But Stargazer and other Oriental lilies do not thrive in hot St. Louis gardens. Their favored climate is their native Chinese mountains where bright sunshine and cool weather dominates. In our hot, humid summer climate, they die out quickly.
Varieties of Oriental-Trumpets (called Orienpets or OT’s in the lily trade) that have the wonderful red & white colors as well as noticeable fragrance are:
Anastasia –always at the top of the Popularity Poll of the North American Lily Society, this OT lily has big open flowers made up of white petals with red stripes. Reliable in St. Louis, it grows to 5’ tall, blooming in July.
Silk Road - Hall of Fame lily that grows reliably year after year. Up to 6’ tall in excellent growing conditions. White flowers with red throats demonstrate its Oriental heritage.
While Stargazer lilies are great flowers, leave their growing to greenhouse experts or enjoy them as annuals with no expectation that they will thrive in upcoming years. Instead, St. Louis gardeners should look to wonderful OT lilies for perennial bloom.
--by Kim Peterson