Easter Lily Care: How To Prune An Easter Lily

If you have ever planted an easter lily, then you probably know that it takes time before they bloom. You may even remember the first few days when they are not yet ready to bloom. They need some extra attention so that they will grow faster and flower sooner.

If you want your easter lily to bloom sooner, then pruning them is one way of doing it.

The best thing about pruning easter lilies is that you don’t have to worry about damaging their leaves or flowers. All you need to do is cut off the dead branches and leave only the new growth.

You can start pruning easter lilies right away after blooming. However, if you are going to wait until later in spring, then it’s better to prune them during winter months when there are less sunlight and warmer temperatures. When spring comes again, the plants will be growing vigorously and ready to bloom.

Pruning Easter Lilies: What You Need To Know About Pests And Diseases

There are many types of pests and diseases that affect easter lilies. Here is a list of some common ones:

Leaf Spot – Leaves turn yellowish brown from insects such as aphids or scale bugs.

Black Rot – Soft brown spots appear on lower leaves, eventually rotting them.

Downy Mildew – Yellowish-white spots can appear on leaves and stems, eventually causing the plant to weaken.

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Mold – Dark patches can grow on the soil around the plant and underneath the leaves.

Fungus Gnats – Gnats hover around the plant and are visible with the naked eye.

Powdery Mildew – White coating appears on the undersides of leaves.

To avoid these problems, be sure to plant your lily in a well-draining location. Water your plant at least once a week and fertilize it in the spring and summer months. If you notice any pests or diseases, treat your plant with an organic pesticide.

It’s not too late to buy an Easter lily and plant it in your yard. They grow best in USDA zones 4-9, so if you live in one of these zones then go out and get one today! (Unless of course you are reading this in the fall or winter, in which case you might want to bookmark this page for later).

Happy planting!

Easter lily care guide Easter lily care guide

Easter lilies are also known as Lilium longiflorum. They are native to China and they have been grown in that country for about 2000 years. Back then, the Chinese used to think that all plants had a soul, but special ones ascended to heaven to become celestial flowers when they died.

The Easter lily is one of these special flowers because its pure white petals symbolize the purity of the soul. Today, they are the most popular spring flower in United States and Canada.

The modern-day Easter lily most people are familiar with was bred in 1817 in Germany. The common variety has orange flowers with a few red, white, or pink ones to add some color. There are also other varieties like the Bermuda Night that have all-white flowers.

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Besides their colorful flowers, they produce green leaves that grow up to 10 inches long and 6 inches wide.

The most popular time to buy and plant these beauties is during the month of April, especially before Easter. Planting them in soil that has been prepared for you makes it easy to take them home and into your garden. You don’t even need to transplant them—the bulbs can be planted right away as soon as you get home.

Easter lily care is easy but there are a few things you should do after planting them in your yard or garden. They need six to eight hours of sunlight per day, so if you plant them in the shade then they won’t bloom as much. Also, keep the soil around them moist at all times but don’t plant them in locations that collect dew or rainwater.

Here are a few more easter lily care tips:

If you live in USDA zones 4-9, plant them in fall.

The best soil pH for them is 6.5-6.8.

Overfertilizing can burn the bulbs so only use fertilizer once a year.

Plant them a foot under the ground.

Use a shovel to make a hole that is eight inches deep and place a bulb in the bottom.

Choose a location that is out of the way of mowers and garden hoses.

You can plant five to eight bulbs in one location.

The bulbs should be at a depth of three to five times their diameter.

Plant them 12 to 15 inches apart.

Caring For Easter Lilies: How To Plant Easter Lily After Blooming - Image

Water your bulbs after you plant them.

Mulch around the bulbs to prevent weeds.

Once they flower, you can cut the stalks and bring them inside. If you live in a colder climate, dig up the bulbs and bring them inside to prevent them from turning green. If you do this, place them in a dark location for two weeks and then move them into a well-lit one.

Easter lily care doesn’t end after the flowers die. After you’ve trimmed off all the dead leaves, add a bit of fertilizer to the soil to give it the nutrition it needs. In the fall, you can dig up the bulbs and store them in a cool, dark place for eight to twelve weeks to promote better blooming next spring.

If you do this, place them in a sunny location for a few hours each day before you place them in the dark to prevent them from stretching. Follow these easter lily care tips and you should have lovely blooms year after year.

How to Plant and Care for an Easter Lily

After the Easter holiday, you may find yourself with an empty basket and a handful of leftover flowers. Instead of throwing them away, plant them to see if you can create an everlasting Easter lily for your garden.

Choose a location in your yard that gets full sun (at least six hours a day) and has moist soil. The bigger the container you plant the lily bulb in, the better since they need room to grow. You will also need to ensure that location gets no frost.

Prepare the soil by working in plenty of organic matter such as compost or aged animal manure. You can also give extra phosphorus by sprinkling some bone meal on the surface. Plant the lily bulb in the ground, pointy side up, as deep as it was in the original container.

Try to work some of the soil from around the base of the bulb into the hole so it is sitting at an angle. Add more soil until the hole is nearly filled then water it well to settle the soil. You can add a 3 inch layer of mulch, but avoid grass clippings as these can go cancerous and attack the bulbs.

After planting, place a plastic bag over the bulb if there is a chance of a frost and remove it as soon as the threat has passed. Water well throughout the summer and if the weather stays wet then you may need to water more frequently than once a week.

If all goes well, your lily bulb will bloom the following year. Plant it every Easter and, before long, you should have a carpet of lilies blooming every spring.

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Tips for Growing Easter Lilies

The key to growing an Easter lily is proper preparation of your container and soil. The best soil for an Easter lily is one that drains well but is moist. A good mix is equal parts sand, compost and topsoil.

Choose a container at least 12 inches in diameter. A good rule of thumb is that the container should have at least 2 gallons of capacity for every inch of the bulbs diameter. If you want to plant more than one bulb, space them as much as six inches apart.

Make a “band” of gravel around the inside of your container to help with drainage. Add your soil, tamping it down firmly.

Place your lily bulb(s) on top of the soil and cover with more soil. Add more soil until the container is nearly full. Since you are planting more than one lily bulb, leave a bit of space between them.

Use a trowel to mark out the area around each lily bulb on the soil surface.

The bulbs need to be planted so that the “neck” of each one of them is just above the soil line. Add more soil until this is the case for each bulb, then add a bit more soil and tamp it down firmly.

Sitting the container in a shallow bowl or pan, add water until you see it percolating out through the soil. If it is percolating through very quickly, your soil is too porous and you need to add more soil to the container. If it is not percolating at all, add some coarse material such as small gravel to the container to increase the porosity of the soil.

The container should hold water for at least a day or two before any evaporates.

You can plant your lily bulbs in the ground, with the same depth requirements. Be sure to keep them well watered until they are well established.

Your lilies will bloom in the late spring and into the summer. Enjoy their beauty!

About Easter Lilies

Easter lilies are true bulbs, which means they need to be planted every year. They do not survive the winter. The most popular variety is the hybrid Lilium longiflorum, also known as the Tiger Lily.

It has large, distinctive flowers. They are often used for Easter ceremonies because of their connection with the resurrection of Christ.

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In the Northern Hemisphere, Easter lilies bloom around the time of the vernal equinox, usually from late March through mid-April. The flowers can range from yellow to orange to red. They last only one day, closing up at night and withering away by midday.

For this reason, they have been called the “Easter Tears.”

If you are growing non-hybrid lilies, you can plant the bulbs in the fall. They will bloom the next summer. They come in different colors and shapes as well as different sizes.

Lilies are a favorite subject of artists, from Monet to Van Gogh to Renoir. They add a feeling of ethereal beauty wherever they grow.


Hemenway, Robin. Gardening Know How. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.

Morton, Julia. New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press, 2005.

Pitman, Michael. Complete Book of Bulbs. DK Adult, 2006.

Walsh, John, and Dorothy Smith. The Everything Garden Guide to Growing Flowers. Adams Media Corporation, 2001.

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Sources & references used in this article:

A decision-support system for real-time management of Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) scheduling and height—II. Validation by PR Fisher, RD Heins, N Ehler, JH Lieth, M Brogaard… – Agricultural …, 1997 – Elsevier

Integration of the greenhouse CARE system with an environmental computer to control flowering and elongation of Lilium longiflorum by N Ehler, M Brogaard, P Fisher, R Heins… – … on Greenhouse Crop …, 1995 – actahort.org

Care of flowering potted plants: chrysanthemums, poinsettias, azaleas, lilies, hydrangeas, potted bulbs by MC Carbonneau – Circular; 980, 1968 – ideals.illinois.edu

Effects of ethephon and ancymidol on plant height and flower abortion of easter lily by D Wees – Canadian journal of plant science, 1993 – NRC Research Press

Care of flowering potted plants (2014) by DH Trinklein – Lawn and Garden, 2014 – mospace.umsystem.edu

Growth and leaf photosynthesis of Lilium longiflorum Thunb.’Nellie White’in response to partial defoliation after anthesis by Y Wang – V International Symposium on Flower Bulbs 266, 1989 – actahort.org

A decision-support system for real-time management of Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb.) scheduling and height—I. System description by PR Fisher, RD Heins, N Ehler, JH Lieth – Agricultural Systems, 1997 – Elsevier

Care of Flowering Potted Plants (1998) by DH Trinklein, RR Rothenberger – Extension publications …, 1998 – mospace.umsystem.edu



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