The delicate white bloom of an Easter lily.
image by Crystal Woroniuk/sxc.hu
Often sold as potted plants to display or give as gifts, Easter lilies bloom in spring near Easter. White blooms fade and die in spring though the foliage will survive through summer. Easter lilies won't survive as a houseplant and must be transplanted to the garden. You may be rewarded with a late summer blooming if the lily is properly cared for once it is in the ground, or there will be blooms the following year. For best success treat the plant well before and after it's in the ground.
Remove the withered flowers while the plant is still potted indoors. Continue removing flowers until all the buds have opened and wilted.
Keep the potted lily away from warm drafts and in a bright window out of direct sunlight. Place in a room with 60- to 65-degree Fahrenheit temperatures.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Check inside any foil or plastic wrapping around the pit to ensure there is no standing water trapped.
Transplant outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Choose a well-drained, sunny garden bed for transplanting.
Remove the lily from its pot, graspi it around the base of the stem and gently pull it free. Loosen the roots that are compacted near the bottom of the root ball.
Plant the lily bulb 3 inches deeper than it was planted in the pot. Gently firm the soil over the bulb.
Water thoroughly, and apply a general purpose garden fertilizer, following package instructions. Water as needed when the soil begins to dry out.
Allow the leaves to die back naturally soon after transplanting, and then cut the dead leaves off to ground level. New leaves and possibly a second blooming will begin in mid-June.