Easter lilies keep on giving
The Easter lily, the traditional time-honored flower of Easter, is highly regarded as a joyful symbol of beauty, hope and life. The large, trumpet-shaped, fragrant white flowers make a meaningful statement that embodies the very essence of Easter. After you have cut away the last bloom you can plant it outside and enjoy it for many years.
To plant your Easter lily, prepare a well-drained garden bed in a sunny location. Place the bulb 3 inches below the soil surface. Spread the roots and work the prepared soil in around the bulb leaving no air pockets. Be sure to mulch and water thoroughly after planting.
As the original plant begins to die back, cut the stem to the soil surface. New growth will soon emerge. The Easter lily, which was forced to bloom under controlled greenhouse conditions, bloom naturally in the summer. You may be rewarded with a second bloom late this summer, but most likely you will have to wait until next June or July.
The Easter lily is surprisingly hardy even in cold climates. Provide a little winter protection by mulching with a generous layer of bark or pine straw. Carefully remove the mulch in the spring to allow new growth to emerge.
With just a little bit of effort your Easter lily will keep on giving beauty, grace and fragrance for many years.
Rebecca Bates is director of the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service. To contact her, call 601-835-3460.