The Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum) is an instant reminder of the new life that comes with the rebirth of spring, but don't throw yours out with the last of the Easter eggs! With a little special care, you can extend the life of the blossoms on your lily. When it's finished blooming, either your potted lily can find a space with other houseplants or you can plant it outdoors after danger of frost has past.
Removing the anthers from the plant before the pollen begins to shed, helps to extend the life of the blossoms. In addition to longer flower life, you'll also keep those beautiful white flowers from being stained yellow.
The lily is a bit temperamental and could be called the "Prima Donna" of flowers. It won't tolerate too much sun or too much heat. On the other hand, the Easter lily won't tolerate a draft. However, it will thrive beautifully if you put it near a sunny window where it receives indirect, bright, natural daylight.
Although Easter lilies won't tolerate a draft, they do have a special fondness for cooler temperatures. You probably won't agree to its preferred temperatures since it's happiest when kept between 60° and 65°. However, just let it to keep its distance from fireplaces, hot air vents, and heated appliances and it will do fine at normal room temperatures.
Correct watering is all-important to your Easter lily. You must keep the soil moist, but at the same time, the plant must have excellent drainage. When the surface of the soil is dry, water your Easter lily thoroughly. Then let the plant rest for a few minutes until excess water seeps from the drain holes. Repeat this once or twice until you're sure that your lily is well watered.
Potted Easter lilies can be grown either indoors year-round or planted in the garden when all danger of frost is past. If you decide to plant your lily outdoors, do wait until it has finished blooming. Because the Easter lily is a forced flower, they often won't bloom again, although some gardeners boast of a second bloom in late summer or early autumn.
After bloom, gradually cut your lily back. As stems and leaves of the parent plant die, cut them just above a still healthy leaf and new growth will soon appear. In the fall, you can cut back your garden-planted lily to the ground. In warmer zones (5+), you may have success over-wintering your plant by applying a thick layer (two to four inches) of mulch. Bulbs planted in the fall and those brought in to over winter usually flower in subsequent years during the summer and can reach a spectacular height of three feet or more!