Easter lilies are coming up in part of my yard: can I replant them now in another part of the yard?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Debra in Kentucky: Lilium longiflorum are commonly known as Easter lilies or white trumpet lilies. We usually see them in containers, forced into bloom for the Easter season, but in the garden, they are hardy bulbs and mid-summer bloomers. The best time to transplant existing bulbs is just after they have finished blooming and into the early fall before the winter weather arrives. You can move them now, just as the new growth is emerging, but you may jeopardize this season’s bloom. Be careful not to injure the bulb as you lift them from the soil and get them back in the ground as soon as possible. Lilies should be planted in a space where the soil is well-drained and the plant will receive full sun. It is fine for the roots to be shaded but if the lily does not get at least four to six hours of sun, it may not bloom so keep this in mind when you move them. Also remember to leave the foliage alone until it has turned yellow or brown. It may not look great in the garden but it is collecting energy for next year’s bloom. These bulbs benefit from either a water-soluble or a slow-release fertilizer. As with any product, make sure to follow application rates. Too much fertilizer can be worse than not enough.