Easter Lily Facts

Easter is a time of year where renewal is everywhere – plants, trees and animals are becoming more active, and so are humans! The winter slumber has come to an end and it’s like everything is waking up. Transformations Landscaping would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter.

The Easter Lily is one of the most common flowers of the Christian holiday of Easter, but they are not really a spring flower.  Here’s a few interesting facts about the Easter Lily:

  • The Easter Lily is native to Japan.
  • Commercial bulb production began in the Bermuda Islands in the early 1800’s.
  • The USA was the first country to purchase Easter Lilies.
  • Japan took over the production at the turn of the century, including exporting to the USA, for the next 15 years.
  • The price of the bulbs skyrocketed after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Japanese supply was severed.
  • A World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, brought a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to the south coast of Oregon in 1919 and distributed the bulbs freely to horticulture friends and neighbors.
  • Since World War II, commercial bulb production has been from southern Oregon and northern California.
  • Easter lilies bloom when they receive more than 12 hours of light and naturally flower in August.  To get Easter lilies to flower in the spring, they are put into a cooling period where the bulbs are given a cool, moist treatment for 6 weeks at 42°F.
  • After this cool off the bulbs are potted, watered and put in a greenhouse. Shoots emerge in about 2 weeks.
  • To slow the flowering process, lilies are moved to a dark, cool place withe a temperature of about 40°F for a week or less.
  • When the lily buds measure 1 inch you have 28 days until the bud opens. If the bud measures 6 inches, you have one day before the bud opens.

How to make your Easter Lilies Last Longer:

  • Keep in moderately cool temperatures. A daytime temperature of 60-65°F and slightly cooler night temperatures is ideal.
  • Avoid drafty locations.
  • Place in bright light, out of direct sunlight.
  • Water the Easter lily only when the soil is dry to the touch. Water thoroughly, so water flows freely out the bottom of the pot. Do not leave water sitting at the bottom of the container or plate.
  • As the flowers open, remove the yellow anthers. Removing the anthers prolongs the life of the flower and prevents pollen from staining the white petals and other surfaces.
  • Remove the flowers as they wither.
  • After flowering has finished, the Easter lily can be saved and planted outdoors.

Planting Easter Lilies Outdoors

  • Transplant outside when the danger of frost has passed. 
  • The site you choose for planting should be well drained.
  • Plant the bulb 6 inches deep.
  • Cut back old growth to the surface of the soil, once all of it has withered.
  • New growth will emerge in the summer and the bulb will likely bloom again in Aug. or Sept.
Easter Lily in the garden

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