“Easter’s on its way” with many different flowers
As the children’s song says in part “Easter’s on its way” Many of you will be receiving a traditional Easter flower for this occasion. Most Easter flowers can give you additional pleasure long after the holiday. The following are the most popular Easter plants and care tips to keep them around for years.
Blooming plants for Easter usually come with foil around the pot. Punch holes in the foil to match the drain holes in the pot. All of the different plants should be placed on a plant saucer in a room of 65° to 70° with good room light and only water when the soil feels dry.
As soon as possible, pinch off the stamens (the yellow tipped stems that grow from the center of the white flower) to keep the yellow pollen from staining the white flowers. Water when soil feels dry. When the blooms have finished, pinch spent flowers off. These lilies are hardy lilies that you can plant outside. To be successful you first leave the leaves on until they naturally yellow and dry (about 6 weeks) then take the bulb out of the pot and plant out doors in a sunny location 8 inches deep. When outdoors these lilies grow to 3 ft. tall and bloom in June.
Potted Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths
Place the pot in an area with good room light. Follow the same instructions as with the lilies. Plant these bulbs 6 inches deep in a sunny outdoor location. Make sure all the old leaves have dried before taking them out of their pot. Tulips that are used for Easter could be annual and not bloom next year. But heck, just one hole to dig, go ahead and plant, you might get lucky.
These large leaf hydrangeas can be planted outside after the middle of May. Plant them in a protected spot, away from hot sun in the summer and don’t cut back stems next spring till mid-May. They will hold their blooms for several weeks. Next spring; acidify the hydrangea with aluminum sulphate for blue flowers. Leave the soil alone if you want the flowers to be pink. The blooming period outside is June into August.
Some azaleas available for Easter are cold hardy, some are not. Both types can be forced into early bloom for Easter. If the Azalea came from a garden center or nursery store, chances are good that it is cold hardy. All other sources most likely will have azaleas not cold hardy to our area. There are some florists that will have both. You can always call the florist they came from and ask.
Potted Geraniums, Gerbera Daisy, and other Annuals
These plants make pretty gifts for youngsters to give to mom and grandma. They can be set outside during mild weather but should be brought in on cold days. It will not be safe to leave outdoors for the summer until Mid-May at the earliest.
Hardy trees and shrubs also make a great gift for Easter. Rainbow Knock Out with it’s pretty Easter colors of pink, coral, and yellow will provide that beautiful color all season. There will also be several varieties of spring flowering trees that will be in bloom and make a beautiful presentation, that will last for years.
Some Early Spring Reminders
If you winter seeded, no pre-emergent weed seed control until that grass seed has germinated and started to grow.
Don’t prune any spring flowering trees and shrubs until after they bloom.
Cut back all roses (except climbers) to 8-10 inches and take away any winter mulch that was applied.
Use a granular fertilizer and feed your shrubs especially any that are showing cold damage (some brown leaves or needles)
Check your flowering crab, cherry, or plum tree for silk nests forming in the branch crotches. This is Eastern Tent Caterpillar to get rid of them take your hose nozzle and water blast them out of the tree.
Listen to Denny 8-10am Saturdays on Realtalk 1160AM
Contact Denny McKeown, owner of Bloomin Garden Centre in Blue Ash, at www.bloomingarden.com