Stargazer Lilies Meaning, Types and History

Stargazer Lilies Meaning

Stargazer lilies, just like their name, are the star of the floral world! Arena Flowers presents this series to help you understand flower types and meanings so that you never go wrong with your flowers. Stargazers are dramatic and bold in their appearance. They are fragrant too and hence, they can announce their presence from quite afar. An offbeat variety of lilies, they take the boredom out of simple and elegant-looking lilies. This is quite a recent addition to the families and is an exotic hybrid, which was developed in the late 20th century. However, stargazer lily has become a popular and sought-after choice.

History of Stargazer Lilies

The Stargazer was developed by Leslie Woodruff in the year 1978. He cross-pollinated an Oriental lily and Asiatic lily to breed this beautiful lily flower. This fruitful coalition brought together the fragrance and shapely flowers of an Asiatic lily and bright colours as well as ‘hardy’ habits of an Oriental lily. Since the flowers open towards the sky, they were named Stargazers by Woodruff.

The most common stargazer lily species has petals of bright pink colour and speckles in yellow and white hues. Pink, white and yellow flowers are also available. The fragrance of the hybrid lilies is bold yet pleasant and heady. The flowers stay fresh for longer time and thanks to their sturdy stem, they are a fantastic choice as cut flowers and long-stemmed flower arrangements.

The lilies plant is easy to grow, but unfortunately, some people might experience discomfort and allergy from its fragrance. It is very rare but if you have allergies, it is better to steer clear of these flowers. All lilies are also toxic and hence, it is advised to keep them away from kids and pets.

Stargazer Lilies Flower Colour Meaning

Stargazer flowers are dramatic and a hybrid yet evolved form of lilies. The bold and gorgeous pink stargazer lily stands for financial success, abundance, wellness, and prosperity. However, the flower is so impressive that it can be used to represent and symbolize everything that you would want it to convey! Let the fresh lily flower bouquet made of handpicked stargazer lilies profess your love or say that you are missing your special someone, or send your best wishes to your best friend on his birthday or trust stargazers to convey your best wishes to your board members!

Lilies meaning stand for purity and innocence in the world of flowers. Since stargazer lilies were discovered in the late 20th century, they are being seen as a symbol of evolution. White stargazer lilies are referred to as a potent symbol of transcending spiritual barriers. They are the flower of the 30th–wedding anniversary, celebrating a couple’s everlasting true love. The stargazers are true lilies and stand out of the crowd due to their striking appearance. They also tell people to stay true to themselves and never leave hope. You can also send a bunch of yellow or orange stargazer lilies to your friend on a dull day or to motivate them to stay positive and have faith.

Stargazer Lilies Bring Life to Home

The flower brings together the perfect feature of oriental and Asian lilies and sends out the messages of higher aspiration and perfection as well.

Since the flower buds open towards the sky, stargazer lilies represent unlimited meaningful possibilities that are there to pursue. They also urge to look towards heaven and never leave hope.

Of all the things, stargazer lilies stand for persistence and success. The flowers came into existence after various attempts at cross –pollination, but eventually they did and how!

When can you Gift Stargazer Lilies?

  • On 30th Anniversary
  • When you want to get rid of pessimistic and negative vibes in workplace or at home
  • Want to give a message of hope and convey the power of persistence
  • Celebrate academic and professional achievement
  • When you would like to stay motivated to achieve success
  • Say ‘I Love You’ or ‘I’m Sorry’

Stargazer lilies in bloom.

Oriental lilies are renowned for their delightful perfume and flamboyantmid- to late-summer blooms. The crimson cultivar ‘Stargazer’ is a popular hybrid with large, showy flowers that make it a showstopper when in bloom. One of the most common Oriental lilies, and one of the easiest to grow, this reliable garden performer is hardy in zones 4-9.

The cultivar ‘Stargazer’ was a breakthrough in lily breeding when it was introduced by hybridizer Mr. Leslie Woodriff in the late 1970’s. The flowers of plants in the Oriental lily group tend to hang down, but this complex auratum-speciosum cross of unknown parentage was noteworthy because of its upward facing flowers, hence the name referencing looking at the heavens. There are now many other cultivars with upward-facing flowers, in a variety of colors.

Bulbs produce strong new stems each spring (L) that rarely need staking (R).

Like most true lilies (Lilium spp.), these herbaceous perennials die back to the ground in winter and send up a new stems from the bulb each spring. The upright plants can grow to 6 feet tall, although usually they remain much shorter (3-4 feet). They have strong stems and rarely need staking. The lance-shaped leaves alternate up the stems, with the lower ones often falling off as the plants grow taller. Remove the dying foliage in fall, cutting the stems off at ground level (or leaving some showing so you will know where they are in the spring before the new growth emerges).

The reflexed tepals are crimson edged with pink.

In mid-summer 4-12 flowers are produced on the end of each stem. This hybrid blooms earlier than many other Oriental lilies. The flowers of this hybrid are an elegant combination of pink, red and white with reflexed tips and long stamens with heavy orange anthers. The mainly crimson tepals (3 petals and 3 sepals which all look very similar) are edged in pink and spotted with darker red. The satiny flowers have a strong, pleasant fragrance, and make excellent cut flowers (and are heavily utilized by the florist trade). However, the orange pollen can stain clothing and skin, so if used as cut flowers it is advisable to cut off the anthers.

The orange pollen can stain skin and clothing. Anthers should be removed from cut flowers.

Once all the flowers on a stem have finished blooming, cut the stem just below the inflorescence, leaving a much foliage as possible, to make sure all the plant’s energy is directed back into the bulb rather than into forming seeds.

This lily is a superb addition to both formal and informal gardens, combined with roses and many other flowers. For the best effect, place them in groups of 3-5 (or more). Lilies do well grown with other low, shallow-rooted plants that help hide the sometimes bare lower stems and keep the roots cool. I like the combination of the purple spikes of Agastache with the pink lily flowers, but they also look very impressive rising from a bed of ferns or baby’s breath (Gypsophila), or combined with Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’ (light pink flowers with a dark pink eye) for a monochromatic color scheme. This hybrid can also be grown in containers and is fairly easy to force. The bulbs should be planted deeply in the container and overplanted with annuals.

Plant lilies in groups for best effect.

Stargazer’ is very easy to grow. It does best in full sun in the Midwest, but will tolerate partial shade. It thrives in almost any type of well-drained soil, including heavy clay. Plant bulbs in early spring or fall, or potted plants any time during the growing season. They need to be planted fairly deeply – about 6”for large bulbs. Mulching will help insulate the soil, allowing newly planted bulbs to continue growing their roots into late fall, and will also delay emergence of frost-tender shoots in spring. Established lily bulbs don’t need winter protection where snow cover is dependable, but a winter mulch – applied after the soil freezes – may be beneficial in more northern areas without reliable snow cover (I have never done this in my garden on the border between zones 4 and 5, and the ‘Stargazers’ have never suffered even in snowless years). This should be removed late in the spring. A light mulch of shredded leaves, compost or shredded bark will prevent weeds from germinating and will keep the roots cool during the growing season.

‘Stargazer lily and Agastache in bloom.

Fertilize lightly in early spring, if desired. This lily generally has few pests, although voles may feed on the bulbs, rabbits may nibble emerging shoots, aphids may infest the flowers, and deer sometimes find them appetizing.

Fall is the best time to move or divide clumps, when the bulbs go dormant. Handle the fleshy bulbs carefully, and replant at the same depth as soon as possible. Any smaller offset bulbs should be planted at a depth three times their height. This hybrid is easy to propagate from scales (many other oriental lilies can be difficult to propagate).

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison


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Stargazer Oriental Lily

Lilium (Lily) – a huge genus of bulbous plants native primarily to the colder regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Although there are some sub-tropical species. The three biggest groups commonly grown include the Asiatic, Oriental and native North American species. The care of all three is similar.

Preferred growing conditions

  • Plant in a fast draining, compost enriched garden loam with full sun or a half day of partial sun. Lilies prefer slightly acid soil and are not a good choice for highly alkaline western soils unless you’re willing to regularly acidify the soil with soil sulfur. Avoid clay unless amply amended with ample compost to improve drainage.
  • Mulch with commonly available mulch materials to a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Cool, moist soil is essential for optimum growth and flowering of lilies.
  • Lilies prefer consistent moist soil and need regular irrigation when conditions are dry. They don’t like to dry out, but are prone to rot if their planting site is in a depression and accumulates water after a good rain.
  • Deadheading keeps the plants looking tidy and help them conserve energy for bulb growth and not seed production. But it will not bring them back into bloom.
  • Fertilize generously in the fall with a half and half blend of Yum Yum Mix and good quality compost. This can be repeated in late spring to help build humus levels in their soil.
  • Special comments

    • Oriental lilies are very fragrant, while Asian lilies are not.
    • Some of the taller varieties may require staking in windy climates, as they can get up to 6 ft. tall and be top heavy with lots of flowers.
    • Cut back to just above ground level in late fall or early spring.
    • Mulch heavily with a 2 to 3 inch layer in late fall as the soil begins to freeze. This is especially important when planting new bulbs in zone 3 and 4 climates. If snow cover is not dependable, make fall mulching a regular practice.
    • View more Planting Guides, or download our complete Planting Guide for tips on caring for your plants when you receive your order, as well as planting instructions for Perennials, Spring-Planted Bulbs, Fall-Planted Bulbs, Cacti & Succulents, Xeric Plants and more.

If you love naturally, beautiful flower arrangements in your garden, with a sweet fragrance include the Stargazer lily!

The Stargazer lily (Lilium), an oriental type of lily hybrid, is a beautiful addition and will surely become a star in anyone’s garden. It’s just impossible to hate these colorful creations of nature.

Everyone interested in gardening knows the satisfaction of watching those first teeny tiny buds becoming fully grown blooms spreading their scent across the yard.

Lilium ‘Stargazer’ Flower Facts

  • Origin: Hybrid (1974) by Leslie Woodriff, California
  • Family: Lilium (LIL-ee-um)
  • Botanical Name: Lilium orientalis ‘Stargazer’
  • Common Name: Stargazer Lily, Star Gazer Lily
  • Plant Type: flowering herbaceous perennials
  • Height: 30″ inches to 48″ inches tall
  • Leaves: deep green smooth leaves
  • Flowers: large flowers 6″ – 12″ inches, fragrant blooms, white edge petals, generally light pink to deep pink color, with dark textured colored spots
  • Bloom Time: Mid to late Summer
  • Hardiness: outdoors USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 8
  • Exposure: best results in full sun, tolerate partial shade
  • Soil: moist soil and rich in organic matter on the acid side
  • Water: keep the soil moist, do not overwater
  • Fertilizing: early spring provide a dose of fertilizer
  • Propagate: bulbs, dividing bulbs scales
  • Pests & Problems: slugs & snails, aphids (spread viruses), deer, red lily beetle, gray mold

Stargazer Oriental Lily Plant Details

The beautiful and dainty Stargazer lily flower comes from a hybridized form of the famous Japanese wild red lilies compared to the popular Asiatic lily that contains many Lilium species in their background.

Famed for its exquisite color, the beautiful white flower edges (a natural highlight), and the robust and sturdy stems system. But most fascinating of all, the fragrant flowers of Stargazer lilies face upward, unlike other types of lilies.

Stargazer lilies belonging under genus Lilium, only indicate that this is a true lily, not a daylily or a water lily.

Other examples of authentic lilies include the orange tiger lily flower, Easter lily, Turk cap lily (Lilium martagon), pink star gazer lilies, and more.

These plants all grow from bulbs and their flower colors (petals) in light pink to deep pink and even crimson.

Blooms also come in different shapes and sizes.

The combination of traits makes oriental hybrid lilies like the ‘Stargazer’ extremely appealing, putting on a lovely show in the garden or in a bouquet as a cut flower.

Growing lilies today is far easier than in the old days, and caring for hybrid lilies like the Stargazer is even simpler.

In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about planting and caring for the Stargazer lilies.

Planting Lily ‘Stargazer’ In Your Garden

These beautiful lilies make for an outstandingly eye-popping element in any garden. These favorite oriental lily stargazers make almost perfect partners for perennial plants.

These plants grow to a height of 36 inches with a 10-14 inch spread. Follow the below steps to plant Stargazer lilies:

  • Spring is the best time to buy bulbs.
  • Purchase healthy, good sized bulbs free of any visible rotting.
  • Plant bulbs in a location with good full sun exposure and a well-drained soil. The ideal location receives full sunlight in the morning and shade in the afternoon.
  • Plant bulbs 6″ – 7″ inches deep, approximately 5″ – 6″ inches apart in flower beds with a prepared soil bed that includes lots of organic matter.
  • Water carefully after planting.

How To Grow Stargazer Lilies In Pots

Our tips for growing stargazer lilly.

The Stargazer lily plant grows perfectly well in containers, even indoors, with a little bit of care and time.

To grow stargazer flowers in containers follow the below steps:

  • The first step in container gardening is always to choose the right container. To grow healthy and beautiful stargazer lily bulbs, select a container at least 6.5″ inches in diameter.
  • Always choose a pot that provides good drainage. The material should not be porous – avoid unglazed clay pots.
  • Fill the container with a suitable well-drained soil mixture. Ask your garden center for the best growing medium for lilies.
  • Make sure the soil pH is around 6.5–6.9, that’s the best for starting bulbs.
  • Avoid soil mixes containing superphosphate, which may cause leaf burning.
  • Plant bulbs in the container at a depth of 5″–6″ inches, cover it well and water gently.

Caring For A Stargazing Lily

All plants require some attention to give good results, and the Stargazer lily is no different. Here are few tips for stargazer flowers care:

  • Fertilize Stargazer lilies once a month from early spring until they finish flowering.
  • Whether you use a slow controlled-release fertilizer, liquid plant fertilizer or compost, make sure you provide the right amount and follow the directions.
  • Deadhead each flower after blooming to promote more budding in the season.
  • As with most bulb plants, do not remove the leaves until they turn brown. Once they become brown, cut them.
  • Water the lilies appropriately keep soil moist. Do Not Overwater! Overwatering causes soggy soil and leads to bulbs rotting.
  • When Stargazer lilies bloom, the top part of the plant becomes very heavy and may bend. Provide support if needed using a wood or bamboo stake. Staking really makes the blooms pop out.

Things to Keep In Mind When Growing Star Gazer Lilies

  • Star lily flower pollens tend to stain clothes, skin and anything else they touch.
  • If creating a Stargazers flower bouquet display the flower in a vase, removing the pollen will extend its life.
  • Stargazer lilies are poisonous to cats, keep the two well apart.
  • The Stargazer lilies attract beetles which can damage them severely. Pick them off if you see any on the plant.
  • Stargazer lilies attract lots of butterflies and hummingbirds.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and control any aphid infestation.

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