The Stargazer lily provides a dramatic display of color lasting for several weeks in midsummer. Introduced in 1978 by an independent grower, this striking oriental lily took the world by storm and according to Iowa State University, it earned the distinction of becoming the most popular lily world-wide within 25 years. Named it for its heavenly appearance of deep pink accented in white and its habit of growing face-up toward the stars, Stargazer graces gardens across the U.S., and thrives in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 9.
Select a gardening site that receives full sun, and till or dig to a depth of eight to 10 inches. Amend the soil with a two- to four-inch layer of well-rotted manure or compost, and work it in well with the existing soil.
Plant Stargazer bulbs in late summer or early fall for the next season's blooms. Stargazer bulbs require exposure to the cold to produce blooms.
Plant bulbs with the flattened, or blunt, end down so the pointed end faces upward. Plant to a depth of six inches and cover with soil. Firm the soil down with your hands to remove air pockets.
Space bulbs 12 inches apart, and plant them in clusters of three or five for the most dramatic display of color.
Water thoroughly to moisten the soil to the depth of the bulbs.
Mulch in fall with three to four inches of straw or leaves to protect bulbs from exposure to harsh winter weather.
Water in the spring when new growth appears. Repeat when soil dries, and follow a schedule of watering deeply to saturate the soil to the root level once a week during the growing period.
Apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer in the spring to encourage good root formation and promote lush growth.
Stake with plant stakes when plants are 12 inches high to provide support for this large plant.