For those who celebrate Easter, flowers can be an important symbol. Hosts of spring flowers are used to decorate churches and other sacred locations. Popular Easter flowers are also given as gifts, often in containers for use in the home and garden.
The Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), native to Japan, symbolizes the spiritual virtues of Easter-purity, hope and life. The stark white, trumpet-shaped blooms atop strong dark green foliage are well suited to container life or as a stately addition to the flowerbed. Easter lilies require moderate temperatures, well-draining soil and indirect sunlight for optimal growth.
Tulips usher in the warmth and color of spring with over 4,000 varieties. Originating in Persia and Turkey, tulips garnered their name because of their resemblance to turbans. These perennial Easter favorites grow from bulbs planted in late fall to early winter. They grow best in light, sandy soil and full sunlight. Most tulip varieties last up to one week in cut flower arrangements.
Hailing from the Asteraceae family, daisies symbolize innocence, purity and loyalty, qualities associated with the meaning of Easter. There are numerous annual and perennial daisy varieties including African, English, gerbera and shasta. Daisies need full sun and nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. They grow equally well in the flowerbed or in containers.
Azaleas, from the Rhododendron genus, symbolize passion, temperance and fragility. Favorites of the Easter season, azaleas are often sold as potted plants. There are more than 10,000 registered evergreen and deciduous azalea cultivars, but most are not sold commercially. Azaleas, which grow as shrubs and small trees, thrive in moderate climates with moderate shade.