), Botrytis elliptica (causes emerging shoots to wilt and die).
Propagation: Seed. When leaves have died and the foliage dies back, dig bulbs and remove scales, bulbils and offsets from bulb; immediately replant.
Comment: If you harvest stems for cut flowers, do so when the first flower begins to open, the rest will follow. As the flowers open, remove the anthers from each stamen to avoid staining furniture and linens. If pollen does get onto to fabric, put fabric in the sun until the pollen “balls up”, then remove the balls.