By Janice Brown of On the Grow
Easter has just passed and many of us celebrate the season with Easter Lilies. Did you know that you can have those beautiful white blooms year after year if you plant them? Let’s save a little room in the landfills. This year, rather than trashing the spent plants after the blooms have faded, plant them for a natural display next year. And don’t forget to recycle that pot!
The Liliaceae family, in which Easter lilies reside, is a really easy family to grow. Despite their delicate look, these plants are tough and faithful (as their symbolism implies). They grow from bulbs which look somewhat like a bulb of garlic. The bulbs multiply through the years, so if you plant one Easter lily this year, you will have a small clump of them in a few years. What’s even better, they return year after year on their own, without much help. Honestly, I usually forget mine are there until they seemingly rise up from the dead each year, which is always a pleasant surprise and reminder of the season.
How to Plant Them
Enjoy the blooming plant indoors until the blooms die, because you’ll have to cut them off at planting anyway. Do this because your plant needs to use energy setting roots and getting established rather than trying to sustain flowers once planted.
- Select a sunny site with well-drained soil.
- Set the top of the bulb six-inches below the soil surface. Usually, that’s the way it’s planted in the pot, so just plant at the soil level of the pot.
- Cut off the old flowers, but leave the stem and leaves. Do not cut back the stem until it dies down in the fall, and then cut it off at the soil surface if you choose. Plants in this family need the foliage to help the bulb store food, so that you have plants for the next year. If the yellowing foliage bothers you, fold it down and put a rubber band on it so that it is less visible. When planting you may also want to put them behind a shorter plant that hides the foliage.
That’s it! You’re done.
Water them along with your other plants. They are said not to be drought tolerant, but I’ve found that mine are. Since I have mostly native and drought-tolerant plants in my garden, I do very little watering unless the weather is very dry. Eventually, the foliage will completely die back and decompose into the ground, so you may want to put a marker where they are before this happens, so that you don’t accidently plant over them later.
When they reemerge next April, feed them with a balanced fertilizer for a more robust plant. If you forget, don’t worry, they will forgive you. Again, the foliage is natural food for the bulb, but a little extra doesn’t hurt.
If you do this you will be rewarded with faithful blooms for years to come. They are a lovely reminder of the season. Don’t forget to cut some blooms off to bring indoors and put in a vase to scent the air in your home and to create a spectacular visual display. Happy Easter!
On the Grow is a garden coaching service launched by Janice Brown to teach people how to be successful gardeners in the sometimes difficult, Gulf Coast climate. On the Grow provides garden education for the home gardener, children in outdoor classrooms, neighbors in community gardens, and employees in workplace gardens. Whether you want a new idea for a girls’ night out, a new way to engage children in nature, or want to implement a fresh wellness program in your company, On the Grow is here for you. Your coach will take you step by step teaching you the basics, while presenting you with a fresh perspective by helping you experience the healing benefits of gardening. Our mission at On the Grow is to help everyone experience the joy of a garden and build a greater connection to Mother Earth. Connect with One The Grow on Facebook and Twitter!