Nothing says Happy Easter more than a beautiful Easter Lily plant!
Their soft, trumpet shaped flowers and ultra-bright white blooms are a sure sign the Easter season is upon us. And, of course, that spring has also arrived.
The Easter Lily tradition stems all the way back to World War I. That is when an Oregon soldier brought back a collection of the beautiful hybrid bulbs and gave them as gifts to friends and family.
Today, nearly all of the Easter lily bulbs that are sold still hail from the Oregon and California coastal areas.
And they have grown in popularity to now rank among the top 5 in potted plants.
How To Care For Your Easter Lily Plant After Easter
The Easter Lily plant has certainly become the go-to Easter gift for mom’s, and grandmas. And it makes the perfect host or hostess gift as well.
But what is the best way to care for these beautiful plants after they finish blooming?
Can they be kept indoors year round? Can they be planted outdoors?
As it turns out, in most climates, both are great options. And whichever you choose, caring for them is a breeze!
Keeping As A Potted Plant
Easter lilies can easily be kept as houseplants to enjoy year after year.
Begin by removing the shiny or decorative wrap that accompany many plants. Although they are fine to keep on for the Easter season, they cause long-term issues with drainage and air-flow.
Keep plants in an area that receives a lot of light, but not direct sunlight. Although they can be kept inside all year, in the summer months, shaded porches and patios are excellent choices.
In the fall and winter months, move indoors to warmer rooms (62+ degrees) that receive plenty of light. But be careful not to place directly into a window that gets full sun.
Keep away from heating vents, space heaters, fireplaces and other direct heat sources as well.
Proper watering is a big key to keeping lilies happy and healthy. Water only when the first few inches of soil become totally dry.
Be careful not to over-water, as it can easily rot out the bulb. Allow the top layer of soil to completely dry before watering each time.
For houseplant lilies, there is little need to fertilize while blooming.
However, it is a good idea to apply a traditional all-purpose potted plant fertilizer every few months through summer and winter.
It helps to promote blooms for the following season. Espoma Indoor Organic Fertilizer Plant Food
Although there are a few varieties of Easter lily’s that are not suited for outdoor growing, most will perform well. They can be a great accent to other bulbous plants and perennials. (See : How To Grow Dahlias)
The most popular lily, the Nellie White, can be planted outdoors and kept as a perennial to enjoy year after year.
How To Plant An Easter Lily Plant Outdoors
First, allow your Easter lily to completely finish blooming indoors before transplanting outside.
As soon as the weather warms and the soil can be worked, remove all of the spent flowers, leaving only the stem and leaves.
Lilies prefer sunny locations and fertile, well-drained soil. Start by selecting a space in your landscape that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.
Amend the soil with plenty of compost to provide nutrients to the bulb. The compost will also help loosen the soil around the bulb.
Next, place the top of the bulb six-inches below the surface of the soil. Lightly pack the soil around the stem to the soil surface level.
Water well for the first few weeks to help the plant establish its bulbous roots in the soil.
Allow the plant to die off completely in the fall before cutting back to the ground. Mulch with a few inches of leaves, straw or shredded hardwood to keep protected through the cold winter months.
In the spring, as new growth appears, slightly move back the mulch to let the soil warm faster. Now it is time to simply enjoy your lily!
Remember that Easter lily’s in stores are forced to bloom early. So for most, an Easter lily plant placed in the landscape will bloom a bit later in late spring.
Here is to enjoying your Easter lily for years to come!
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