In this article we will explain how to care for Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), a bulbous herbaceous species of the Liliaceae family widely cultivated in gardens and by agricultural companies specialized in flowers.
Its flowers are used in the elaboration of floral arrangements due to their high durability after cutting, their large sizes, and pleasant fragrance. This species is native to Japan, but its ornamental value has allowed its cultivation in countries of almost all continents.
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Characteristics of Easter Lily
The Easter Lily is characterized by forming long and erect (sometimes pendulous) solitary or very little branched stems that reach heights of more than 47″ (120 cm). These stems develop numerous dark green lanceolate leaves that are arranged opposite each other. The stems, as well as the leaves, have a very conspicuous green color.
The leaves are +/- 6″ (15 cm) long by +/- 1.5 (4 cm) wide with a rounded or acute apex, a very conspicuous central nerve is observed, they are sheathing (no petiole; they wrap around the stem) and are slightly pendulous, that is, they fold downwards. In addition, the alternation of leaves is not uniform because if we look from the apex of the stem there are leaves arranged towards different regions similar to a rosette.
The flowers are the main attraction of the species due to their large size and a pleasant aroma. They appear at the apex of the stems where they can form from 1-5; generally, they open from 1-2 at the same time that they will be renewed by the following flower buds in formation. They are bell-shaped with the corolla formed by 6 petals that fold backward in their upper-middle region. The coloration of the corolla is white with greenish tones (observable lines in the floral throat) in the basal zone. In the center of the flower are projected 4-6 stamens and a globular and multilobed central stigma in the very sticky apex.
How to Care for Easter Lily
Lilium longiflorum is mainly cultivated in temperate countries, but it adapts very well to cultivation in the tropics. Its care is minimal and therefore it is recommended for people without experience in the cultivation of bulbous plants.
Here is how to care for Easter lily:
How to Care for Easter Lily – Lighting
It requires plenty of lighting to grow and flower, but should not be exposed to direct sun. This plant in tropical climates should be grown under shade screens or light foliage trees that filter sunlight. In temperate climates, it tolerates direct sun in seasons other than summer. It is very important for the care of the Easter lily to pay attention to the light it receives.
Grows very well in cool or warm climates where temperatures do not exceed 95°F (35⁰C) or drop below 41°F (5⁰C). Temperatures below 41°F (5⁰C) will rot its roots and stems, they are deadly.
How to Care for Easter Lily – Substrate
The substrate must be very organic, deep and with perfect permeability, because its root system does not support prolonged waterlogging (root asphyxia occurs and the roots die).
Water regularly to avoid total dryness of the substrate but never leaving it waterlogged. It is a plant that appreciates more the lack of water than the excess.
How to Care for Easter Lily – Pests and Diseases
Not heavily attacked by pests, but aphids, mealybugs, and nematodes (attack the bulbs) can attack it. Control pests to avoid suppression of flowering or spread of deadly viral or fungal diseases. We recommend the use of neem oil for the care of the Easter lily.
Propagation of Easter Lily
Very simple from the division of new bulbs originating from the sides of the central bulb.