Green Circle Growers Blog

Tips for Planting Easter Lilies Outdoors

Green Circle Growers - Thursday, April 21, 2011

The traditional Christian symbol of Easter, white trumpet-shaped Easter lilies symbolize hope, purity and rebirth. These “white-robed apostles of hope,” as they are often called, are said to have sprung up in the Garden of Gethsemane to mark the spots where Jesus Christ’s sweat fell during his final hours.

After Easter Lilies (Lilium) fade, they can be planted outdoors. With proper care, Easter lilies can thrive and bloom again next spring. To prepare your lily for outdoor planting, pinch off blooms when they fade. Allow foliage to die back naturally to reenergize the bulb. Lilies do best when planted in the spring or fall when the plant is dormant. Until it can be planted outdoors, continue to water the dying plant regularly to prevent the bulb from drying out.

When all danger of frost has ended, trim off dead foliage and plant lily bulbs outdoors. Bulbs should be planted six inches deep in well-drained soil. Lilies need plenty of direct sunlight, so place bulbs in a sunny location. Because lilies are not drought-tolerant, they must be watered frequently during dry periods from spring through fall. Mulching over lily beds will help conserve moisture and provide a cool root environment. New growth should begin to emerge next April. When growth is about 3 inches above ground level, fertilize with a 5-10-10 fertilizer (higher phosphorus than nitrogen).

Recycle eggshells. After munching on Easter eggs, don’t toss the shells; recycle them. Sprinkle crunched up eggshells around plants to deter snails and slugs. Finely-crushed eggshells can also be added to birdseed to provide a calcium-rich supplement for our feathered friends. Before stirring the shells into the seed, spread crushed shells on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes to sterilize them.

Photo by: lady_lbrty