FROM THE DEACON’S “GARDEN “BENCH
Many of you have probably received Easter flowering plants as gifts or adorned our sanctuary with Easter plants which
are living signs of the Resurrection and new life! To insure that your plants remain viable for a few weeks, the following
tips should prove helpful.
EASTER LILIES prefer bright light and moderate moisture for best results. When you receive a plant, punch a hole
through the decorative foil paper on the bottom of the pot. This will insure adequate drainage for the plant when you
water it. Empty the water that remains in the container you place the plant in. As the flowers begin to open remove the
yellow anthers before they turn to powder. Continue watering until the leaves turn yellow, and then cut off the stem.
Place the pot in a cool dark place until weather permits planting the bulb outdoors in a sunny location. Plant the bulb 6”
deep .It might flower towards the end of summer but don’t be discouraged if it does not reflower since the lily will
flower again next year. I have successfully planted Easter Lilies in our church Memory Garden and they flowered for a
HYDRANGEAS prefer to be kept moist at all times when potted. When the blooms have faded, cut the shoots back and
maintain your watering régime. Once the frost danger has passed and the plants can be safely planted outside, select a
lightly shaded location for planting. Since the plants are greenhouse grown, and not nursery grown, the ideal planting
location would be in your foundation planting where they are more protected. An example of this can be found in our
church foundation planting adjacent to the right of the parking lot entrance where two large “altar” hydrangeas have
been successfully growing for many years in a location that receives very little sun. Speaking of hydrangeas, check out
the small dwarf pink flowered variety growing in the Memory Garden.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS that are grown in the greenhouse are not totally reliable in terms of growing in the garden.
However, I have had some success in growing them for a few years in the Memory Garden as well as in Lyn’s perennial
garden. The secret to garden growing is to mulch the mums in the fall once growth has ended and you have cut down
the stems. I use finely shredded leaves or pine needles as mulch and place two to three inches over the plants and
remove it once growth begins in May. Indoor growth of mums is best achieved by making a hole in bottom of the decorative foil in order to allow for water drainage. Do not allow the plant to sit in water. Keep the mums in a cool, sunny, location and keep moist (not soaking wet) as the foliage droops easily when dry. Once the flowers have died, remove them and continue to grow the plants. Once it is warm enough to plant in the garden and all danger of frost has passed, cut the stems back to five inches and plant in a sunny location.
FLOWERING BULBS are probably some of the most favorite plants to give or receive at this time of year. Crocus,
daffodils, hyacinths and tulips must be kept in a cool, sunny location or the flowers will fade quite readily. Always keep
the soil moist but not soaking wet. Let the foliage turn yellow before planting them out in the spring. Since these are
bulbs and need a cold period to initiate bloom, they will not flower indoors again but will flower outside in the garden
after experiencing one winter.
There are several other kinds of Easter plants available as well, but in the interest of saving space, I have highlighted
some of the popular Easter plants which you might have received or given as gifts.
**Remember, that for OUR best growth, the real MASTER gardener is the one that helps us bloom where we are planted
being deeply rooted in the good soil of His Word and fertilized with His Love, Grace and the Holy Spirit!**
By Dave Reville