This time of year the grocery stores and garden centers are filled with potted Easter Lilies. They will be purchased and presented as gifts to mothers and grandmothers throughout the US at Easter Dinner.
A week later the lilies will have bloomed, their petals will have fallen off and they will be left neglected and forlorn like a prom queen with tear-smeared mascara all over her face and her high heels in her hand sitting on the steps of the gym while her date makes out with the girl that came in second. They will be placed in a shopping cart at the front of the store with a “Reduced for quick sale” sign in front of them.
In an effort to recoup their losses the stores will frequently mark them down to absolute pennies rather than throw them in the trash can (which, unfortunately, will be their fate if YOU do not rescue them). Last year Food Lion gave them away for nothing, knowing that the canny gardening knew their worth. Which is why I walked out of the store with ten of them.
Easter lilies are simply a form of Asiatic Lily that has been “forced” to bloom at Easter (rather than the more normal early summer). There is a healthy, happy bulb in that pot with the Rabbit sticker on the side of it and the jaunty “Happy Easter” plastic pic, and given the chance, that healthy, happy bulb will give you flowers for years to come if you would only give it a chance.
So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go out and rescue as many pots of “dead” Easter Lilies that you can. They are a good and worthy cause, and they will reward you in spades next year if you just bring the sorry looking stalks home and plant them in a sunny spot in your garden.
Easter Lily Rescue Teams are GO!