Stargazer Lily


I have always put my stargazer lilies on my south facing balcony in full sun. Balcony gets partial shade in the morning and full sun from noon on. This year my lilies are struggling. The leaves start turning brown from the bottom and a couple of flower buds even turned brown and I think they are getting too much sun or maybe I am watering them too much. Is there a way to save them? I have moved them to a less sunny location for now


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about your Stargazer Lily. The most likely cause for leaves to turn brown and buds to drop off is over-watering. These lilies with their intoxicating scent, should be kept uniformly moist. If the bulbs are heavily soaked or left in standing water in pot plate below, they will rot. Good drainage is key. The soil should be dry to your touch before watering, but not parched. Water at the soil level because watering from above can can damage the blooms. You could even add a bit of mulch to the soil to maintain a level of moisture, then water to about 1 inch deep each week.

Stargazer lilies thrive in hot conditions and the full sun in the afternoon is necessary. In fact, they produce the most blooms in hot 80 degree weather. But as their leaves and stems enjoy the heat, but the bulbs like to be cool and surface mulch will help that.

Try to control the watering schedule and keep the plant in a bright place, but not full sun for now. Cut off the brown leaves and any damaged buds. That may help the bulbs dry out and the plant produce fresh leaves. The blooms may be not return, but the overall plant could survive. If all else fails, dig out the bulbs and see if they are rotting. If not, you could re-pot the bulbs in fresh potting soil and hope that this helps the plant.

Below are links to similar problems.

Over-watered Stargazer Lily – bulbs

Stargazer Lily – over-watered

If you purchase new lilies each year, then overwintering the bulbs might be an interesting task. Below are instructions to store bulbs in your condo or storage locker.

Overwinter Stargazer in condo

Best of luck with your Lilium orientalis ‘Stargazer’.