How To Grow And Care For Easter Lilies

Growing and caring for an Easter lily doesn't have to be a difficult chore.

Lilium longiflorian is the Latin name for Easter lily. The flower is native to the Ryukyu Islands in Japan; and, before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Japan was the source for many of the bulbs. Now, however, greater than 95 percent of all bulbs are grown along the California-Oregon border. This region is known as the Easter Lily Capital of the World. The precise growing conditions required for the Easter lily are found in the rich soil and wonderful weather near the Pacific Ocean.

Bulbs need approximately two or three years to grow. During this process, the bulbs can be handled almost 40 times. Bulbs are harvested in the fall and sent to commercial greenhouses. It is at these greenhouses where the bulbs are potted and then forced to bloom. Growers must carefully plan this even so that Easter Lilies can be in bloom in time for Easter. Two reasons this can be a difficult task include the fact that Easter can fall on various dates and the Easter lily has a flowering time or blooming time of approximately one to two weeks.

These flowers can be transplanted into home gardens with just a few steps. The plant may not bloom the first year after it is planted but it should bloom in the second or third year in late spring or early summer. The Easter lily is considered a perennial and will grow like any other lily in a garden.

Growing and caring for Easter Lilies doesn't have to be a difficult chore. They need three ingredients to thrive -- water, sun and nourishment. (If planting a bulb the hole will need to be approximately three inches deep. If planting multiple bulbs space them adequately allowing 14 inches between each bulb.)

Listed are the steps to transplant an Easter lily from its container to a garden:

1. Choose the site where the Easter lily will be placed. The Easter lily needs to be planted in a sunny and cool environment. They do best if temperatures are between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and they also need to be placed in flower beds that are well-drained.

2. Dig a hole as deep as the container and about twice as wide as the container.

3. Carefully remove the plant from the container and gently loosen the root ball.

4. Place plant carefully in the prepared hole.

5. Fill the hole half full with a mixture of potting soil surrounding the plant.



6. Water the soil around the plant. This will help get rid of any air pockets in the soil.

7. Finish filling the hole with potting soil surrounding the Easter lily.

8. Water the plant once more. Easter lilies do best in moderately moist soil. Don't overwater.

9. The roots of this plant do best in a shady area; the flower portion of this plant does best in a sunny area. Simply cover the ground around the plant with a thin layer of mulch to meet these needs. During winter surround the plant with a heavy layer of mulch or dig up the bulbs and store until the next planting season.

10. Enjoy this elegant and delightful plant with its trumpet shaped and fragrant flower. This plant will provide beautiful blooms adding beauty and elegance to any flower garden.

Here are a few tips for purchasing and caring for an Easter lily in a container:

1. Look for a plant that is in various stages of bloom. It is best to have buds, partially opened flowers and open flowers. It will lengthen the time this plant can be enjoyed.

2. Foliage should be dark green in color from the soil line to the buds.

3. A well-proportioned plant is about two times as high as the container it is in.

4. Always check for signs of damage, insects or disease.

5. Water the plant by taking it out of the container and watering it in the sink. Drain well before replacing in container.

6. Remove any plastic wrapping around the container. This will ensure that the container does not hold any water which could cause root rot.

7. Remove yellow anthers before pollen drops on the flower.

8. After a flower dies, cut it off. Allow the newly-opened blooms to be enjoyed.

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