The Q&A Archives: Star Gazer Lilies

Question: I have Star Gazer Lilies and this is their second year coming up in our yard; they have multipled greatly and we were very excited, since they are such beautiful flowers; however, the tips of the flowers are a dark brown and I am wondering why this is happening???? Even as they are in the large bud stage, the tips are turning this dark brown, almost as if they are "burned", then they bloom with the dark tips there. Of course, when we planted them "new" last year, they did not have this problem. Thanks for your help!

Answer: Based on your description, it is difficult to make a definite diagnosis. In some cases bud blast will occur due to environmental or physical causes such as cold soil, high temperatures during cloudy weather, or due to damage to the roots, or even due to too much shade. However, in a moist season you may also see botrytis, a fungal infection, on the blooms -- poor air circulation, watering in the evenings, and excessive humidity can all contribute to it. To try to prevent reinfection, make sure to deadhead and remove the spent flowers from the garden. With luck it will not reappear next year.

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