Easter flowers bring beauty and meaning to the Easter holiday. Many colorful varieties are used worldwide for gift giving, decorations and church services in celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ in Christianity and in celebration of spring and rebirth.
The white lily is considered the primary traditional Easter flower. It is originally from Japan. Americans started growing the Easter lily during World War II. The flower represents the purity and renewal of Easter. The shape of the flower petals are said to be the trumpet of God calling Jesus to return.
Daffodils are bright yellow trumpet-shaped flowers that symbolize friendship, rebirth and eternal life. According to legend, the daffodil first appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane and it bloomed during the time of Christ’s resurrection. Daffodils are called Osterglocken (Easter bells) in Germany and are the favored flower for Easter decorations in England, where they are nicknamed Lent lilies.
Tulips are the third most popular spring flower worldwide. While it does not actually have a specific meaning for Easter except for wild tulips in the Middle East, it does represent the rebirth of spring and perfect love. An interesting odd fact about the tulip states that the bulbs can be used instead of onions in cooking.
The narcissus was the first flower associated with Easter in parts of Europe. People in the Alps have valued the flower to symbolize Easter for centuries. It is the most popular flower in Germany.
Pussy willows are not a common Easter flower because the blooms of a pussy willow are not always present at Easter. They do, however, play a part in the Easter traditions of Russia, England and Finland. Since palms for Palm Sunday, the week before Easter, are hard to obtain in some areas, pussy willows may be substituted for palms in Easter celebrations.
Spring bulbs faithfully reappear at the most advantageous time – after a long, cold winter. Most spring bulbs are perennial and multiply in number every year. Seemingly carefree, bulbs do require a bit of nurturing ensuring that they perform their very best for years to come.
- Good soil drainage is important to prevent bulbs from rotting so plan your site accordingly.
- When planting bulbs in the fall, add a high phosphorus fertilizer to the planting hole for the development strong roots.
- Bulb foliage will often break through the soil after a few warm winter days. This vegetation is hardy and its exposure to the cold will not damage your plants or prevent them from blooming.
- Fertilize bulbs as plants are emerging from the ground. Do not fertilize once flowers appear. Use a 5-10-5 granular fertilizer to assist in foliage and flower development.
- After blooming, cut back the flower stalk. This will force the plant to put its energy into the bulb for next year’s flowers and not into seed production.
- Allow the leaves to die back naturally. The leaves are vital for producing food that is stored in the bulb for next year’s growth. Cut leaves; never pull, once they have turned yellow. Do not tie leaves as this reduces the leaf surface required for adequate food production.
- When the foliage dies back the bulb is dormant, this is the proper time to dig and separate bulbs if necessary. Flowering will often be reduced when bulb beds become over-crowded. If division is needed, bulbs should be dug and stored in a well-ventilated place and replanted in the fall.
- Fertilize bulbs again in the fall with a high-phosphorus, granular fertilizer.