Stargazing with Oriental Lilies

Oriental Lily, Lilium ‘Hotline’

This time each summer, our midnight sky is streaked with the illuminant beauty of the Perseid meteor shower. Coincidentally, the aptly named Stargazer Lily also reaches its peak. Its large, extremely fragrant, fuchsia pink and white flowers come into bloom, with upturned faces gazing into the sky. This summer, another oriental lily has been turning heads with breathtaking beauty and fragrance, ‘Hotline’. ‘Hotline’ Oriental Lily produces large, pure white flowers, edged with a line of hot pink, creating a simple and elegant beauty. As the flowers age the pink edge can darken and spread throughout the blossom, making each flower its own unique combination of white, fuchsia-pink and maroon. Oriental lilies thrive in full sun with their bulbs and roots kept cool in the shade of neighboring plants. Because oriental lilies don’t require a lot of real estate they are ideal tucked in between established perennials. Mulching well will also help keep their “feet” cool. You can grow oriental lilies in just about any well drained soil from zone 3 to 9. The 3 foot sturdy stems of ‘Hotline’ and those spectacularly fragrant, showy flowers make them an excellent fresh cutting. Plant them near sitting areas, patios and decks where their fragrance in the garden can be enjoyed during the day, or at night, while stargazing.