Easter lilies naturally bloom in outdoor locations during the warm summer months of June and July. Forcing Easter lilies to bloom for the Easter season requires controlled growing conditions. The plants require vernalization, or cool treatment to the bulbs of the plants. The amount of time required for vernalization varies with the species of the Easter lilies, but is typically a six-week period.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Mix equal parts of the peat moss, loamy soil and perlite. Add one tablespoon of the 12-12-12 balanced fertilizer to the mix.
Place 1-inch of the soil mixture into the 6-inch pot. Set the Easter lily bulb on top of the soil and in the center of the pot. Cover the bulb with another 2 inches of the soil mix. Add 1/2 quart of water. Allow excess moisture to drain from the pot.
Apply a broad-spectrum fungicide to the potting soil. Follow label directions for mixing the water-soluble fungicide. Set the pot in a well it area out of direct sunlight. Keep the temperature between 60 to 62 degrees F for three weeks by setting the pot on a controllable plant heating pad. Keep the soil moist. This method allows the stem and bulb roots to begin growth.
Place the pot into a refrigerator after the three-week root growth period. Set the 6-inch pot on a large plate. This will keep water from dripping inside the refrigerator. Maintain a temperature between 40 to 45 degrees F. Keep the potting soil moist, but not saturated.
Remove the pot from the refrigerator after six-weeks. Set the pot in a sunlit area. Maintain the temperature between 60 to 62 degrees F day and night.
Apply a water-soluble 15-0-15 fertilizer once a week to the growing plant. Follow label directions for making the fertilizer solution. Keep the potting soil moist at all times. Flower buds should begin to show in 12 weeks after removal from the refrigerator. Full blooms will appear two weeks later.
You can delay blooming by placing the plants back into the refrigerator for one-week. Longer cooling times may cause disease problems to the blooms.