How to Plant Easter Lily Bulbs


Easter lilies have large white exotic flowers that have adorned homes and churches during the Easter season for generations. Many people discard the entire plants after blooming. Fortunately though, Easter lilies can be planted outdoors and continue to thrive year to year. They probably will not bloom during the Easter holiday, but they will in late spring and early summer as other lilies do.

Step 1

Wait until your Easter lilies have finished blooming. Cut the old blooms off. Do not cut back the foliage. Plant the bulbs outdoors only after the last frost has safely passed. In the meantime, set your plant in a sunny location and every six weeks, add 1 tsp. of slow-releasing osmocote fertilizer and continue to fertilize the bulbs in this manner during the growing season, even when planted outdoors.

Step 2

Prepare the planting site. Choose a sunny location and amend your soil so that it is rich in nutrients and well-draining. To do this, turn over the top 12 inches of your soil and mix in about 3 to 4 inches of well-draining soil, such as compost, top soil or high-quality potting soil. Afterward, the planting site will be slightly raised, which will also help with drainage.

Step 3

Plant the whole Easter lily plant. Again, do not cut off the foliage. The top of the bulb should be about 3 inches beneath the soil's surface. Dig a hole that is at least two times as wide as the bulb and deep enough so you can spread out the fleshy roots in downward and side-ward directions. Plant multiple bulbs 12 to 18 inches apart.

Step 4

Pack down the soil so it is firm and no air pockets are remaining. Then add 3 inches of top soil around the base of the plant so it slopes toward the ground. This will improve water drainage even more. Cover the area with a couple inches of mulch, such as bark or pine needles, to help keep the bulbs cool during the summer and retain water.

Step 5

Water your Easter lily bulbs well and continue to water when rain is scarce. Only cut back the foliage when it yellows and dies away in the fall. The Easter lily should grow and bloom again the next spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Osmocote fertilizer
  • Garden rake or tiller
  • Organic matter
  • Mulch


  • Texas A&M University
Keywords: plant easter lily, replant easter lily, plant lily bulbs

About this Author

Melissa Lewis graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has written over 20 episodes for the radio drama entitled "A Work in Progress." She also writes for several online outlets, including Gardenguides, Travels and Examiner, and is currently finalizing a movie script to be filmed in 2010.