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The Easter Lily

January 26th, 2008, 11:19 AM
In a couple of months millions of Easter lily bulbs will be potted up for sale. This is my plea to help prevent many of them from ending their lives in a garbage dump.

The Lilium longiflorum

The cut flower and potted flower industry mass produces bulbs in test tubes in laboratories. Then they are placed into refrigeration units to simulate winter. Once they are planted in pots they are allowed to grow. When they reach blooming size they are shipped off to grocery stores and florists to sell.

These are beautiful lilies and very fragrant. But usually what happens when the flowers are done, the whole thing ends up in the garbage. :eek: Please don't do that if you get one of these plants. Spread the word to others.

Dump out the whole pot, root ball and all, and replant outdoors when the weather is decent enough (beyond threat of frost), at the same soil depth that it was in the pot. It should stay green all summer, turn brown in the fall and die off. What it's doing then is returning energy back to the bulb for winter food which will enable it to bloom again next year.

But it will not bloom around Easter, it will bloom in the summer, between June/July, depending on the climate.

Lilies like sandy soil that drains easily. It does not like to be in a boggy area, which will just rot the bulb. It likes to have it's head in the sun and feet in the shade and will do well with lower level plants surrounding the base, like Johnny Jump Ups (viola), or other ground cover, low growing plants.

Not really a need to fertilize these plants, but they do appreciate a little bone meal scratched into the soil, or slow-release granular fertilizer. They will multiply readily and form huge clumps in about 3 growing seasons. When they are crowded, dig them up, separate the bulbs and replant at least 6 inches deep.

The neat thing about lilies, is if they don't like the depth you planted them and they want to go deeper, they have fleshy roots at the base of the bulb which can literally dig itself deeper and find the depth it is happiest. :D

So, please don't throw these beautiful plants away. If you don't want, mail the bulbs to me. :laughing:

January 26th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Oh I didnt know that? I have not had too many of the Easter Lilies but that is great to know! Cant imagine how many end up in the garbage!!

CearaQC when its time I will send you some plants if you want or seeds...I had 300 hostas a few summers ago...and they were 300 chuncks cut up with a knife...I have mostly perennials because I cant see spending a small fortune on annuals. For my veggie garden I just go and buy them at the garden centre and plant them. Seems to work best for me as I have tried to start stuff indoors and it is not usually strong and dies.


January 26th, 2008, 12:39 PM
I can't imagine 300 hostas! Holy cow... :laughing: There's one side of the house in perpetual shade and even grass doesn't like growing there. But I have 3 hostas along with some Jacob's Ladder and those are doing great. Would love to have one of the blue leaf Hostas. Mine all are green, one is variegated.

I'm a perennial fan too! Annuals are a pain and the only ones I have are the robust ones that come back year after year by self sowing, like Calendula. Most of my flowers came from trades and gifts. Rest were end-of-season sales at the local garden center. :D

Will happily pay for postage if you don't mind sharing. :D We're in Zone 4a.

I got some species lily stem bulbils from a lady out west recently and just mailed her back the postage she spent.

Gardeners overall are pretty generous people.

January 28th, 2008, 09:31 AM
Last summer I bought a pot of pygmy asiatics in Zehrs, they looked good and were reasonable. A few days later I went there again to shop and the woman who worked in the flower department was dumping the Lilies in the garbage can. Needless to say I was aghast, I asked her why she didn't take the bulbs home and she said, that they were not allowed to, it would be considered "stealing" :shrug:

Ceara, I have either a Big Daddy or maybe a Sum and Substance you can have a piece of, they don't seem to grow too fast, but you are welcome. Let me know. It's early yet, but time to start planning thats for sure.

January 28th, 2008, 11:42 AM
If I was you when watching that woman dump stuff... I would have hung out until it actually went into the dumpster and would have nabbed them all! :laughing::laughing:

Chris I had to look those Hostas up online. OMG!! So huge!! :laughing:

Actually I would love to take anything that is offered. We have 100 acres, I think I can find the room. ;) But yes it's too early to be mailing live plants. :laughing: I'll happily take Daylily tubers, Lilium bulbs/baby bulbs/stem bulbits, perennial seeds and some funky Morning Glories or climbing Nasturtium. Basically anything large and showy. Dwarf plants would just disappear around all the tall plants already established.

In our zone we can't even plant most stuff usually until after the full moon in June unless it's a bulb or climatized for this area.

Well if anyone is interested I can post a list of my goodies that I have enough of to trade. But the majority of my plants are lilies. I'd like to eventually get some Orienpets, more Trumpets, some Martagons and some N American species. The Orienpets and Trumpets can sometimes reach heights of 5-8 feet tall unstaked! And I like lilies because if you plant the right ones in the right places, there can be continuous blooming from early June to September with the heavy fragrances starting around August from the Trumpets and Orientals.

I have a few specialty bulbs from but they aren't big enough to trade until 2009-2010.

"Monte Negro"
"Red Raven"
"Coral Sunrise"