It takes the Stargazer lily one year to bloom. During the year, it gathers 300 days’ worth of sunshine and water to put on this spectacular show of colors–deep pinks, whites, magenta, flecks of orange, and a unique purple-and-green gradient all elegantly bundled in a flower roughly the size of my hand. The blooms die within a week, but its strong floral perfume lingers for longer. My bathroom and the adjacent corridor smelled like a fresh bouquet of flowers for about two weeks!

The Stargazer is part of the oriental lily family of flowers, a hybrid bloom (which means it wasn’t sown from seed, but produced by crossing parents to arrive at the form it is now.) It cannot be sown from seed, as it is often impotent and if germination succeeds, the plants produced will contain the features of any of the original parent plants of the hybrid, not a replica of the Stargazer itself.

It grows from bulbs under the soil, which look like garlic — these bulbs are where nutrition and energy is stored for the next flowering.

Quick Tips:

  • Once the flower buds are formed, keep the lily away from the sun.
  • Water sparingly indoors when blooms have formed, perhaps once every three days should be enough at the maximum.
  • While nursing the buds, keep the lily at a sunny spot for maximum nutrient and sunlight absorption, for better, stronger buds next year
  • When the flowers have died, remove the buds/base of the flower but keep the leaves intact. These leaves will be essential to photosynthesis in regenerating buds for next season.
  • For that same reason, do not immediately cut the plant down. Allow the top leaves to die naturally, and gradually trim over the next few weeks until you reach the base of the plant to where there are still dying leaves. This allows the plant to transition gently, and encourage its survival tactics to kick in, producing more vigorous blooming next year.
  • The stamen of the flowers contain an orange pigment that leaves strong stains, although harmless. Be careful not to touch, or not to get it in contact with clothes!

This is a popular plant during Christmas season here in the Philippines. Recently, an abundance of stargazer lilies can be seen in bouquet arrangements, valued for its big size and strong colors, and durable petal texture/quality.

I don’t know why, but looking at it makes me think of loneliness–the beautiful kind, but lonely nonetheless. It’s really one of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. I can’t wait to see you again next year, dear Stargazer.

I bought mine last Christmas in Greenhills, and am nursing the buds now, attempting for a repeat-bloom this year. Wish me luck!

Shaira the Fargazer