Keep Your Easter Lilies Looking Beautiful with These Tips

Arricca Elin Sansone
·3 min read
Keep Your Easter Lilies Looking Beautiful with These Tips

From Country Living

The beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers you see for sale everywhere this time of year have a long history. Native to the islands of southern Japan, commercial Easter lily bulb production dates back to the 1800s. Interestingly, it’s no simple feat to grow these bulbs: They must be cultivated for three years in the fields, tended entirely by hand as they mature every step of the way! Once the bulbs are shipped to nurseries for growing, environmental conditions are controlled carefully so the flowers will bloom in time for Easter, which changes dates every year.

In some climates, you can plant your bulbs after they're done blooming alongside other flowers in your garden. Whether you plan to give these symbols of hope and purity as gifts this year or intend to enjoy them yourself, here’s everything you need to know to about how to care for Easter lilies.

Easter lilies don’t need any help to bloom.

That’s right: All you have to do is enjoy the gorgeous flowers! Because growers use such precision in handling these flowers, most will bloom on time for Easter without any special care from you. But keep them in a cool room around 60 to 65 degrees so that the flowers last longer.

Be careful with Easter lilies around curious pets.

Unfortunately, Easter lilies are toxic to cats. The stem, leaves, flowers, and pollen— even the water from a vase of lilies—can cause fatal kidney failure in cats. If you think your cat has been exposed, call your vet immediately. Lilies are dangerous to dogs, too, who may develop stomach upset, drooling, and vomiting from ingesting them. So, if your pets like to nibble, it’s best to keep Easter lilies out of your home completely.

How should I care for an Easter Lily?

First, choose a healthy plant with no yellow leaves. Look for medium to compact-sized plants (not tall spindly ones) with foliage that goes all the way down to the soil. Select plants that have buds in various stages including fat, puffy ones that will open in a few days and tighter ones that will open in a week or so. If you choose flowers that already are wide open, they’ll fade quickly.

Keep your lilies away from heating vents and out of direct sunlight. They like moisture, so water them well, and don’t let the pots dry out. But remove the paper or plastic sleeve that’s around most plants right away so the plant can drain properly. Lilies don’t like to be soggy!

If you like, remove the yellow pistils in the center of each flower so pollen won’t drop and stain the flowers or furniture and tablecloths. Removing them also reduces the fragrance, which some people find too strong. If you do get pollen on fabric, remove it with sticky tape instead of trying to rub it, which will just smear it around.

Can I plant my Easter lily bulb after it blooms?

Absolutely! Snap off each flower after it dies. When none are left, plant your lily in full sun, which is 6 or more hours of direct sun, after all danger of frost has passed in your area, and water well. Make sure it’s a well-drained area in your yard, not where water tends to pool. Place the plant in ground at the same depth it was in the pot, and feed it every few months with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

In USDA Hardiness zones 7 and warmer (check yours here), your plant may come back for several years. With luck, your Easter lily will flower next spring or summer, which is its normal bloom time. If you live in more northern climate, you can try to plant your Easter lily but chances are, it may not return because Easter lilies don’t like extreme cold. Still, it’s worth a shot! Mother Nature sometimes surprises us, which is part of the fun!

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