"Stargazer Lilies Don't Need Winter Protection"
Q. I have some of the 'Stargazer' lilies you recommended and enjoyed their display this summer. How do I take care of them now to get them through the winter?
A. Lilies are regal flowers. Their large, brightly-colored flowers are a focal point in the summer flower bed. There are many different types of lilies.
'Stargazer' is a type of Oriental lily. It's one of my favorites. It bears large flowers that are easily six inches wide. The rosy-red flowers are edged with white and have prominent, dark red freckles on the flower petals. What I like about 'Stargazer' is its incredible fragrance. When in full bloom, it perfumes the garden with a spicy-sweet aroma. 'Stargazer' grows to 30 inches tall.
'Stargazer,' like most lilies, is a hardy bulb. In the ground, it needs no special winter protection. All you need to do now is cut away the dead stalks.
If you have them growing in a container, it's possible to overwinter them right in the container. Simply put the container into a shed, cold frame, or unheated garage. Next spring, bring it outdoors again and water it thoroughly. When you bring it out, you'll probably see evidence of new growth already. Because it's growing in a pot, it will bloom earlier than those planted in the garden. I overwinter many pots of these lilies in my cold frame each winter and every spring the bulbs increase in numbers. What started as three bulbs in each pot is now over a dozen bulbs per pot.
If you'd rather plant the lilies in the ground, first take them out of their pot. Dig a hole at least eight inches deep. Because lilies form roots along their underground stems, planting them deeply results in a stronger plant. To keep burrowing pests from damaging the bulbs, spray the bulbs in the hole with Underground Animal Repellent. Backfill the hole with soil, water, then spray the surface with Underground Animal Repellent.
© Copyright Pernell Gerver, Horticultural Communication Services All rights reserved.