Stargazer Lily Guide: When & How To Plant For Vivid Flowers (Seasonal Tips)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Gardening | April 1, 2024

Woman looking at lilies growing in her garden and wondering about a stargazer lily guide that might include how and when to plant stargazer lily bulbs, oriental lily bulbs, growing zones, watering needs, and more.

The Stargazer Lily is a gorgeous, wonderful flower that is both colorful and fragrant.

But, if you’re just learning about how to plant lilies, there are some things you should know about this beloved flower.

Interestingly, the Stargazer Lily is called so because it means abundance and good fortune. 

Keep reading to learn more about this flower that is known for its bright pink flower, when to plant it, and other seasonal growing tips for enjoying nature’s stunning beauty.

How To Identify Stargazer Lily: Stargazer Lily Leaves and Stargazer Lily Flower

There are over 100 different types of lilies flowers and over 2,000 varieties including hybrids.

This oriental lily has been named the Stargazer Lily not because of the star-like shape formed by the petals but by the way they are turned up towards the heavens.

Stargazer Lily

(Lilium 'Stargazer')

Stargazer Lily Flower in oval frame on green background.
  • Family: Lilies
  • Genus: Lilium
  • Leaf: Long and lance-shaped
  • Bark: The stem is thin with alternative leaves
  • Seed: Seeds are small, round, and black
  • Blossoms: From mid to late summer
  • Fruit: Has no fruits
  • Native Habitat: Prefers well-drained loamy soil with plenty of sun
  • Height: Average height between 3-4 feet

Image Credit: 63137212

This feature and the way the petals curl backward, as if to capture more sunlight, distinguishes it from other lilies.

The petals are white-edged flowers where the color merges into a rosy pink, and morphs into a deeper red before turning into deeper crimson at its core, all the while sporting a smattering of dark freckles scattered across the surface.

In the center are delicate stamens topped off with orange or yellow pollen to complete this impressive flower.

The stem is sturdy enough to easily support the tapered leaves that are alternately sprouting along the entire length of it, even when it exceeds the average height of 4 feet.

Stargazer Lily identification chart showing Stargazer Lily leaf, Stargazer Lily flowers, Stargazer Lily seed pod, and Stargazer Lily stem images in circle frames on a green background.

Some species of lilies don’t actually have a scent, but the perennial Stargazer Lily has an unforgettable aroma as it blooms back into life every summer with the stem showcasing 6-8 magnificent flowers.8

Asian Lily: Oriental Lily Bulbs

Oriental lilies and Asiatic lilies are classed as the ‘true lilies’ and both species are easy to grow.

The principal difference between them is the absence of a scent and the wider color profiles for one and the opposite for the other.

Asian Lily have a wider range of amazing colors, but no scent, while the Oriental varieties have a slightly lesser color range but are blessed with fragrant aromas.

The Lily ‘stargazer’ is just one of many varieties that has mass appeal with its distinctive Stargazer Lily scent, and fantastic colors.

Oriental LiliesDescriptionAsiatic LiliesDescription
Lilium ‘Muscadet’Reddish dots contrast well against the ruffled white-scented petalsOrange LilyUnscented, but stunning with large bright orange petals
Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’Pure white, elegant with orange-red antlers and an arresting aromaLilium ‘Black Out’A fire-red hybrid with dark green leaves
Lilium ‘Mona Lisa’Dark red antlers contrast nicely against the white and red freckled petalsLilium ‘Citronella’Bright yellow petals with a smattering of spots
Lilium ‘Dizzy’White with a dark red center stripe surrounded by an array of spotsTiger lilyAn impressive orange with large spots and long yellow antlers in the center
Lilium ‘Entertainer’A muted red color with frilly edges, yellow stemmed antlers, and an aromatic aromaLilium ‘Manitoba Morning’With an unusual pink color, they face downwards and have outstanding thick antlers

Irrespective of whether you decide to adopt an Oriental such as the Stargazer Lily, an Asiatic, or another species of lily, the amazing spectrum of colors and aromas, will enhance your landscape immeasurably.

When To Plant Stargazer Lily Bulbs (Planting Tips for Stargazer Lily)

The best time to plant a Stargazer Lily is at the beginning of spring although some gardeners choose to plant in the fall or even earlier in pots.

The defining factor is temperature. In the south, the cold of winter is beaten back as early as March or April and affords gardeners the opportunity to plant bulbs in the thawed ground.

Northern climates are a little slow to warm and often May or even June are preferred months to plant the bulbs so they bloom in time for summer.

To get the best and biggest bloom make sure to plant in a location where there will be full sun and where the soil is well draining.

The USDA hardiness zone for the Stargazer Lily is 4 – 9.2

If planting in zone 9 it would be prudent to choose a planting site that will be partly shaded during the day.

How To Plant Stargazer Lily Bulbs: Stargazer Lily Seeds

When purchasing bulbs for the Stargazer Lily ensure that they are the fresh variety and not the older ones to improve the quality of the plant as it grows, and the vibrancy of the flowers as they blossom.

If planted from a seed, it will take 4 years before the first flowers burst forth, whereas from a bulb the time is shortened drastically to 1 to 2 years.

Always choose a spot that is bathed in about 8 hours of sunshine a day and not too close to taller plants or trees that will cast a sun-blocking shadow over the area.

Graphics that show the 6 steps how to plant Stargazer Lily bulbs which are choosing a good spot, preparing the soil, planting the bulb, watering, adding mulch and fertilizer, and trimming.

If planting more than one always space them between 20cm to 30cm apart, then follow these simple steps.

  1. Dig a hole about 20 cm deep.
  2. Insert the end of the bulb with the roots into the base of the hole.
  3. Fill the hole but don’t pack the soil around the bulb as the roots will need space to grow.
  4. Water so the soil is moist but not soaked.
  5. Spread mulch so the moisture doesn’t evaporate too quickly.
  6. Water whenever the soil becomes dry to the touch.
  7. Add a 10-10-10 fertilizer when the shoots poke above the surface.
  8. After blooming, snip away the flowers but let the leaves remain until they begin to yellow then cut them free as well.
  9. The plant will now become dormant so should be cut back down to the ground level.
  10. Cover with mulch to protect the bulb, water throughout this dormancy period, and wait until next spring when they will grow back stronger, taller, and more colorful.

White Stargazer Lily Scent: Types of White Flowers

The White Stargazer Lily is known for its vibrant colors and mesmerizing scents.

There are Oriental varieties, hybrids, that are just as stunning, just as incredibly aromatic, but in hues of white that are just as impactful.

Oriental Lily Polar Star

The Polar Star, a white lily with double blooms, is a hybrid of the original Oriental Lily flowers.3 The petals are fluffy white flowers with a tiny curl at the tips.

They appear fragile, yet are fairly resilient when given sufficient care and protection. This hybrid thrives in USDA Zones 5 to 8 and prefers partial sun to shade.

Oriental Roselily Corolla

The Roselily Corolla is a particularly fragrant kind of Oriental Lily and is known as a double-white flower because of its pure white intensity.

Despite its potent scent, it doesn’t produce pollen so for those who are hayfever sufferers it is a pleasant joy to have around on those hazy summer days.

Oriental Big Brother

The name comes from the size of its huge petals that have a faint yellow blush down the lined center.

The scent is mesmerizing and in a floral arrangement, these types of white flowers can completely change the ambiance in a room.

Oriental Roselily Sascha

The Roselily Sascha is an understated flower that has a slight pink tinge and a charm that is enhanced by a faint yet ever-present aroma that is not overpowering.

Being pollen-free only increases its appeal to a wider variety of eager gardeners looking for that perfect finishing plant.

Oriental Blushing Girl

Called the Blushing Girl this full, large double flower with its curling leaves, has a blush, a slight tinge of pink that contrasts beautifully against the green leaves.

And, in fact, outshines most nearby flowers with its adorable pink freckles and hypnotic aroma.

Oriental Lily Playtime

Although not all white as a red and yellow stripe runs down the center of the petal, the colors contrast nicely against the white petals that themselves are spattered with red dots.

With a delightful scent, the Lily Playtime is an ideal flower for a bouquet.

There are many more hybrid oriental flowers that are all white, all aromatic, and all amazing.

Growing a Stargazer Lily From a Seedling or Growing a Stargazer Lily From a Cutting

Growing a Stargazer Lily is all about regular watering.

A Stargazer Lily plant showing its flower with pink petals, white edges, and red dots in the center.

(Image: 6313729)

Follow these few simple steps to ensure your lilies grow well.4

  • Rather than pouring buckets over the fledgling plant, spraying gently will be the better option as it starts to grow either from a seedling or a cutting.
    Overwatering will be detrimental to the development and health of the bulb and will attract unwanted slugs so do not allow pools to gather around the base of the cutting or seedling.
  • The stems are generally very sturdy even at the start of growth but for a cutting or a new seedling, staking might help and won’t hurt as it grows
  • Trim away any dead flowers so vital nutrients are not stolen from healthy flowers
  • Mulch around the base to retain moisture and keep the bulb cozy in winter
  • Fertilize throughout the growing season regularly

After the first growing season, they are easy to care for and the well-being of these beauties can be ensured by making sure that the neighbors are good ones.

Companion Plants for Growing Stargazer Lily (Growing Stargazer Lily From a Seed)

It really doesn’t matter if you’re growing Stargazer Lily from a seed or growing a Stargazer Lily from a cutting. One of the appealing aspects of this plant is that it is easy to plant and easy to care for.

To make sure that they bloom to the best of their ability, placing companion plants around them can improve the quality of the soil, provide nutrients that will assist in its growth, and attract natural predators that protect against invasive insects that are destructive to lilies.

To get a better bloom, consider planting a few of these around or nearby your Stargazer Lily

  • Geraniums
  • Snapdragons
  • Tulips
  • Roses
  • Hydrangea
  • Hibiscus
  • Poppy
  • Daylilies
  • Lamb’s ear
  • Lavender

An important point to remember when incorporating companion plants is that they do not overshadow the lilies and force them into the shade. If this happens, problems can arise.

Related Reading: 13 Lavender Tree Care Mistakes (How to Care for Lavender Tree the Right Way)

Common Pests of the Stargazer Lily (Natural Pest Control for Stargazer Lily)

The Red Lily Beetles are one of the ones to watch out for as they exclusively like to target the leaves of true lilies.5 And they are very cunning in doing so.

The difficulty is not in spotting them while they defoliate your Stargaze Lily, but in catching them.

As soon as they sense your presence as you try to snatch them from the leaves, they immediately abandon their leafy snack and dive toward the ground, instantly burrowing out of sight as soon as they land.

Natural predators, lured into the area by companion plants, are a lot faster than the human hand and will make a quick meal of them.

Top shot of a Red Lily Beetle on a leaf showing its red body and black antennae and legs.

(Image: 602774510)

Over a few weeks, a female will lay hundreds of eggs out of sight on the underside of the leaves, and when they hatch they all have a voracious appetite.

If spotted in their larvae stage they can be scraped off and organic insecticides applied in the evening to stop their return.

Stargazer Lily Disease Prevention and How To Stop Stargazer Lily Disease

There are 3 specific types of diseases that are deadly to a Stargaze Lily, bulb rot, the Lily Mosaic virus, and a fungal disease called botrytis.

If any of these 3 are noticed, the plant needs to be removed along with the bulbs and destroyed.

They cause yellowing of the foliage and even rotting of the bulbs.

To prevent the rot from infecting the bulbs and protect them from fungal pathogens, do not water over the head of the plant, buy quality bulbs, and use a fungicidal spray before it can establish itself in your beloved Stargazer Lily.

Stargazer Lily Star Lily (Stargazer Lily Guide: When & How To Plant For Vivid Flowers (Seasonal Tips)

What are the differences between true lilies and the imposters, and which ones bear the name but are from other families that are not from the genus Lilium?

True lilies like the Oriental,1 Asiatics, Martagon, and Tiger lilies have one stem that will have the leaves growing all the way around it.

Lower buds open first then in order all the way to the top as can be seen with the Stargazer Lily.

Non-true lilies such as the Star Lily have the flowers growing much lower down and the flowers are actually triple-layered, unlike the flowers of a true lily that have six petals and six anthers.

The Star Lily will have 3 petals on the top, a different colored central 3, and 3 sepals on the bottom.

Lilies from the genus Lilium grow from bulbs while other families grow from tuberous roots. Another difference are the anthers, the true lilies only have a single lobe while the other varieties have two lobes.

Here are a list of 12 lilies that have adopted the name, but can’t change their family surname:

Non-True LiliesFamilyScientific Name
1. Star LilyLeucocrinumLeucocrinum montanum
2. False Lily of the ValleyMaianthemumMaianthemum bifolium
3. Checkered LilyFritillariaFritillaria meleagris
4. Day LilyAsphodelaceaeHemerocallis
5. Fairy LilyAmaryllidaceaeZephyranthes
6. Lily of the FieldAsparagaceaeSternbergia
7. Miracle LilyAmaryllidaceaeLycoris squamigera
8. Pond LilyNymphaeaceaeNymphaea
9. Belladona LilyAmaryllidinaeAmaryllis belladona
10. Saint Joseph’s LilyAmaryllidaceaeHippeastrum x johnsonii
11. California Fawn LilyLiliaceaeErythronium californicum
12. Calla LilyAraceaeZantedeschia

The lilies that are classed as non-true are equally impressive in terms of their aromas and beauty and are just as worthy to be allowed a place in your garden.

Stargazer Lily Facts

An amazing flower, there are a few facts about the Stargazer Lily that are worth knowing just in case you have a moggy friend.

  • Stargazer lilies are toxic to cats.
  • The term for the way the leaves curl backward is called ‘reflexed.’
  • The Stargazer was developed in 1974 so the flower would face skyward rather than toward the ground.
  • It is a hybrid between two flowers, Lilium auratum, and L. speciosum.
  • The pollen at the tip of the stamens can easily stain clothes so care has to be taken to snip them off when using them in a bouquet or as cut flowers indoors.7
  • The Stargazer Lily’s birthplace is recognized as being in Sun Valley when it was created by Dr. Leslie Woodriff in 1974.

How Long It Takes To Grow Stargazer Lily

The Stargazer Lily is a perennial plant, meaning that it doesn’t die in winter but just takes a break before blooming again next spring.

That’s a good thing, too, as it can take up to 4 years before the plant has grown to the peak of its production.

Stargazer lily plants in pots showing its budding flowers.

(Image: JACLOU-DL11)

The flowers will come and go during that period while the core is still developing and won’t be at its most aromatic or colorful best until they reach full maturity.

Are they worth the wait? Absolutely.

Mulch to protect the bulbs in winter, care for them as they bloom back into life, and spray with organic insecticide in summer to ward off invasive insects, and the fragrant rewards will be yours to reap.

Refer to this Stargazer Lily guide: when & how to plant for vivid flowers (seasonal tips), and you will be constantly amazed and impressed by this beautiful flower.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stargazer Lily

What Is the Stargazer Lily Growing Zone?

The USDA hardiness growing zone for the Stargazer Lily is 4-9.

What Are the Best Growing Conditions for Stargazer Lily?

The soil has to be well draining and 8 hours of sunlight a day create the best growing conditions.

What Are the Watering Needs for Stargazer Lily Plants?

Weekly watering is necessary, or when the topsoil becomes dry to the touch.

How Far Apart To Plant Stargazer Lily?

The planting distance for Stargazer Lilies has to be between 20-30 cm.

How Much Sunlight Does Stargazer Lily Need Each Day?

8 hours a day of sun is needed every day.

Are Lilies Perennials?

So, are Lilies perennials? Yes and unlike annuals, these types of flowers do not die off every year but go dormant in winter before reflowering in the following spring season.

When Do Lilies Bloom?

You may ask, when do lilies bloom? Liliums bloom in the summer.6

How Many Types of Flowers Are There in the World?

To those asking, how many types of flowers are there in the world? It has been calculated by the National Science Foundation that in regards to flowers, there are over 400,00 different species in the world.

What Is the Stargazer Lily Meaning?

It means abundance and good fortune.


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