This blog post was written by Cheryl Kellen, Harmons’ seasonal buyer for home and floral
Easter is almost here, and there’s only one flower that can really capture the sacred spirit of the holiday: the Easter lily! The fragrant and pure white color of this blossom has long symbolized the purity, hope, and new life of spring. Its beautiful trumpet shape makes it the perfect way to awaken the new season. It’s no wonder it’s become one of the most popular flowers to decorate homes and churches with during this time of year.
An interesting fact is that the Easter lily came to the US from Japan, just like our cherry blossoms. Following World War I, soldier Louis Houghton brought a suitcase of lily bulbs from Japan back to America, specifically to his home state of Oregon. He gave the lily bulbs to his horticultural friends, and soon enough, the area along the California-Oregon border, which happened to have prime growing conditions for the flowers, became known as the Easter lily capital of the world.
Easter lilies are difficult to grow, and the process to the final product is a long, precise one. The bulbs have to be cultivated in fields for at least three years, during which they require care, moving, and tending as they progress through growth stages. Once the bulbs are ready to be shipped, they’re placed under strict temperature restrictions to ensure they bloom “on time” for Easter, which can be tricky, considering Easter doesn’t fall on the same day each year. So when you pick up an Easter lily at Harmons this year, keep in mind the years of work it took to get that beautiful lily to you.
How to Care for Your Easter Lily
- Easter lilies require a medium moisture level and should never stand in water for a long time so check back after watering to make sure there is no excess water.
- Remove the yellow anthers from the center to prolong the life of the white flowers. This applies to all lilies.
- They like bright areas indoors with natural light but not too much exposure to sun.
- Don’t let your cats near them. Easter lilies are toxic to cats.
- Lilies are perennials. So yes, you can plant them outdoors once the blossoms wither.
- Plant them in a sunny spot with well-drained soil at the same depth as they were in their container. Experts say to spread several inches of mulch around the base of the flowers.
- Whether you’re buying an Easter lily as a gift or using it to decorate your own home, the Easter lily is certainly the most stunning and meaningful way to celebrate on Easter Sunday.
Cheryl Kellen is Harmons seasonal home and floral buyer, and has served in this position for nearly seven years.
Flowers and all things floral have become her passion. She has the job of finding great unique items for gift giving, to enhance your seasonal decor, or for a special event.