Hello again and welcome back to the MIFFS blog! With the Easter holiday right around the corner, MIFFS thought it might be interesting to learn more about Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) production in Michigan. According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), Michigan is the highest producer in the US followed by California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
History of the Easter Lily
When found growing in the wild, Lilium longiflorum are native to Japan, introduced to the United States in 1919 after the First Wold War. Louis Houghton (US Soldier), brought bulbs to Oregon and growers quickly realized the excellent growing conditions on the border with California (known as the Easter Lily Capital of the World). After Pearl Harbor in 1941, shipments of the bulbs from Japan were halted, which created an opportunity for Oregon and California growers as demand increased greatly.
Growing and Caring for Lilies
While they can be difficult to grow, the outcome of all your challenging work is well worth it! Easter Lilies in pots prefer bright, indirect sunlight. It is critical that these plants are protected from any drafts or heat sources in your house.
The yellow anthers in the center of the lily should be removed as this will prolong the blossoms and prevent the anther pollen from leaving stains on the flowers or other surfaces. If you do get the pollen on your clothes, do not rub it in or get it wet as this will make the stain worse.
If you have cats, Easter Lily plants, although they are beautiful, are extremely poisonous to cats! Eating even tiny amounts of any part of this plant can have a dangerous effects on cats and often lead to death from kidney failure. So, watch out for your furry friends and place all lilies in a location that will not affect your cat (which can be a challenge in itself!).