Easter Lily Care
Follow these tips to keep those lovely flowers blooming, inside and out.
Is there anything more synonymous with spring than beautiful Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum)? If you are gifting someone a lily this Easter, or decorating your own home with these incredible blooms, keep in mind the following tips for making sure they grow and thrive. Enclose this article, or even write-up your own lily-care tips in pretty calligraphy to gift along with the plant.
At the store, select a lily that is not fully in bloom, but with a variety of buds and blooms, to keep a succession of pretty flowers coming. The plant should be about two times as tall as its pot. Any bigger and it may have outgrown its pot and arrive at your home in an already stressed condition.
Get the Light Right
Easter lilies like bright, indirect rather than bright direct light. It’s also wise to rotate your lily periodically toward the light so its stalk doesn’t bend too far in one direction seeking out the light.
Make Things Comfortable
Keep your lily away from heat or air ducts. They like a mild, cooler temperature indoors, around 60-65 degrees during the day and slightly cooler at night, between 40-50 degrees, which will prolong their bloom times.
Monitor the Water
Easter lilies don’t like overwatering: keep the soil moist but not drenched. To ensure your plant is not standing in water, remove that foil cover it probably arrived in from the store, which can trap water and cause the plant to become waterlogged. Just remember, it is more common for a lily to die from overwatering than from underwatering.
Remove Faded Flowers
When the blossoms wilt and die, remove them to allow the plant to store energy in the bulb for its next bloom season.
Take it Outside!
You can plant your Easter lily outdoors in zones 7-9, and it will do better there than indoors, where it is unlikely to bloom for a second season inside. Once the blooms are spent, and when all danger of frost has passed, move the plant to a sunny outdoor location and plant in a well-drained bed to the same depth as the pot. Easter lilies prefer a neutral soil pH from 6.5-7. Just don’t expect to see your plant blooming around Easter next year. Its natural blooming period is actually June or July. And keep in mind, the flowers may not bloom until the second year after they are planted in the ground.
Protect Your Lily Outdoors Too
Make sure a protective layer of mulch or pine straw is placed around your lily come winter to protect it from harsh conditions. And keep the plant watered, even in the winter. Remove the mulch come spring to allow the shoots to emerge and apply a balanced fertilizer.
Editor’s note: Easter lilies are toxic to cats, so keep pets away from the plant both indoors and out.