of the month
If you have trouble viewing these PDF (portable document
format) files, download a copy of the
free Adobe Reader.
Easter lily, Trumpet lily, Bermuda lily
bulb plant, with its white, trumpet-shaped blooms, is a
traditional symbol of Easter. The stems can grow to 3 feet high
and carry three to eight flowers each, on average. The blooms
are 5 to 7 inches long. The fragrance is moderately sweet.
These plants usually bloom for one to two weeks.
Easter lilies are available primarily in the spring. Bulbs are
harvested in the fall and shipped to commercial greenhouses,
where they are planted in pots and forced, under controlled
conditions, to bloom for the Easter holiday.
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
These plants do best in bright, indirect light
Easter lilies do best in moderately moist soil. Water them
thoroughly when the soil surface is dry to the touch. Do not
allow the plants to stand in water.
Display the plants in rooms that are kept at 65 F to 70 F during
the day and 50 F to 60 F at night. Avoid placing the plants near
drafts or heat sources. Easter lilies can be stored from three
to five days at 33 F to 35 F; extended storage can cause leaf
yellowing. After removing the plants from coolers, allow them to
warm up overnight in 55 F rooms. Water the plants with lukewarm
water (100 F to 110 F) after they are removed from coolers.
HUMIDITY Mist the leaves
After flowering, keep the plants in well-lit locations and
continue watering them as the foliage matures. In late spring,
plant Easter lilies in the garden. They may reflower later in
the summer, but most likely, new blooms won’t appear until the
Easter lilies are moderately sensitive to ethylene gas, which
can cause blossom drop. Check with your supplier to make sure
your plants have been treated with an anti-ethylene agent at the
grower or transportation level.
This occurs if lilies are exposed to low-temperature storage for
too long, if the plants are too close to each other or if root
rot is present.
Aphids are a common pest. Control them by washing the plants
with an insecticidal soap.
Lilies’ pollen can stain clothing and furniture. To protect
against staining, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing
pods) found in the center of each flower as soon as each bloom
Look for plants whose most mature flower is in the white puffy
stage (before flower opening).
The plants’ foliage should be dense and rich green, and it
should extend all the way down to the soil line, indicating
healthy root systems. Longevity may be reduced if the plants
have yellow leaves. Check the leaf axils for insects, and
avoid plants showing signs of disease or insect damage.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
“longiflorum” means “long flowers.” It is the Latin form
of the Greek “leiron” (used by the ancient Greek
philosopher and botanist Theophrastus for the Madonna lily,
plants are members of the Liliaceae family. Common
relatives include Fritillaria, Gloriosa, hyacinth,
lily-of-the-valley and tulip.
HOME SWEET HOME
lilies are native to the Ryukyu Islands of southern Japan.
production of Easter lilies began when Louis Houghton, a World
War I soldier, brought a suitcase full of hybrid lily bulbs to
Oregon in 1919 and distributed them to horticultural friends and
Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network®,
Easter Lily Research Foundation,
Flowering & Foliage Plants Book 2 from The John Henry Company
The New House Plant Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
The Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Flower & Plant Care
Photos courtesy of The John Henry Company