easter lily indoors

I am a beginning gardener. Got an easter lily as a gift last year, repotted the bulb, and now a year later leaves are shooting up. It's about 9 inches tall, looks like the top of a pineapple. Some asexual bulb development occurring near the base.
All of this occurred indoors. The pot and the plant have never been outdoors.I cannot plant outdoors - I live in an apartment.
I recently learned about vernalization and realized that since I never refrigerated this plant, it might never bloom. I'm in Texas - so the plant gets plenty of light and my house temperature varies from 65 to 80 degrees depending on whether I turn on the air conditioning or not. Even in the dead of winter, it's never lower than 65 in here.
Question - now that I've got this "pineapple top" plant...what can I do to make it flower?
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The Easter Lily is a bulbous plant which should not be considered as a permanent house plant. Although they are not fully hardy in this area, Easter Lilies frequently survive for many years outdoors in a protected area near the house foundation.
Easter Lilies prefer to be put in a spot with good bright light but not direct hot sun. The soil should be kept moist and the temperature, particularly at night, should be kept cool (60 degrees F.). If you allow the soil to dry out or the temperatures to get too high, the flowers won't last as long as normal. Lasting time in the home is determined by the number of flower buds present when the plant is purchased. Another thing which can be done to prolong the life of blooms is removal of the yellow tips (anthers) from the six stamen as soon as possible after the flower opens.
If you wish to keep the plant after the blooms have faded and dried up, continue the above condition plus regular fertilization until the leaves turn yellow. Then cut the stalk down as short as possible. Don't try to get your Easter Lily to rebloom indoors. When the weather permits (late May) plant the bulb 6 inches deep in a well protected spot, such as near your house foundation and give the plant ordinary flower garden care. A site in full sunlight would be the best.
The bulb will rest until midsummer when green shoots will suddenly appear. By early September you will have Easter Lilies out in your flower garden. If it survives the following winter you can expect it to bloom sometime in July. lt is usually very difficult to get Easter Lily bulbs to bloom in the home, usually the light isn't good enough and the temperatures are too warm.
This page was last updated April 2003
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Todd Weinmann, Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator Phone: (701) 241-5707 E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@ndsuext.nodak.edu

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