How to Culture Easter Lilies

Overview

Easter lilies (Lilium longiflorum) grow 12 to 36 inches tall with trumpet-shaped, fragrant white flowers. They are usually forced in greenhouses to bloom on Easter but naturally bloom in June and July. Easter lilies are hardy down to USDA zone 4, which means they survive the winter in areas where the temperature stays above -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Knowledge of how to care for these flowers will help you produce an attractive addition to your garden.

Step 1

Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil after the danger of frost passes. Amend the soil in this area by mixing 2 to 3 inches of organic compost about 8 inches deep into the soil.

Step 2

Plant Easter lily bulbs 6 inches deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. Water the lilies deeply and thoroughly after planting. This will help settle the soil around the bulb.

Step 3

Keep the bulb moist, but not soaked, through the first growing season. It should send up new growth as the weather warms. When this growth reaches 4 or 5 inches, place a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around the base of the plant. This will keep down weeds and conserve moisture for the plant.

Step 4

Remove the dead foliage in the fall and replenish the mulch for winter protection if necessary. Stop watering for the winter so the bulb can go dormant.

Step 5

Clear the mulch away in early spring so the new shoots can come up without a barrier. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer marked 10-10-10 as new growth appears. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions, as each fertilizer brand will differ.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Organic compost
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Illinois Extension: Easter Lily
  • Texas A&M University: Easter Lily
  • University of Vermont: Lilium Longiflorum
Keywords: Easter lily care, watering Easter lilies, fertilizing Easter lilies

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.