Choosing, Planting, and Transferring Easter Lilies

There’s something about the start of Spring that gets us ready for Easter Lilies. It’s probably the name. There’s still something about the pure petals and the luxurious scent that we can’t resist. To prolong your enjoyment of these beauties, you can replant your potted lilies into your garden.

(A word of caution, though: If you have cats in and around your home, you should reconsider planting lilies. They are toxic to our feline friends and can cause kidney failure.)

Getting started

To get started choose a potted Easter lily that is in various stages of development from tight buds to a partially open flower. You’ll want the foliage to be dense, extending down the stem to the soil line and be a richly-colored green. Also, select a plant that has grown approximately two times the height of its pot. If the plant is taller it may have outgrown the pot and be stressed.

Now that you have chosen the right plant it is time to replant outdoors. Follow these tips for Easter Lily planting success:

  1. Once the flowers have withered and been removed, keep them watered and in direct sunlight until you’re ready to take them outside.
  2. After the danger of frost has passed, choose a sunny spot in your garden or yard.
  3. Plant to the same depth as it was in the pot adding two inches of organic mulch.
  4. When the original leaves and stem begin to brown, cut the plant down to a green leaf. New growth should emerge so let that grow the first year.
  5. New growth will fade to yellow in the fall then it can be cut back to soil level.
  6. Work bulb fertilizer into the soil without disturbing the roots and add more mulch to help it survive the winter.
  7. When the weather warms in spring remove the mulch.
  8. Apply fertilizer when new growth appears and every month until they bloom. After that, you can go about caring for the lilies as you would blooming flowers.

If it takes longer than anticipated don’t get discouraged, it can take at least two summers before Easter lilies will bloom. Just be sure to keep them watered the first year while they become established.

Choose a variety

It can be a bit overwhelming to choose from the myriad of lilies so if you are still unsure of what to do or the type of lily you want, visit your gardening department at your local home supply store. Not only will they have the supplies you need, but they will also be able to advise you of which lilies are best for your geographical area as well as planting and maintenance tips.

After you have chosen the blooms you want, planted and nurtured them, all you have to do is wait for that next beautiful, fragrant bloom.