Seasonal Plants & Their Care

Easter Lilies

Most of us love these seasonal favorites.  We buy them from garden centers, box stores and even our local grocery store.  Here’s how to take care of them.  They prefer cool daytime temps and even cooler night temperatures.  55 to 70 degrees is good here in southeast Florida.  Don’t place them in a draft or exposed to heat or dry air from appliances or ducts.  They like bright, indirect daylight but not direct sunlight.  Turn the plant every day or two to prevent leaning.  They need well drained soil kept moderately moist.  Avoid over-watering.  Don’t let the plant sit in trapped, standing water.  The foil or plastic sleeve it may have come in can cause it to drown.  Remove from this sleeve, water thoroughly, drain and then you may replace it in the sleeve.

Remove faded flower heads promptly to prevent seeding.  This retains the energy of the plant devoted to feeding the bulb for next flowering.

After flowering care and planting…..   After all the blooms have faded place the pot in a sunny location until frost danger has passed.  Prepare a sunny location in the garden using well drained soil one part soil, one part peat and one part perlite for good drainage.  Set the entire pot and plant into the ground until the foliage has died back.  Then plant it into the ground.  Spread the root ball by gently pulling upward and outward from the center to loosen the clumped and matted roots.  Plant it a little deeper that what it was in the pot with the bulb about 3 inches below the soil surface.  Lily bulbs should be planted 6 inches deep and at least 12 to 18 inches apart in a deep enough hole that the bulbs can be placed in it with the roots spread out and down as they naturally grow.  Make sure there are no air pockets around the roots.  Water thoroughly after planting.  Cut stems back to the ground, cover with soil and mulch.  Ideally you’ll want to feed monthly with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer that’s water-soluble like Peter’s.  New shoots should begin to appear in a short time and with luck they will bloom again in late summer.  Keep in mind they will not bloom at Easter next year.  Their natural blooming cycle is in June and July.  Pro growers know how to force them to bloom for Easter.  You don’t.

Important:  Easter Lilies are highly TOXIC to cats and other critters.

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