Easter Lily

Tradition has it that Easter Lilies originally grew where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the ground in his final hours.  Churches all over Williamson County will commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend with dozens and, in some cases, hundreds of Easter Lilies symbolizing hope everlasting.  Source:  Appleseeds.org

A symbol of purity, joy, hope, and life throughout history, the Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) appears in home and churches all over the area this time of year, and is a common hostess gift this weekend.  So what do you do with it once the celebration is over and you don’t want to throw it away?

Truth be told, here in Williamson County (Zone 7a) we are on the fringe of hardiness for these beauties, and I’d welcome comments on this article to share your own experience with growing these outdoors locally (good or bad).  Regardless, if you’re up for the try — here’s how:

1.  Enjoy Indoors Until the Flower Dies.  Keep your Easter Lily in its container until the flower dies, then transplant it into your flower garden.  It prefers a sunny spot with nutrient-rich soil that drains well — so avoid clay and shade.  Like other Spring bulbs, the plant will naturally die off as Summer heat arrives.

2.  Feed It This Fall.  In the Fall, apply bulb fertilizer or bone meal on top of the soil where your Easter Lily is resting.

3.  Mulch It for Safety.  Since we’re in a fringe area for survival of these bulbs, mulch this spot heavily to provide insulation on the coldest Winter nights.

4.  Cross Your Fingers for Spring.  Your transplanted Easter Lily should re-emerge next Spring and bloom in late Spring.  It’s important to note that if your Easter Lily was commercially grown and forced to bloom in time for Easter it may take a year to recover and get back on it’s normal schedule.

5.  Happy Easter Lilies Make LOTS More.  If you’ve got the right spot for your Easter Lily, it’ll propagate prolifically.  After the plants have died back for the season (in the Fall) you can dig up the bulbs and separate the baby bulbs, re-planting them 10-12″ apart.  By season two, those bulbs should also be blooming.  In just a few years, that single Easter Lily can often grow into a full-blown patch.

Source:  The Gardener’s Network