Your Guide to Popular Easter Flowers

Spring has sprung, and there's no better way to celebrate than with beautiful spring blooms.

Cut daffodils
Photo: Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

Easter signals a time of year when Mother Nature recharges, which is certainly a cause for celebration. When decorating the table for a brunch or dinner gathering with friends and family, a seasonal centerpiece really sets the scene. With so many beautiful Easter flowers to choose from, do you go with bright hues or keep it simple and timeless with all white?

It's not a bad problem to have, but all the choices can become overwhelming. You can opt for the Easter lily, which symbolizes purity and peace, or go for colorful tulips that are easy to display in a vase and guarantee to add cheer. Then there are hydrangeas—a classic and popular choice—that come in hues of blue, white, pink, and purple. You can't go wrong with whatever you choose because any floral centerpiece makes your table more special and celebratory.

If you're looking for floral inspiration for your Easter table decor, we've got you covered. We asked three floral experts for their thoughts on popular Easter flowers, plus how to pair them with other varieties and how to care for them. Take a look at their suggestions and get ready to wow your guests this Easter.


Lilies in a pot.
Ellen Silverman

Of course, the eponymous all-white Easter lily is an iconic symbol of the religious holiday, but regular lilies look beautiful on a table as well. They stand out on their own, so you don't need to pair them with other flowers. Complementary foliage options are magnolia leaves, silver dollar eucalyptus, or branches (particularly white cherry blossom or crab apple).

For care, cut stems at a 45-degree angle before placing them in the vase, remove pollen stems on their stamen (to reduce pollen dust and a big mess), and change the water every two days. Add flower food, lemon juice, sugar, or bleach to the water to make the blooms last longer, and keep them out of direct sunlight or heat. Don't forget to keep them away from cats! Lilies are poisonous to them.


Tulips in vase
Ryan Gladney

"Easter is when tulips are at the height of their season," says world-renowned floral designer Eric Buterbaugh. "They come in lovely, attractive colors." Tulips are tough to mix with other flowers, as some varieties (including daffodils) affect their lifecycle and make them wilt faster. Luckily, arrangements of fresh-cut tulips look fine on their own.

Tulips are unique because they continue to grow in the vase, so you might have to trim the stems regularly to keep them from drooping. Keep these blooms out of direct sunlight and add flower food to the water for longer shelf life. If you don't have flower food, place a penny at the bottom of the vase. Really!


Iris flowers in vase
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"Irises are some of the most beautiful spring seasonal flowers—they have such vibrant colors," says Caroline Bailly, event planner and owner of L'Atelier Rouge. She suggests pairing these with blooms in shades of blue, like hydrangea, thistle, or anemones.

Unfortunately, irises have a short vase life (about three to five days), so we suggest cutting them fresh in the morning to get the most out of them. Then, trim stems by an inch at a 45-degree angle, remove excess greenery, and add flower food (or a mixture of lemon juice, sugar, and bleach) to the water. You'll want to change the water every other day, too.


Cut daffodils
Garden Photo World/Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

"The yellow of the daffodils makes me think of yellow Peeps!" Bailly says. "I love daffodils because they come in many different varieties and bloom sizes." However, since daffodils emit a toxin dangerous to other flowers, they're best in a vase by themselves, and, like irises, daffodils also have a short vase life.

"Select closed daffodils that are just showing a yellow tip to ensure the longest vase life," Bladow suggests. "Avoid any blooms that are fully opened, crumbled, or browning." Trim the bottom of the stems at a 45-degree angle and place in cool water with flower food. Change the water daily and snip the stem ends to extend their shelf life.


Blue Hyacinths in vase
James A. Guilliam/Getty Images

"They're a beautiful multi-bloom fragrant flower that come in a variety of colors—from white and yellow to hot pink, lavender, and dark blue," Bladow says. "These flowers perform best if you leave the bulb on the stem. Our recommendation is to feature these by themselves—either do a monochromatic mix or blend all of their beautiful colors together to make a spring mix."

If they're not in a planter, remove extra foliage and place them in a glass container with water. Add flower food and change the water daily to prevent a cloudy buildup.


Bouquet with white hydrangeas
Ryan Gladney

This romantic bloom works for all occasions, so Easter is a great time to put hydrangeas on display. "The hydrangea stem is thick, so it's important to have a very slanted cut," Buterbaugh says. "A little-known trick: If a hydrangea wilts, you can turn the flower upside down underwater, and it will come back to life."

If you "smash" the stem a bit, it draws water faster, so Buterbaugh suggests cutting and smashing the stem every day to prolong its life. While he prefers hydrangeas on their own in a single color, he also recommends pairing a mixture of blooms in different colors with roses.


Gerbera Daisies in vase
Ryan Gladney

Daisies are great for those who don't have time to carefully tend to an arrangement—they tend to last longer and require minimal care. "Daisies are a great flower for Easter and spring in general," Buterbaugh says. "There's something about looking at a daisy that evokes happiness and cheer. They're hardy, low-maintenance, and well-priced, so a good bang for your buck."

Buterbaugh suggests pairing different varieties of daisies in an arrangement instead of pairing them with other flowers. Place them in a vase with cool water and flower food, change the water daily, and give them a fresh cut at an angle.


These fragrant mid-spring-blooming flowers create gorgeous flower arrangements. "I'm always hopeful that our lilac bushes will be in bloom for Easter. They are the perfect pastel color for the holiday," says lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner. "Stems of lilacs make an effortless arrangement that don’t require any experience." 

"To increase the vase life of lilacs, remove most of the green leaves," Blanner advises. "You should also cut into the base of their woody stem, splitting it to about an inch up, which allows them to take in more water." Before arranging, she recommends leaving cut lilacs in a cool, dark place (in the refrigerator, if there's room) for a couple of hours to soak up as much water as possible.


Pink and white peonies in a glass vase

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"Peonies evoke childhood memories for many people, myself included," says Blanner. "Each May, I cherish the memories of the peonies on the farm where I spent so much time with my grandparents." These aromatic, cloud-like flowers have a short blooming season (near the end of spring for most of us), so we have to treasure them while we can. If you're not lucky enough to have a bush in your backyard, you'll likely find reasonably priced peonies at the florist from right around Easter through the June wedding season.

"They are so versatile," Blanner continues. "You can display them in a vase or basket with or without other blooms. They pair well with hydrangea, roses, thistle, and lambs ear." To extend the life of these fluffy blooms, she recommends sticking them in your refrigerator each night. "The cool temperature extends their life and even rejuvenates them." If there's no room in the fridge, add ice to their water for a similar effect.


Pink ranunculus in vase
Michael Piazza/Getty Images

Often mistaken for near-lookalike peonies, ranunculus are less fragrant, have smaller blooms, and their petals are more tightly bound. These fluffy, romantic blooms bring elegance and style to any Easter table.

February through May is their season for peak beauty and affordability, but, according to Blanner, ranunculus look their best in April. She says they combine beautifully with other blooms and greenery of all kinds, adding, "They come in a vast array of colors that will brighten any day."

To pick the best, longest-lasting blooms, Blanner recommends choosing ranunculus bundles with sturdy, bright-green stems and tight blooms and buds. (Avoid the fully blown blooms, even though they're beautiful at that stage.) "If you change the water in the vase daily, you can enjoy them more than two weeks," she adds.

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