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Stargazer Lily Care – How to Plant, Grow and Help Them Thrive

By Patricia Telesco • Updated on 2023-10-20

Stargazer lilies classify as Oriental lilies. The deep pink of the petals with little dots and a white edge create a striking view. You can learn about Stargazer Lily care and grow them in your home. Read on!

Surveying the Stargazer Lily

While the Stargazer Lily (Lilium orientalis ‘Stargazer’) gained popularity for its pink petals, some have prevalent white or yellow hues. It also has a splendid fragrance. These Lilies begin blooming during summer, having sprouted from a bulb. Indoors or out, they have a significant presence, growing up to 36” tall and bearing flowers between 6-12” in diameter with proper care.

It’s best to keep your potted Stargazer Lily near a sunny window. While they will die down in winter, they will return next year, being a perennial. This blossom is very popular in cut flower arrangements, particularly wedding bouquets.

Hot, Hot, Hot! Don’t worry if your home gets hot in the summer months. Your Stargazer Lily will love it, thriving in temperatures between 80-90F

Key Takeaways

  1. Stargazer Lilies enjoy full light. At night they look upward at the stars.
  2. Do not over-water a Stargazer Lily. They are very sensitive to moisture amounts.
  3. Besides its stunning flowers, the Stargazer Lily has a strong, sweet aroma.
  4. Stargazer Lilies are among the simplest flowers to grow, indoors and out.

Frequently Asked Questions About Stargazer Lily Care

What Does the Stargazer Lily Symbolize?

Stargazer Lilies are relatively new to the flower scene, so they don’t have ancient meanings. Nonetheless, some people associate them with drama, beauty, and wealth. If you base symbolism on their name (“star”), they can also represent divine guidance, hope, and wishes.

Do Stargazer Lilies only bloom once?

Stargazer Lilies are perennials, meaning they will blossom once a year. Thankfully, the Stargazer Lily has a long blooming season, continuing to flower for 6-8 weeks in mid to late summer. Afterward, they will die back and can remain in their pots until the following spring. Indoor Stargazers tend toward the shorter side, measuring 3-4 feet.

Are Stargazer Lilies Always Pink?

The most common color for Stargazer Lilies is pink-red. However, there are other colors. Specifically, there are White Stargazers that have large, dazzling flowers. Golden Stargazers are very rare. They have yellow overlapping petals dotted with red spots.

What is The Rarest Type of Lily?

The answer to that question often depends on who you ask.
- Nymphaea, a tiny water lily with flowers measuring only ⅓”. Myth has it that a young girl saw the lunar reflection in the water. Wishing to reach it and become a star, she drowned. The Moon Goddess transformed her into a “star” in the water, the water lily.
- The Middlemist Red Flower Originated in China, but now only two specimens remain. One lives in New Zealand, and One in London (thanks to a botanist who brought it to London in the early 1800s). They have 5” double-petaled blossoms, a deep pink to red color, and a strong fragrance.
- Black Bat Flower: This species of Lily has a stunning 12” blossom. Its stamens can be twice that size! The Black Bat resides in Southeast Asia. This is not a good choice for an indoor lily. Believe it or not, Black Bat is a member of the Yam family!

Do Stargazer Lilies Multiply?

Like other lilies, the Stargazer Lily multiplies if they have fertile soil and enough space to grow. Some may yield bulbils from the stem or leaf joints. You should see the bulbs multiply every 2-3 years. Just wait to harvest them until times when the plant is not flowering.

8 Tips for Growing Stunning Stargazer Lilies Indoors

1. When to Plant Stargazer Lilies

Plant Stargazer Lily bulbs in the fall or early spring outdoors. You can sew potted indoor plants any time during the growing season. You’ll need a reasonably deep container since the bulbs should go into the ground deeply (about 6”). Take care to choose a vessel or window box with excellent drainage. Add a little fertilizer in early spring.

If your Stargazer Lilies have bulb bundles, separate them in Fall while they are dormant. Put these in a flowerpot using their size to measure their planting depth. A 1” bulb, for example, should go 3” into the soil.

Stargazer Lily Meaning and Symbolism: Stargazer Lilies represent innocence and purity. They’re considered an emblem of limitless possibilities and manifesting hopes and dreams, provided you persist.

2. How to Plant Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer lily planting

Look for neutral or slightly acidic potting oil. Place the loam into a flowerpot with excellent drainage so the plant doesn’t drown. Set the bulbs tip up in the soil 4-6” down. You can plant a cluster if you have 6” between each bulb.

When you bring out your crock come spring, treat your bulbs with 10-10-10 fertilizer. It is essential to place the container in a sunny location as Stargazers love the sun and need 8 hours of light daily. They also look fantastic in the sunlight. If they’re in part sun, the stems get overly long, and you’ll need stalking.

Wait until the soil becomes dry, then water at the plant’s base.


Stargazers are a very alluring flower. However, there are better indoor plants for you if you have a cat. They are poisonous to felines. Even the water in the drainage pan is toxic. Dogs are not as sensitive, exhibiting gastric discomfort.

3. Growing Stargazer Lilies in Containers

A Stargazer Lily grows well in containers, provided they are the correct size. You’ll want a pot with a 6” diameter, minimally. Make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom.

Next, start your bulbs on the right foot (um… root?). Get some good soil. Potting soil with a pH of 6.3-6.5 is best. The best mix is three parts soil with two parts peat moss and 1 part sand.

Now it’s time to put the bulbs in. The general rule of thumb is that small bulbs must go 3x deep in inches, based on size. Larger bulbs fare well when planted 4-6” down, putting the pointy end facing up.

Stargazer Lily care is straightforward. Make sure they get sunlight (8 hrs daily), and the spot isn’t cold. This flower needs a relatively warm location, no lower than 60F.

In terms of water, wait until the soil is dry to the touch before watering. Apply the water at the base of the plant, taking care not to over-water. This causes bulb rot.

Forced Blooming

If you want your lily to bloom at a particular time, put the bulb in the refrigerator for 12 weeks. Put them into the soil 90 days before you want them to blossom. You may have to tinker a bit to get the timing right. There’s a learning curve, so don’t get frustrated.


Your Stargazer will begin producing bulblets 2-4 years after their original planting. You can gently remove them after the plant goes dormant. Put the mother plant back in her pot, and set up a new container for the baby lily bulb. Treat the bulb as you would any Stargazer Lily bulb. Using this process is an exercise in patience. It will take the new bulbs a few years before they’re large enough to blossom.

What’s in a Name

The Stargazer Lily received its name because it faces upward instead of down toward the ground like other lilies. There are a few other Oriental lilies with this characteristic, including Casa Blanca, Dizzy, and Souvenir.

4. Varieties of Stargazer Lilies

Varieties of Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer Lilies come in one of three types:

  • Golden: These are very rare. They are a cross between Oriental Lilies and Trumpet Lilies. The petals are yellow with red spots, and they grow up to 4 feet tall. Golden Sungazers symbolize remembrance and joy.
  • Pink: By far the most common color among Stargazers. The petals range from a deep pink to red, edged by white. Their spots are rose or brown-colored. Average size 30”. Pink Stargazers represent wealth, prosperity, and initiative.
  • White: White Stargazers love to show off their large petals. These grow to 48” in height. The White Stargazer Lily is an emblem of innocence and purity.

Stargazer Lily Origin: Leslie Woodrumm developed this particular hybrid in 1978. She achieved the Stargazer by crossing Oriental Lilies with Asiatic ones. Besides the upward-pointing blooms, the Stargazer Lily is among the most fragrant flowers, smelling spicy.

5. Wintering Stargazer Lilies

Stargazer care in winter isn’t complex. As your lilies die back at the beginning of winter, cut off any dry foliage down to the top of the soil. Put a little mulch on top of the pot (this deters pests, even in the home). Move them to a dark, cool (not cold) area like the garage. Here they require about eight weeks of hibernation to focus on fortifying roots.

Alternatively, you can dig up your bulb(s) and dry them. Store them in a paper bag until they are placed back in your planter come spring. Remember, these flowers are TALL. Take that into account when looking for a sunny place for them.

The White Glove Treatment? Stargazer Lilies have orange pollen. It’s so vivid that it can stain clothing and your skin.

6. Stargazer Lilies: Common Needs & Problems

Stargazer lily care and common needs

Stargazer care begins with the understanding that they are susceptible to moisture. One of the main problems people experience is having the bulb rot because it doesn’t have proper drainage. Wait until the soil dries. Apply water at the base of the plant vs. overhead. Overhead watering may damage the flowers.

Second, your Stargazer loves, loves, loves the sun. It can tolerate partial shade, but full sun is best for them. The plant stems bend in shady areas and tries to grow into the light.

When you choose a container, look for good drainage. Size-wise, if you want to plant more than one bulb, you’ll need something between 8-12 inches (one gallon). This gives your plant enough room to create a sound root system. Fill the crock with neutral or slightly acidic potting soil.


Put a few small stones in the bottom of the planter before filling it with soil. This helps with drainage and gives your planter more weight so that it won’t tip over easily.

7. Potential Pests and Diseases

Because this lily is a hybrid, they rarely have pests. However, they are not immune to diseases. Two are the mosaic virus and botrytis. The Mosaic virus destroys your plant, and there is no cure. Botrytis gray mold) thrives in humid conditions. You’ll notice your lilies begin as ovals. The color is ruddy with tan spots on their leaves. It will destroy the entire plant unless you apply a fungicide. Another disease is Tulip Breaking Virus, which affects lilies, too. Your lily leaves will show yellow streaks. Flowers often don’t open properly. The only way to “cure” the issue is by destroying diseased bulbs. Otherwise, aphids can spread the disease to other plants.

My, How Big You Are: The largest Stargazer Lily grows 6 feet tall and measures 8 inches across.

8. Snacking on Stargazers

Thriving stargazer lily

During the Victorian Era, a plethora of recipes featured edible flower(s) or their parts. In China, Stargazer (Oriental) bulbs are a delicacy. They taste slightly sweet and crunchy, like a water chestnut. The bulbs can flake apart, looking something like cloves of garlic. You can use them as a potato substitute or toss them into stir fry, soup, and stew. It’s not uncommon to see them paired with Lotus Root. Just make sure the bulb is organic.

Cashew-Lily Stir Fry


  • Three c. water
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp minced cashew
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger
  • ⅔ c. lily bulbs
  • 1 ½ c. Snow peas
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • Potential additions: Asparagus, mushrooms


  • 2 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  1. Prepare the sauce and set it aside
  2. Peel the carrot and slice it at an angle
  3. Slice the celery, likewise
  4. Thinly peel and slice the ginger in medallions
  5. Peel the bulbs into petals
  6. Pour three cups of water into a large pot and boil
  7. Add the lilies, snow peas, carrots, and celery to blanch for two minutes
  8. Remove the vegetables and set aside
  9. Put the wok over high heat, adding the oil
  10. Stir fry the ginger coins and cashews for ¼ minute
  11. Add the vegetable mix and combine well
  12. Mix up the glaze and then pour it all over the vegetables
  13. Stir regularly. Your glaze will thicken.
  14. Some remove the ginger slices at this point
  15. Serve alone or over white rice

The Stargazer’s Family Tree

There are many members of the Liliacae family that you can eat. Other things in this family you can eat are onions, garlic, chives, asparagus, shallots, and leeks.

8 Insights to Successfully Grow Stargazer Lilies in Your Home

You really can’t go wrong when you decide to plant Stargazer Lilies indoors. They are easy-going plants so long as you give them the right amount of light and water. If you get a bulb free of disease, it will provide you with at least five years of beauty. Around the 3-year mark, repot your plant and look for bulbils that you can put into other containers and place around the home.

Stargazer lily care

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