BOTANICAL NAME Lilium longiflorum
(LIL-ee-um lawn-ji-FLOR-um) COMMON NAMES
Easter lily, Trumpet lily, Bermuda lily
Blooms are strongly fragrant, white, trumpet shaped and 5 to 7 inches long. The stems, which can grow to 3 feet high but are usually shorter as pot plants, typically carry three to eight buds/flowers each and are covered with long, narrow (lance-shaped) leaves.
Easter lilies can bloom up to two weeks depending on the number of buds, care received, their maturity at the time of sale and the environmental conditions in which they’re displayed. Individual blooms typically last two to three days each.
These potted bulb plants are available primarily in the spring, forced into bloom be-ginning two to three weeks prior to Easter.
in-store and consumer care LIGHT
Easter lilies require bright, indirect light (no direct sunlight). WATER
These plants prefer potting medium that is evenly and moderately moist; water them lightly but frequently, and do not allow the pots to stand in water. TEMPERATURE
Easter lilies prefer cool environments—ideally 60 F to 65 F during the day and 50 F to 60 F at night. Avoid placing plants near drafts or heat sources.
Easter lilies may be stored in a floral cooler at 33 F to 36 F for three to five days. Extended storage, however, may cause leaf yellowing. When removed from coolers, the plants should be watered with lukewarm water (100 F to 110 F) and allowed to warm overnight in 55 F rooms. HUMIDITY
Mist the leaves occasionally if environmental conditions are dry.
Easter lilies are moderately sensitive to ethylene gas, which can cause blooms to fall apart. Check with your supplier to make sure your plants are treated with an antiethylene agent at the grower or during transportation.
After flowering, keep the plant in a well-lit location and continue watering as the foliage dies. In late spring, plant outdoors. Most likely, Easter lilies won’t reflower until the following summer.
challenges LEAF YELLOWING
This occurs if lilies are exposed to low-temperature storage for too long, if the plants are grown or displayed too close to each other or if root rot is present.
Aphids are common. Control them by washing plants with an insecticidal soap.
Lily pollen stains fabric and skin. To prevent this, remove the yellow anthers as soon as each bloom opens.
BLOOMS Look for plants that have at least one bud in the white puffy stage. FOLIAGE The plants’ foliage should be dense and rich green, and it should extend 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 the leaves for disease and insect damage.
FAMILY These plants are members of the Liliaceae family. Close relatives include tulips and fritillaries (Fritillaria). WHAT’S IN A NAME The specific epithet (species name) “longiflorum” means long flowers, in reference to the long trumpet-shaped blooms. HOME SWEET HOME Easter lilies are native to the Ryukyu Islands, between southern Japan and Taiwan, including Okinawa. COMING TO AMERICA In the 1880s, these lilies were widely cultivated in Bermuda, and the bulbs were shipped to the U.S.; however, commercial production of Easter lilies did not begin until 1919, when Louis Houghton, a World War I soldier, brought a suitcase full of the bulbs to Oregon and distributed them to horticultural friends and neighbors.
Some information provided by:
Chain of Life Network® , www.chainoflife.org
Complete Houseplant Survival Manual, The
by Barbara Pleasant
Easter Lily Research Foundation , www.easterlily.org
Hortus Third, by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
The House Plant Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
SAF Flower & Plant Care,
by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.