What To Do With Your Easter Plants
Easter plants produce some of the most beautiful blossoms, but they are often neglected.
Many people overlook their Easter blooms when preparing their summer gardens.
Lilies, daffodils, tulips, azaleas and hyacinths are common varieties of Easter plants.
Each of these flowers can be planted outdoors and will thrive summer to summer. The key is knowing when to plant them.
Caring for Your Potted Plants
Easter plants are forced to blossom in the spring but may flower a second time during the summer. In order to get the plants to bloom again, provide the same care they received previously.
Keeping your flowers healthy will ensure they are strong enough for replanting. This means providing an environment that is as close to the outdoors as possible.
Place your pots in an area where they can soak up plenty of sunshine.
If your Easter plants do not have adequate drainage, their growth can be stunted. Be sure to allow any excess water to drain properly. Many Easter flowers come in pots that have been lined with foil.
If this is the case, make a hole in the bottom of the foil so extra water doesn’t collect there. Your plants will also need to be watered regularly. The soil should feel moist every day, but it shouldn’t be flooded.
Once the blooms on your plants fade, cut them from the stalk. The leaves on the stalk will eventually turn yellow. When this occurs, slowly decrease the amount of water you give the plant.
You should be barely getting the soil moist every week or so. Watering the plant lightly will prevent the bulb from becoming too dry.
Keep the plant in the pot, and place it in a cool place that receives a moderate amount of light. After there is no more risk of frost, you can plant the flower outside.
You can also prepare your bulbs for reproduction by keeping them indoors for the summer. While the blooms are present, lightly fertilize your plant, and keep it in partial sunlight.
After the leaves turn yellow, cut them off, and remove the bulbs from the soil. Place the bulbs in a netlike bag, and hang the bag in a cool, dry place.
You can replant the bulbs in the fall. Because lilies can be temperamental, this method may not work for this plant.
Time to Plant
When planting your Easter flowers outside, choose a location that receives plenty of sun. The ideal spot should provide shade for the roots but sunlight for the blossoms.
Choose soil that is rich and drains well. You can create your own model soil by combining equal parts of perlite, peat moss and organic soil. Some planting mixes also work well.
Once you prepare your soil, you can plant the bulbs directly or set the pot into the earth.
If you plant the bulbs, place them approximately one foot apart. They should be set at least three inches below the surface of the soil. You will need to layer another three inches of dirt on top.
To plant the entire pot, place it in the ground until the leaves die completely. Once this occurs, remove the plant from the pot, and gently separate any clumped roots.
Place the plant in the ground slightly deeper than how it was in the pot. Completely cover the roots and bulbs with soil.
After planting the flowers, follow these steps:
1. Cut back the stems of each plant to the ground.
2. Thoroughly water the soil surrounding the plants.
3. Cover the soil with mulch to protect the plants from winter winds.
4. Nourish the soil monthly with a fertilizer containing 10 percent of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
5. Avoid spraying weed killer near the plants.
Warm Climate Tips
The bulbs of Easter plants need cold weather to reproduce properly. Growing your plant in a pot will allow the foliage to get energy to the bulb.
Once the leaves die, remove and clean the bulbs, and store them in a dry, ventilated area. Five months before you want the flowers to bloom, put the bulbs in a pot of soil, and water it well.
One month later, place the pot in a cooler. Remove the plant from the cooler about a month before you want to see blooms. Provide light and water, and leaves should sprout within several days.
Easter plants typically blossom in the middle of the summer season. To allow shoots to sprout, remove the mulch in the springtime.
Feed the soil with a fertilizer consisting of 5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 5 percent potassium.
Taking care of your Easter plants now means enjoying them for years to come. For more helpful tips on gardening, contact Install It Direct, or join our mailing list today.