Saving Easter Lillies

One of the nicest things about the Easter season is the availability of the beautiful and fragrant Easter lily. Enjoy them as long as possible but, remember, that when the flowers fade, the story has just begun. These plants can provide you many years of enjoyment so do not be in a hurry to toss them in the trash.

As the blossoms fade, cut them off but leave the foliage intact. Keep the plant watered like any other house plant until the foliage turns brown. At that point, cut off the stem to the soil line and pace the potted bulb in a cool place such as an unheated porch or garage. Later this spring, plant the bulb in a sunny location about the time when annual flowers are being set out. The top of the bulb should be 5-6 inches beneath the soil surface.

Lily bulbs flower in response to being chilled for a certain number of days at a certain temperature. Sometimes this requirement is met by setting the bulb in an unheated porch after the foliage dies back. Do not count on it but, if the bulb has received enough cooling days, it may bloom again this summer. More likely, it will not flower this summer but will lie dormant in the soil until next year when it will bloom in either June or July.



Corinne said...

Thank you for the advice! I received an Easter lily from a girlfriend of mine and I just might try this!

Kathy said...

I had no idea! I am rather "gardening challenged". Thanks!

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