5 min read
Continue reading to find out:
• Stargazer Lily Origins
• Stargazer Facts
• Color Meanings
• Cultural symbology
• Cat Owners Beware
• Growing Your Own
• Pruning and Other Thoughts
Stargazer Lily Origins
The stargazer lily is a cultivated species of lily. It was first hybridized in 1978 as a cross between oriental lilies and Asiatic lilies. It took over the vibrant colors and fragrance of the Asiatic lily while retaining the strong, resistant growth of the oriental flower. It gets its name from the way its petals are upturned towards the sky, hence stargazer.
A member of the Lilium family, lilies are flowering plants that develop from a bulb. They are herbaceous plants, and as perennials can live for quite a long time. Lilies can grow to be quite tall, with heights ranging from 2 to 6 feet. The flower petals are quite large, very fragrant, with a wide variety of colors ranging from white, pinks, reds, many times all mixed together. Recently yellow stargazer hybrids have been developed, but are quite difficult to grow, although they are very beautiful. The petals lie atop the stem in what are called racemes, with six tepals, which give the lily a kind of funnel shape. Lilies bear seeds and tend to grow in cooler climates.
In Greek mythology, lilies are thought to come from the breast milk of the goddess Hera. Within Roman mythology, the goddess Venus, who symbolized beauty, was so envious and jealous of the white lily flower’s beauty that she ended up creating a pistil within the flower itself. In the Christian religion, the lily flower has been associated with the virgin Mary and is thought to symbolize purity and innocence.
Within the world of color, varying meanings have been ascribed to the lily. The white stargazer lily has been associated with purity, chastity, as well as simplicity. They are the perfect flower for weddings. Pink stargazers are thought to represent romance and love, so gifting one on Valentine’s day or simply as a surprise to your lover is a nice idea. Meshing together both pink and white can be an even better wedding mix. They also sometimes symbolize great wealth and good fortune.
The lily has been found even in civilizations as old as the Minoans, with paintings of the flower being unearthed. Within the Minoan culture, lilies held a sacred place and were used in rituals to mourn the loss of children who had passed away. In more modern times, bouquets of stargazers are thought to bring everlasting love and financial success to couples and are used during their 30th-anniversary parties.
Cat Owners Beware
For those cat lovers out there, the ASPCA has reported that lilies can be quite toxic to cats. Ingestion of this flower can cause lethargy, vomiting, and possibly lead to kidney failure and then death. So, if you happen to really want your own lilies at home, make sure to hang them from the ceiling and out of reach of your furry friends. Dog owners need not worry, as they are not toxic to canines.
Growing Your Own
Stargazer lily bulbs are ideally planted in the spring or fall season. Start off digging out a hole, making it at least 6 inches deep if not more. Give at least 8 inches of space between each bulb. Aesthetically lilies tend to look very good when grouped in clusters of three to five. Lilies do well in most kinds of soil, except for very wet soil, so be wary of overwatering or if you live in a place that rains a lot. Keeping the plants moist is best, so long as they don’t get bogged down. Putting a nice layer of mulch around each of the plants helps them retain moisture. Staking them is generally not necessary. Putting them in an area that gets lots of natural sunlight is best, at least for six to eight hours. Planting indoors is best done in very hot climates.
Pruning and Other Thoughts
Applying a good amount of fertilizer in the early spring once the bulbs have germinated is a good idea, with a big dose of something like a 10-10-10 fertilizer being ideal. You can do a few smaller feedings over the proceeding weeks, and make sure to water after each session. Once it is time for pruning, its best to deadhead each flower. Make a cut on the stalk which separates the flower from the rest of the plant. This enables all the energy to go to the bulb and not any offshoots. For anyone thinking to grow their stargazers in pots indoors, make sure the containers are wide, and fill them up with a lot of organic matter such as peat moss. Keep them warm and stable, and in as brightly lit an area as possible, ideally near big windows.
Filled with Meaning
The stargazer lily is one of the most beautiful flowers anyone can add to their home gardens or workspaces. This hardy plant just needs a little love and a lot of sunshine to bloom well and liven up your environment with a wonderful fragrance. For those lily lovers out there, the depth of meaning attached to it, and its lovely exterior can be just what you need.