Can Easter Lilies Be Cut Back?

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Pruning can help an Easter lily survive transplantation and freezing winter temperatures.
Pruning can help an Easter lily survive transplantation and freezing winter temperatures. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Easter lilies, also known as Bermuda lilies, respond well to cutting back, but only at the appropriate times. Knowing when to prune Easter lilies helps gardeners successfully transplant flowers from the home the garden.

Choosing a Lily

For gardeners who wish to transplant their Easter lilies into the garden, is it best to begin with a healthy lily. A healthy plant is more likely to have a well-established root system and respond favorably to pruning and cutting back, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Horticulture Extension. Signs of a healthy lily include deep green, dense foliage and an abundance of buds and blooms.

Pruning

As the leaves or blossoms begin to wilt, gently cut them back to the stem. This helps keep the plant healthy and prepares it for transplantation.

Transplanting

After Easter, when the lily stops blooming, plant the bulb and stem in the garden. Dig a hole so the top of the bulb sits about 3 inches below the soil. Plant in a sunny location and cover the soil with mulch, which helps keep soil moist and cool.

Cutting Back

When the stem begins to die back, cut it to the soil level, recommends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. Cover with more mulch to help protect the bulb throughout the winter.

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