When I started working in our family greenhouses 30 years ago, my father-in-law, a respected and renowned grower, shared his floral wisdom. The perfect Easter lily, he told me, is one that when you knock on the door to deliver it to a customer, the vibration of the knock opens the first bloom for them to enjoy.
Along with colored eggs, chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and baskets, Easter lilies are a traditional part of the holiday celebration. The lily symbolizes purity, virtue and hope. As a gift or enjoyed in your home, it is a fitting symbol and tribute to the meaning of Easter — a time of rejoice and celebration.
This year, Easter is Sunday, March 31. Easter lilies make festive gifts. Call your florist or stop by the shop and pick one for yourself. When selecting Easter lilies, choose plants with healthy dark green leaves and one bloom opened with other buds puffy.
It’s easy to care for the Easter lily:
- Remove yellow anthers as flowers open to prevent staining
- Keep in moderately cool temperatures
- Bright, indirect sunlight
- Avoid drafts, heat and dry air
- Keep the soil moist and, well-drained, but never let sit in water
After the Easter lily blooms, plant it in a sunny location 6 inches deep in rich, well-drained soil. They will bloom around mid-June year after year.
An important message for cat lovers: According to the National Animal Poison Control Center, certain types of lilies can cause renal failure in cats that have ingested any part of the lily. Keep lilies out of the reach of cats. Lilies do not pose a problem for other pets or humans.
What are your favorite Easter traditions?