Now that Easter is over, I have some Easter plants whose flowers are gone but still have green leaves. I have been watering them and fertilizing them and will allow the leaves to die back. Can I plant them in the ground at that point or should I dry the bulbs out and put them in the cellar until the fall? Geraldine
You can plant your Easter plants (bulbs) like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and Easter lilies in the ground after the danger of frost, either after the flowers have wilted or once the foliage dies back naturally. While waiting for the danger of frost to pass, keep the plant in a sunny window and water thoroughly when slightly dry.
Make sure to plant the bulbs in a sunny, dry site. Bulbs planted in a moist environment will decay and rot. Plant the bulbs 8-12" below the surface of the soil. Fertilize with bone meal or bulb food. Keep the soil well-watered throughout the season, especially during the hot, dry summer. There's no need to place a protective layer of mulch over these bulbs for winter.
You should get many years of blooms from your bulbs with proper care.
Planting an Easter Lily is a little different because the lily may bloom in mid-late summer of the same year. After the danger of frost and once the flowers have passed, choose a bright, sunny, dry area to plant the lily. Remove the plant from the pot and loosen and separate the root system. Plant the bulb approximately 6-8" below the soil surface and gently pack the soil all around the bulb. Water thoroughly and fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer like Flowertone. Keep the lily well-watered throughout the season. After planting, the old stem will die. Not to worry because a new stem will emerge that may flower in late summer (July-August). If the plant doesn't flower, the lily will bloom again the following June. Lilies benefit from a protective layer of about 4" of straw or mulch in the fall to help them overwinter. A second option is to dig the bulb in the fall and store indoors in a cool, dry environment. Good Luck.
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Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
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