Why is Stargazer the World’s Most Popular Lily?
I have a weakness for lilies. No other flowers can match their extravagant, exotic-looking, exquisitely formed and sweetly perfumed blossoms. Though I have dozens of them growing in my garden, it’s never enough.
I am not alone in my affection for lilies. They are the 4th most popular cut flower in the world, right behind roses, chrysanthemums and tulips. But most people, whether they live in Kalamazoo, Paris or Tokyo, only have eyes for one very particular variety of lily: Stargazer. They ask for them by name and they’ll take no substitutes.
How much does Stargazer dominate the lily market? Holland produces more than 10 million Stargazer lily bulbs every year!
Why Stargazer Rules the Lily World
Most lily bulbs — 98% of them — are grown for cut flowers. These bulbs are forced in greenhouses and then cut, packed and shipped to market. No lily has ever been better at being a cut flower than Stargazer. Here’s why:
- The bulbs are easy to propagate. This is important when you need to produce millions of bulbs at a time.
- When Stargazer bulbs are forced, they typically bloom 2 weeks earlier than similar varieties.
- The stems are naturally shorter than most other Oriental lilies, which is good for shipping.
- Stargazer bulbs typically produce 1 and often 2 more buds per stem over similar varieties.
- Consistent demand means there’s always a good supply of bulbs and prices stay relatively low.
- Being an Oriental lily, Stargazers are intensely fragrant as well as beautiful!
Stargazer lilies are as popular with home gardeners as they are with commercial growers. This is partly due to name recognition. But it’s also because Stargazer is an excellent performer in the garden. It is reliable, compact and early blooming, producing lots of flowers on every stem. And the flowers you get at home are just as big, colorful and sweetly fragrant as the ones you get from a florist.
For commercial flower producers, it makes sense to stick with varieties you are sure will sell and deliver a profit. As home gardeners can be much more adventurous!
Shown above: Oriental Lily Dizzy
Other Oriental Lilies for Your Home and Garden
There are so many excellent Oriental lily varieties to choose from and each one offers a new opportunity to add more fragrance and color to your summer garden. Some of these varieties are taller (Dizzy), bloom later (Casablanca), have a unique flower style (Playtime) or are an unusual color (Cobra).
Shown above: Oriental Lily Salmon Star
Some of the newest introductions, such as Salmon Star, have enormous flowers that can measure 9 or 10″ across.
We offer a broad assortment of Oriental lily bulbs for spring planting — including Stargazer! We also offer several other types of lilies that bloom at different times during the season. To learn more about different types of lilies and when they bloom, read the article Bloom Times for Lilies.
Lily bulbs are available for pre-order starting in January and are shipped in the spring at the proper planting time for your growing zone. Click here to see our full selection of lilies.