Forcing An Easter Lily Into Bloom & Mulching Plants For Cold Weather Protection

Question:

I planted an Easter Lilly in my garden several years ago. But, it blooms in July. Is there any way an amateur gardener can control the blooming time? I’ve been successful getting my poinsettia plants to re-bloom. 

Answer:

  •  There is no practical way to force an Easter Lily to bloom again at Easter.
  • A poinsettia requires short days and long nights to bloom again.
    • You start in October by covering them at night with a box and removing it in the morning.  Poinsettias have a long blooming period, and Christmas is the same date every year.
  • On the other hand, an Easter Lily requires the opposite treatment, long days and short nights.
    • You’ll need ‘Gro Lights’ and a heat source as you begin during the winter months. The ‘Gro Lights’ are essential as they provide the right light spectrum for plant growth.
    • Also, you’ll need a heat source.
    • This leads to the final point as to when to start, because Easter is a different date every year. Your timing has to be exact as the blooming period is short.
  •  Personally, I wouldn’t bother. This is one gardening task best left to a commercial grower.

Question:

What are the general rules about mulching plants for cold weather protection? No one seems concerned about the ground, but I’m new to the area. 

Answer:

  • Mulching plants with straw and other materials are used to insulate their roots when the ground freezes.
  • Fortunately, the ground never freeze’s in the Bay Area, so mulching isn’t necessary. But we do get freezing temperatures that damage and even kill plants.
  • So, we protect cold-sensitive plants with Bonide Wilt Stop and cover them with a plant blanket.

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