Every year at Easter, you can find the beautiful, fragrant, white flowers of the Easter Lily, Lilium longiflorum, gracing the altars of many churches.
Covered in showy flowers, the Easter Lily has come to represent the essence of Easter. If you receive an Easter Lily this holiday, you will be glad to know that it can be planted outdoors and grown as a perennial in our area. Care for it well and you will be rewarded with a yearly display of the large white, showy trumpet-shaped flowers. How do you make this happen?
Prepare an area for planting your Easter Lilies that is full sun. Amend the area well, as Easter Lilies like a well-drained soil and our native soil is very heavy. Add at least 4 inches of compost or other fine organic matter and mix it down into the soil to a depth of about 8 inches in the planting area. This will improve the texture of the soil and help with good drainage.
Plant the Easter Lily bulbs 3 inches below ground level and put about 1 foot of space between bulbs. Spread the roots in the planting hole and then cover with soil. Water the bulbs after you have planted them. The original plants will begin to die back to the ground. After the leaves have withered, you can cut the stems back to the soil surface. The plants should start to put on new growth soon after you cut them back.
In the fall, be sure to provide a nice layer of mulch to insulate the bulbs through the cooler months. You can use any mulch that suits you—pinestraw, pine bark, or any hardwood mulch should work fine. Your goal is to provide the bulbs some protection. In the spring, your work will be rewarded with new green growth. However, your Easter Lilies won’t bloom at Easter in your yard. The potted plants, were grown in nurseries under controlled conditions and forced to bloom at Easter. In our landscapes, Easter Lilies bloom in the summer months. Their flowering is dependent upon warm temperatures and having enough light, but when they flower, they will be just as beautiful and fragrant in summer! You can find more information about caring for your Easter Lily in this article from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, Center for Urban Agriculture.
Paulding County Cooperative Extension is an Equal Opportunity Organization that operates as part of the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Paulding County government. Our purpose is to bring current research and information to the people of Paulding County in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, 4-H and youth development, and family and consumer sciences. You can learn more by visiting www.ugaextension.com/paulding.