41March 29, 2018
April 1 St. is Easter Sunday. Part of the tradition of this holiday is giving flowers. In particular, people will give the spring flowering bulbs as Easter gifts. This would include tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, crocus and of course Easter Lilies. These plants will flower for weeks if you properly care for them. If you receive one of these plants as a gift, here is what you need to do to keep the plants happy.
If you think about how the tulip, daffodil, hyacinth and crocus bulbs flower outside, you will realize that these bulbs flower in the cool weather of spring. If you want these bulbs to flower longer in your home, you need to keep the plants cool. If you keep the plants in a warm room, the plants will go by flower quickly. These plants also prefer to be kept on the dry side. If you keep the plants in a warm room and if you keep the soil wet all the time, the plants will go by flower in a few short days. If you keep the plants cool and allow the soil to go a bit dry before you water the plants again, you should be able to get a few weeks of flowering out of the plants. Easter Lilies prefer to be kept a bit warmer but like the other plants, they don’t like their soil to be wet.
One of the things that you will find when you buy or receive any of these plants is the festive plastic or foil covering around the pot. Inadvertently, this pot covering can lead to the premature death of these plants. Most of the pots covering products do not have any drain holes. If you add water to the soil of your plants, the excess water drains down through the soil and the pot cover holds the water. This keeps the soil wet all the time. Constantly wet soil will make the plants die quickly. When you water the plant, you should remove the pot wrap. You can water the plant in the sink and when the last of the excess water drains away, you can slide the pot cover back over the pot. If removing and replacing is a hassle to you, you can poke some holes in the bottom of the pot cover and place the plant onto a plant saucer. When you water the plant, the excess water will drain out through the holes and into the saucer. If you dump the excess water out of the saucer, the plant should remain happy.
People often ask if they can plant the bulbs in the garden after the bulbs are done flowering. The answer is yes. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind. In order for the bulbs to make food and store that food in the bulb for future flowering, the plant needs to have healthy leaves when you set the bulbs in the garden. If the leaves are half dead when you set the bulbs in the garden, you won’t have much success in getting the bulbs to flower in 2019. It is also important that you do not allow the soil ball to fall apart when you plant the bulbs in the garden. Just dig a hole and drop the intact soil ball into the hole. It would be beneficial to fertilize the plants ever two weeks. Once the bulbs have been in the ground for a month or so, the leaves do turn yellow and that means that the bulbs are done making food to be stored in the bulb. At that point you can let the leaves naturally wither of you can cut the leaves off close to the ground.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.