The Q&A Archives: Am totally new to planting

Question: Went to Home Depot this past weekend and purchased several plants for the first time. I have very little knowledge about gardening. Among the new plants I purchased a Stargazer. I was wondering if it needs lots of sun, since I only have partial sun. Its so lovely and I was hoping I would be able to keep it in a pot rather than planting it in the ground. Is that possible, and if it is, do I take the plant in during the winter months?


Answer: Stargazer is a particular type of bulb lily (Lilium.) It is a perennial in your area so it should survive the winter planted in the ground and come back for you next year. It is difficult to overwinter these hardy bulbs indoors so I would recommend you plant it in the garden. It will do well in a minimum of a half day of direct sun, the more sun the better. It also needs a well drained soil so do not plant it in a low spot or a place that is unusually damp such as under a rain gutter. You could wait to plant it until after it finishes blooming. While it is in the pot, keep the soil evenly moist but not sopping wet. As the flowers fade, remove each one. Take the petals plus the bulge at the bottom of the flower. This is called deadheading. It prevents the plant from using its energy to produce seeds. Leave the foliage and main stem intact as this is how the bulb rebuilds its energy to bloom again next year. If you are new to gardening you may want to look at a book or two before you purchase too many plants. One I like because it is straightforward and very practical is Gardening for Dummies -- it is also easy to find in most book stores and libraries. Enjoy your Stargazer lily!

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