Q: I received an Easter lily last week. How should I care for it now? Can I make it bloom next year?
A: Easter lilies are hardy outdoors in Atlanta. Dr. Paul Thomas, former UGA Extension horticulturist, says the best thing to do is to plant them in a spot with dappled shade in your garden when night temperatures are consistently above 55 degrees. The foliage will disappear by mid-summer.
Next year, it will bloom in early June. Your Easter lily was forced in a greenhouse to bloom earlier than it would normally.
Dr. Thomas emphasizes planting in bright shade. In full sunshine, the plants seem to last only a few years. The shade also keeps them from emerging too early. In a cold spring, the foliage will be heavily damaged by frost.