Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Mar 25
3 min read
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Easter Lily with a wood background

The Easter lily is most popularly associated with the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it is also related to many other cultural and religious beliefs and customs. For example, pagans connect the Easter lily with motherhood and gratitude. Since Victorian times, the lily has been included in floral arrangements as a symbol of purity, hope, and new beginnings. In literature, it also serves as a representation of purity, transformation, and rebirth. These themes have continued to our modern-day celebrations as the Easter lily is often a central item of decor for those who celebrate Easter or the arrival of spring.

As for the origins of the flower itself, the Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) is native to Japan. From there, it became popularly cultivated throughout Japan, China, and nearby countries. During the 19th century, its popularity grew throughout Europe and America. During World War II supply was cut off of these special blooms. This kickstarted production within the United States along the western coast. California and Oregon have since become known as the “Easter Lily Capital of the World.”

While the Easter lily can be grown from seed, bulb, or cutting, bulbs are the easiest and most popular method. In order to have an Easter lily in bloom for the holiday, it must be forced. Forcing is the process of careful timing and conditioning to force the bulbs to grow and bloom at a desired time. For the bulbs to sprout, they need a period of cold (vernalization), which lasts 6-8 weeks. This triggers bud development within the bulb. Once planted, temperature, light, and humidity are carefully monitored. As the date of Easter can vary from year to year, it is important for growers to plan ahead, select good bulbs, and monitor growing conditions carefully. Without forcing, Easter lily bulbs will typically bloom throughout June and July.

How to Plant and Care for Easter Lilies

  • Hardy in Zones 5-11
  • Perennial
  • Full Sun
  • Summer Blooming
  • Height: 3 feet
  • Plant Spacing: 12-18 inches
  • Bulb Depth: 3 inches
Easter lily bloom

Maintenance - Deadhead spent blooms throughout the season. When the plant has died back in the fall, cut it to the soil level.

Transplanting - Because Easter lilies are often sold as tender plants, it is important to harden off before transplanting. This simply means they need to be adjusted to outdoor conditions gradually before planting. Set them outside for increasing amounts of time over the period of 1-2 weeks. Then, amend the soil with some bone meal and transplant after your last spring frost date. Be careful not to bury the stem deeper than it was in the pot.

Other Flowers With Similar Meanings

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1 comments

Dimitris

You are very good


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