Calls this week have mostly been about how to handle those Easter plants that arrived 10 days ago. Here are some things to think about. Enjoy them. I hope that you have kept them in the coolest part of the house. The blooms will last longer that way. Now for tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and lilies: keep watering them until the leaves turn yellow and go limp. Stop watering them. Leave the lily in the pot and let it completely dry out.
In early June find a nice semi-shady spot in the garden, knock the plant out of the pot and plant it. with any luck, it will bloom in August of this year and after that, in June. When the bulb plants are totally dry, knock them out of their pots and remove the soil. Next put them into an onion sack or other well aerated bag. You can even use cheesecloth. Now, hang it in the coolest part of the basement or even the garage. Come mid-September you can plant them wherever you wish in the garden. I like to plant my bulbs, even in the middle of a lawn, where I can enjoy them from the window as I have my morning coffee.
No, I didn’t forget those Azaleas and Hydrangeas. The Azalea you received is most probably not cold hardy, so it must be treated as an indoor plant. It makes a lovely green plant throughout the year on the patio or in the house. As for watering, just heft the pot and when it feels light give it a thorough watering. I like to set it in a pot of water and let it sink. Then I know that it is thoroughly watered.
Hydrangeas are another story. I suggest leaving them in the house until the blooms are totally gone. Then continue watering until you can plant it in a protected place near the house. You should be trying to protect it both from the burning sun and wind. To maintain it, be sure to fertilize regularly. Just remember that unless you plant it with a lot of organic, acidic soil, that lovely blue hydrangea will, over the next couple of years, turn pink.