Easter Lily Care

Updated on April 26, 2019
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge is an avid reader who enjoys learning about beautiful garden plants. Among other things, she has worked with a florist.

As the name implies, Easter lilies often decorate homes and churches during the Easter season.
As the name implies, Easter lilies often decorate homes and churches during the Easter season.

Background of Easter Lilies

Not only is the Easter lily a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, but they are also often referred to in the Bible.

Lilies are also linked with fertility and motherhood, which is why they make great gifts for Mother’s Day. According to ProFlowers, the Easter lily symbolizes purity and grace.

How to Select an Easter Lily

When purchasing an Easter lily at the store or nursery, it is important to make sure you get a good plant for the investment.

The Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities Extension program suggest buying plants with dark foliage all the way down to the base of the plant. Avoid stems or blooms with browning or yellowing.

Plants with buds in the puffy white stage will soon bloom in a warm environment, such as your home, and will have a longer life.

Avoid purchasing plants that can’t support the weight of the bloom.

How to Care for a Potted Easter Lily

  1. Remove the decorative plastic wrap from around the pot to encourage proper drainage.
  2. Remove the anthers from the plant. This prolongs the overall life of the plant and prevents the pollen from tarnishing the white petals.
  3. Select a location that is bright, but with indirect light. Avoid locations that will receive direct airflow, such as from an HVAC vent. Extreme temps of a high or cool nature will stress the plant.
  4. Water sparingly, only when the soil is dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, or over drying the plant. Keep water away from the foliage or bloom.
  5. Deadhead or prune away fading blooms to promote new growth and keep the plant vibrant.

The Easter lily symbolizes purity and grace.
The Easter lily symbolizes purity and grace.

How to Plant an Easter Lily in the Garden

Wait to plant your potted Easter lily until the last frost of the season. You don't want to stress the plant with extreme temperatures.

  1. Select a location that will receive indirect bright sunlight.
  2. Dig a hole to the same depth as the original container. Apply a layer of mulch to the bottom of the hole, and remove the plant from the container.
  3. Loosen the root system slightly to encourage root implantation to the new site. Cover the bulb with soil and a thin layer mulch to keep moisture levels high.
  4. Remove any dead or dying blooms.
  5. Water the plant well.
  6. Observe the health of the plant as it grows, and trim back browning leaves to the green area.
  7. Cut the stem when the plant completely fades. Apply a generous layer of mulch to insulate the plant for next year’s growth.
  8. Fertilize the area prior to the winter months with an all-purpose fertilizer. Apply several inches of mulch to insulate the bulb during the harsh winter.
  9. Remove mulch as the weather begins to warm up in the spring.

Helpful Tips

  • ProFlowers suggests taking your potted Easter lily out of the decorative plastic wrapper as soon as you get home; the plastic wrapping can keep too much water in the pot and cause root rot.
  • Reduce the scent of the Easter lily by plucking the pistol from the bloom; this will also prolong the life of the plant.

Helpful Links

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • What type of soil should I use to take care of lily?

    Easter lilies aren’t too particular about soil. As long as it drains well, your lily should thrive. Consider adding peat moss or compost if your soil has a high clay content, or tends to drain rather slowly.


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