There is always a touch of sadness, or at least melancholy, when your beautiful, potted Easter lilies begin to wither and die. That doesn’t have to be the last of them, however. You can plant them outside to continue giving you joy year after year.
As the flowers fade, cut them off and throw them away. Do the same with withered foliage. Keep the plants indoors until the threat of frost has passed. Water them just enough to keep them alive, but don’t give them a lot of water.
When the threat of frost is behind us, you can plant your Easter lilies outside. It is best to keep them away from the wind and out of direct sunlight.
Prepare your planting hole just as you would for any bulb plant. However, give your Easter lilies an extra boost of nutrition by lining the hole with organic matter and mix organic matter with the backfill. After backfilling, water your new transplants thoroughly and enjoy.
You may not enjoy new blooms right away. It isn’t likely that they will spring to life instantly. In fact, you may see more dieback. If so, just trim it off and put it on your compost pile.
Your Easter lilies should grow just fine. However, they may not regenerate a new flush of foliage or flowers this season, but they should reappear after next year’s last frost.
Many “naturalized” Easter lilies are hardy enough to survive the winter with a little “winterizing.” That includes applying several inches of mulch that you will then remove after that last frost in spring. If you are concerned about leaving the bulbs in the ground over the winter, you can dig them up and take them inside, just as you would do for dahlias or other tender plants.
If you leave your Easter lilies in the ground over winter, it is doubtful that they will be in bloom next Easter. The potted Easter lilies that you buy for the holiday were forced into bloom. When you leave it to Mother Nature, the weather will have to be much warmer than our typical Easter weather for them to bloom.