Stargazer Lilies How to Plant and Grow

Stargazer lilies (Lilium 'Stargazer') are one of the most well-known and popular types of lilies.

Appropriately named for its five-point bloom that’s in the shape of a star and its flame-like petal coloration that mimics a shooting star.

I must admit it. It is one of my all time favorites.

Quick Glance Of The Stargazer Lily

Botanical Name

Lilium Stargazer

Common Name


Star Gazer Lily

Oriental Lily

Plant Type

Herbaceousperennials and bulb plants

Sun Exposure

Full sun to partial shade

Soil Type

Well-draining, evenly moist loamy soil

Soil pH

Acidic soil works best

Bloom Time

Typically June or July in a zone-5 garden

Hardiness Zones

4 to 9

Stargazer lilies are easy-to-grow perennials and will provide a late-summer WOW factor to any home garden.

stargazer lily

Where To Plant Stargazer Lilies

Think about the old adage that pertains to planting any variety of lily and you’ll be able to select the right planting location for Stargazers.

The old adage states that lilies like their head in the sun and feet in shade.

That may seem like an impossibility, but it simply means select a full sun planting location for lilies, then cover the soil with a thick layer of organic mulch so the sun will never penetrate through to the shallow-growing bulbs.

Planting Stargazer lilies among low-growing ground cover or annuals will also keep their feet in the shade.

Be sure the other plants have the same soil/sun/ water requirements as the Stargazer Lillies when planting them together.

Planting Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer lilies need to be planted in the early spring or late fall.

Till soil to at least 8 inches deep and mix in some compost to improve soil drainage and provide nutrients for the lily bulbs.

Dig a 4 inch deep hole for each bulb.

Planting holes should be spaced 12 inches apart.

Place the bulbs in the hole with flat side facing down and pointed end facing upward.

Cover with soil, water in well, then add a layer of organic mulch, like straw.

Keep soil moist when lily bulbs are planted in the spring.

Stargazer plants can also be planted instead of bulbs.

 For plants, prepare the soil in the same way, place plants 12 inches apart, back-fill planting hole, water in well and cover soil with organic mulch.

Stargazer Lilies Blooms

Five-petaled, star-shaped white blooms with red shooting ‘flames’ will appear in late summer and last until the first frost.

stargagazer lillies

Avoid Pollen Stains

When admiring or cutting the blooms, avoid coming into contact with the yellow pollen. This pollen is very sticky and will stain on contact. 

Removing it from skin or clothing is difficult.

Wear gloves when cutting Stargazer blooms and remove the pollen from the stamen, being careful not to allow the pollen to touch the petals so cut blooms will last longer.

If pollen does come into contact with skin or clothing, do not try to wash it off.

Getting the pollen wet makes an even bigger mess. Use the sticky side of tape to trap and lift pollen particles away.

After Care Of Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer lilies will reach a mature height of 3 feet . Something to keep an eye out for is for top heavy blooms, the plants may require staking to keep them upright. 

Feed with a balanced 10-10-10 granulated fertilizer once a month during the growing season and water during time of drought.

Keep spent blooms removed from the plants to encourage new growth.

Green foliage should not be cut back or removed because the greenery is providing the lily bulb with energy and nourishment for bloom production next year.

After the foliage turns brown in the fall it can be safely removed.

Apply a fresh layer of organic mulch over Stargazer bulbs in the late fall to protect the lily bulbs from winter freeze damage.

Dividing and Transplanting Stargazers

As perennials plants that start from bulbs, the bulbs will naturalize and spread underground. The older bulbs will grow larger each year and produce larger lily blooms each year also.

Stargazer lilies do not have to be divided, but if they outgrow their space or if you want to start the flowers in another location, dividing and transplanting is what you will need to do.

Bulbs can be divided any time the plant is not in bloom, but fall (autumn) is the best time of year for digging the bulbs up.

After the first frost in fall kills the foliage, you will be able to see exactly where the bulbs are located underground.

This will enable you to dig them up with slicing through any of them with a spade.

Before digging up bulbs, prepare new planting holes so the bulbs can be placed back in the ground immediately.

Use a sharp spade to get the bulbs and dig up the entire mound of surrounding soil.

Gently brush away soil from bulbs and separate them.

Place one bulb in each new planting hole. Cover bulb with a 50-50 mixture of soil and compost, gently pat soil down and water thoroughly.

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