How to Grow Calla Bulbs

The calla lily grows from a type of bulb called a rhizome and produces very large green leaves, typically covered with lighter-colored spots. The flower blooms from the top of a rather thick stem and sort of resembles trumpet shaped rolled paper. The calla lily belongs to the same family as caladium and jack-in-the-pulpit. Although it is called a lily, this plant is not really a lily. Calla lilies are quite easy to grow and make a spectacular addition to the home or garden. They are also very popular choices for bridal bouquets and cut flower arrangements. The calla lily is a very hardy and strong genus that will grow in more or less any soil as long as the climate is humid enough.

When to Plant your Calla Lily Bulbs

Although calla lilies are known as ‘spring bulbs,’ in tropical climates or USDA zones 8-10, calla lilies thrive outdoors year-round. They can be planted at any time! In other areas, they can be planted when temperatures rest higher than 55 degrees F (below 55 degrees, calla lilies stop growing). Just make sure that there is no danger of frost or of temperatures dropping below 55 degrees in the first 12 weeks after planting.

Where to Plant your Calla Bulb

Plant the calla bulbs in full sun or partial shade (the partial shade location is best in warmer climates so as not to stress the delicate calla). When choosing a location for planting, it should be taken into consideration that calla lilies average between 1 and 3 feet high and have a diameter of approximately 1 to 1 1/2 feet when fully grown.

How to Plant your Calla Bulbs

Before planting, it is important to properly prepare the soil; Adding mulch to the soil will help maintain a constant soil temperature. This will help keep the plant stress-free. Mulch will also improve the texture of the soil and help hold in valuable moisture. Calla lilies thrive in well-drained, loose soil. Once the soil has been prepared, they should be planted at a depth of approximately 2 inches with the developing foliage pointing upwards. Calla lilies need 1 to 1½ feet of growing space between each plant. After planting, thoroughly water the bulbs. It is important to keep the soil evenly moist but not soaked. Depending on the variety, soil temperature, and weather conditions, you can expect calla lilies to begin blooming within 60 to 90 days.

How to Care for your Calla Bulbs

The calla lilies as most other bulbs, spread by producing even more bulbs. These bulbs can be dug up, and replanted in another location. In tropical climates (zones 8-10), calla lilies can be left in the ground over winter without trouble. In other areas, lift the bulbs before the first frost, clean off excess soil, let dry out of the direct sun for a few days, then store in a dry location that remains between 50 and 60 degrees F. Re-plant in spring after the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.

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Learn How To Plant, Care and Grow Magnificent Calla Lilies

Native to South Africa, Calla Lilies deserve a spot in the garden or at home. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, they always provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors and their breathtaking chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a yellow finger-like stalk (spadix). And they are so easy to grow! With very little work needed, they will burst into bloom and add bright notes of summer color to the garden, or to your pots inside your home – provided some basic rules are respected.

1. Choose The Right Rhizomes (or Tubers)

  • Choose rhizomes that are large, firm, and plump.
  • The size of the rhizomes is highly correlated to the overall size of the plant and its blossoms. The bigger the rhizome, the bigger the plant and more spectacular the flowers.

Zantedeschia ‘Garnet Glow’

Zantedeschia rhizome

Zantedeschia ‘Captain Safari’

2. Select The Right Site

  • Calla Lilies grow in full sun or partial shade. Full sun is best in cool summer areas but part shade is preferred in hot summer areas.
  • Calla Lilies perform best in organically rich, moist, well-drained soils. Consistent moisture is essential, but avoid overwatering to prevent rot.
  • Choose a sheltered position and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting.
  • Calla Lilies are well-suited for bog or marsh gardens, for planting near ponds and streams, as border plants or for containers.
  • Some Calla Lilies (e.g. Zantedeschia aethiopica) can be grown in water up to 12 in. deep (30 cm). Use aquatic compost and a 12 in. deep (30 cm) planting basket.
  • Calla Lilies are winter hardy in hardiness zones 8-10 – However, please note that hardiness varies among the species and cultivars. In cooler climates (zones 3-7), the tubers are planted in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed, and usually treated as annuals. However, if you want to save your bulbs for next spring, you may dig them up before the first frost and store them over winter before replanting them next spring. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.

Zantedeschia ‘Fire Glow’

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’

Zantedeschia ‘Picasso’

3. Planting Your Calla Lilies

  • Calla rhizomes should be planted in spring. They may be started indoors as early as a month before the average last frost date (for earlier blooms) or planted directly in the ground after the danger of frost has passed. For early flowering plants at Easter, plant the rhizomes in December.
  • If conditions are cool or soil temperature is cold, delay the planting until the soil has warmed to at least 65°F (18°C).
  • Plant your calla rhizomes 4 in. deep (10 cm) and about 12 in. apart (30 cm).
  • Set the calla rhizome with the growing tips facing up. Cover the rhizome with soil and water as needed. Mulch to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture.
  • After planting, it may take 2 weeks or more for the first shoots to appear. The rhizomes take about 13-16 weeks to start flowering depending upon the cultivar and planting date. When Calla Lilies are planted in the spring, they will produce flowers between midsummer and early fall for 3-8 weeks. Their flowering period depends on the temperature, amount of light and the variety. In climates where Calla Lilies are perennial, they typically bloom in late spring to early summer.

Zantedeschia ‘Rubylite Pink Ice’

Zantedeschia ‘Odessa’

Zantedeschia ‘Captain Chelsea’

4. Aftercare

  • Provide consistent moisture during the growing season and do not allow the soil to dry out.
  • Feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser every two weeks until the flowers have faded.
  • Mulch annually in fall with well rotted garden compost or manure.
  • Remove the flower stems after the blooms have faded.
  • Zantedeschia makes excellent cut flowers and have one of the longest vase life among cut flowers (up to 2 weeks).
  • The flowers which are fully open (with their stamens visible) can be harvested. This should be done in the cool of the morning or evening. The flowers should be pulled rather than cut. Cutting dammages both flowers and tubers.
  • Propagate by division, in spring. Small rhizomes that have been overwintered in pots under cover can be cut up into sections, each with a visible bud. Large overwintered clumps in the garden can be divided by lifting the plant before there is much top growth, and chopping through the roots with a spade and dividing into smaller sections.

Zantedeschia ‘Amigo’

Zantedeschia albomaculata

Zantedeschia rehmannii

5. Overwintering

  • Most calla lilies are winter hardy in zones 8-10, so in these warm climates the rhizomes can be left right in the ground. If you live in a colder area and you want to save your rhizomes for next spring, you may dig them up before the first frost and store them over winter before replanting them next spring. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.
  • As soon as temperatures drop below freezing and the foliage turns brown, cut down the foliage and stems to about 1-2 in. (2-5 cm), and lift the rhizomes for winter storage. If you are growing different varieties of calla lilies, you should label them.
  • Wash and dry the tubers. Let them cure for 2-3 days in a warm, dry place at temperature of 65-75°F (20-25°C). Then place them into a box with barely damp peat moss. Store the box in a dark place at 50-60°F (10-15°C).
  • Check the rhizomes during the winter months to make sure they are not too moist or too dry.​

Zantedeschia Aethiopica

Growing from a single rhizome, or bulb, this plant requires wet growing conditions in order to remain healthy. These oddly shaped flowers bloom in June and July outdoors, but from spring into fall if kept at the proper temperatures indoors. Otherwise, these plants provide beautiful leaves for the rest of the year.

How it looks: This plant grows directly from its bulb, without any stems in between. Large leaves open up just above the soil, and rise 2 to 3 feet into the air as they unfurl. The trumpet shaped flowers grow a few inches or so above the dark green foliage at the top of a tall stalk.

A single bulb will produce multiple leaves and flowers. Leaves are shaped like an arrow and grow quite dark. The white flowers can grow up to 10 inches long each. Every bloom produces a large, single-petal flower that resembles an upturned bell with one side stretched out of proportion. The center stamen is always yellow.

Flowering: The Calla Lily requires no encouragement to get it to bloom. So long as the moisture and light conditions are within tolerance levels of the plant, the blooms will occur without any special attention.

Poisonous for pets: Calla lillies are toxic for pets including dogs and cats if they ingest this plant. Look for signs of mouth irritation, problems swallowing, vomiting or any other unusual symptoms and take your pet to the vet asap to get treated.

Flowering Problems

If you lily refuses to flower for an entire growing season, the problem is likely in the soil. Test the potting soil for pH. The soil pH should be between 6.0 – 6.5 for a healthy plant.

If your soil pH is within limits, you might be over watering. Check the moisture level of the soil and adjust so that it is moist, but never soggy, three inches down.

For a plant with good soil pH and good moisture, the problem may be too little sunlight. Increase its light, but not its temperature. Any changes will require at least four weeks to produce blooms.

The Calla Lily originates in South African swamps, but should be cultivated in a room. You can also put this dainty beauty outside during the summer, if the warmth allows it. The calla lily also captivates everyone, if placed on your windowsill, with its yellow, lilac, white, or pink blossoms.

Plant Profile

  • other names: Arum, Calla, Zantedeschia
  • origin: dry swamps in South Africa
  • height: up to 80 cm
  • cup-shaped blossoms
  • colours: white, yellow, lilac, pink, or orange
  • blossoms between May and August
  • every single shoot ends in such a blossom
  • dark-green, arrow-shaped leaves
  • frame every single blossom
  • predominantly house plant
  • only cultivate in a pot
  • poisonous and should be handled with care

The demanding Calla Lily originates in the dried-out swamps of South Africa. That’s why it also has a lot of location demands, once it arrives in our realms. It must not be outside during autumn and winter, but will find a better place on a windowsill, or table, in a room that’s not too warm. Here its delicate blossoms can impress in many colours. The plant is unfortunately very poisonous and should be handled with care.

This graceful plant really deserves its name, which can be translated with ‚beautiful‘ and is ascribed to the Grecian goddess Calliope. Calliope was also called extremely beautiful in Greek myths. Zantedeschia on the other hand, is dedicated to its discoverer, the Italian Giovanni Zantedeschi, who was a botanist during the 18th century and discovered this bulb plant. He brought it to Europe and cultivated it.

Care

Calla Lilies come with many demands, if you fulfil them, they will grow healthily and develop beautiful blossoms every year. Since it must not be outside during the winter, we recommend cultivation in a pot, that can be moved from location to location. You will have a lot of joy with this plant, if you follow the following care directions.

Location

The intense need for care of the Calla Lily already shows itself when choosing a good location. It’s the first of many demands.

The ideal location should therefore be chosen like this:

  • bright and sunny
  • no direct midday sun
  • warm
  • temperatures between 16 and 21 degrees celsius are desired
  • no cold draught
  • avoid cold win
  • put it on your windowsill or table during the winter
  • outside during the summer
  • ideally in a terrace corner or shielded balcony

Soil Conditions

Since the origin of the calla lily lies in South African swamps, it does not have a lot of demands concerning soil conditions.

Substrate

If you want to choose the best substrate for your calla lily, then there are many possibilities. You can use customary and normal flower or pot soil. Garden soil is also no problem for the plant. The only thing that counts is the substrate’s freshness, since old soil can hold pathogen that the calla lily will not tolerate. We therefore recommend to use high-quality soil that has been newly bought. The soil should also always be lightly moist and not dry out.

Planting Time

Ideal planting time for the calla lily is spring, during March to May, if the plant should be kept outside during the summer. If you are planting a constant house plant, you can also plant Patch Planting

The Zantedeschia is not suitable for patch planting, since it’s not frost-resistant and has to be kept in a warm room during the colder months. There are some of the calla species that can be kept outside during the winter, but the calla lily is not one of them.

Pot Planting

The pot has to be prepared bevor planting, since the calla lily does not tolerate water-logging. To prevent this, you should apply a drainage made of stones and shards above the drain hole. Another layer of planting fleece should be applied above that layer. by doing this, not wet soil can clog the drain and water cannot be stored inside the soil.

After putting in the drainage, just follow these steps:

  • fill half with the prepared soil
  • insert the calla lily’s bulb five to seven centimetres deep
  • fill with leftover soil and press lightly
  • only put the pot outside, if it’s warm enough
  • normally during the middle of May

Repotting

The calla lily should regularly be repotted. Even if it has not grown too big for its pot, you should at least exchange the substrate yearly, so that the plant will get its needed nutrients from a fresh source. Fresh soil also benefits the calla lily, it won’t be as prone to diseases.

During repotting, you should follow these steps:

  • if needed, prepare new pot
  • otherwise, remove the calla lily carefully from its old pot
  • remove all old soil
  • thoroughly clean the pot
  • also wash off the plant’s bulb with lukewarm water
  • zu lang gewordene Wurzeln abschneiden
  • this serves rejuvenation
  • after that follow the pot planting steps

It’s important that you wear gloves during all of these steps, so that the leaves’ poison will not transfer to your skin and cause nettle rash.

Watering

The calla liliy’s soil should always be moist, since it’s a swamp plant, that usually grows in dryer regions, but nevertheless needs moisture. A longer drought is something the plant will not tolerate. That’s why this graceful plant should be watered regularly, but not excessively. As soon as the soil’s surface is lightly dry, it’s ready for the next watering. In doing so, you should pay attention so that water-logging is prevented.

Fertiliser

To fertilise the calla lily during the spring and summer, the blossom time, you can regularly use liquid fertiliser. This should be added regularly to the water, about every two weeks. During autumn and winter, you can go without fertiliser.

Trimming

You can refrain from an elaborate trimming with the calla lily. Parts should only be trimmed when blossoms are withered and leaves start turning yellow. You can certainly cut ff a single blossom with its stem, to put it into a vase.

There are some points you should keep in mind when trimming the calla lily:

  • dry, withered and yellowed parts are trimme
  • stems should be cut closely above the root tube
  • never remove green leaves
  • in these parts the plant gets its power to bloom again

The calla lily should also be trimmed before winter rest. To do that, cut all plant parts above the bulb. Use clean and disinfected tools for every cut and wear gloves because of the plant’s poison.

Winter Rest

The Zantedeschia is not frost-resistant, that’s why it should be kept inside during the winter, if it not already stays indoors the whole year round. If the plants have been patch planted, which we do not recommend with the calla lilies, you have to dig out the bulb during the autumn. If it’s a pot plant, it can stay in the pot and should be carried inside.

During the winter rest, the following things should be kept in mind:

  • remove all withered and yellowed plant parts
  • the bulb can overwinter in a cool room at ca. 10 degrees celsius
  • the room should also be dry and dar
  • lay down the bulbs, so that they have enough space
  • you can put dry turf, or wood shavings inside the intermediate spaces
  • the pot plant can also overwinter inside this room
  • make sure that the earth is not dried, once you carry it into the room

If you have your plant in a pot, it can bloom well into autumn and not all leaves have to yellow. After that, the pot can be kept in a bright, dry and cool location, for example your windowsill in your bedroom or a hallway. Direct sunlight should be avoided.

After Winter Rest

In January, the dug out bulbs can be put back into a pot filled with soil and put into a bright, cool location. Bulbs that have spent their winter rest in a pot have to carefully be accustomed to warmer temperatures again. Plants now have to be slowly watered and familiarised with higher temperatures. You can also start to fertilise regularly again, but not too much. During May the calla lilies can be put back outside onto your balcony, or terrace.

Breeding

Since calla lilies are bulb plants, breeding via division, or seeding is possible.

Seeding

Seeding calla lilies can be quite a tedious process, because even though plants might have sprouted, it usually takes many years until they bloom for the first time. That’s why we usually don’t recommend breeding by seeding.

Division

The calla lily can be bred, like all bulb plants, by division. During its growth time, the mother bulb will develop smaller bulbs around itself that can be used. While repotting the decorative plant during spring, you can also breed it. Bulbs that have been dug out during the autumn have to be divided at this point.

The division of the small bulbs from the mother bulb should be carried out with a sharp and clean knife. After that the small bulbs can be planted, just like the main plant.

Watch out! Poisonous

The calla lily is unfortunately poisonous and should only be touched with gloves, it’s not only dangerous to get plant parts into your mouth. Irritations occur even if you touch it with a small part of your skin. The Zantedeschia releases excess water via its leaves during the blooming period.

  • try not to Touch the poisonous water
  • leads to nettle rash
  • which shows itself as a reddened rash
  • if you keep the plant in an especially bright spot, the poisonous substance will be reinforced
  • the nettle rash will be stronger then
  • that’s why you shouldn’t let children or pets in its proximity

If you have small children or free-roaming pets as part of your household, you should renounce from cultivating the calla lily, out of health reasons. If you still want one, you have to choose a location that cannot be reached by children or pets, so that they won’t touch it.

Diseases

The calla lily is, sadly, quite prone to numerous diseases, which can also lead to a lot of damage if not treated. One of the main causes is too much moisture inside the soil or on the plant. It can also become diseased if you use bad, or old soil.

Fungus, Rot, Viruses, or Bacteria

If you have spotted one, or even more diseases on your decorative plant, you have to act quickly. House remedies normally won’t work, this means that you have to get your remedies from a store.

You should also do this:

  • treat it with special remedies from the store as specified by the manufacturer
  • remove all affected plant parts
  • remove the plant from its pot
  • completely remove old soil
  • clean pot well
  • ideally, also with remedies from a store
  • soil can be disposed of in your domestic waste and should not be used again

If the plant has not recovered after a few weeks, you should let it go and dispose of it. That’s also the case, if you spot rot on the bulb while removing it from the pot. In this case you can immediately dispose of it, trying to rescue the plant won’t work.

Pests

The calla lily can also be infested by pests, this usually happens when the plant spends its winter rest in a pot. At this point most pests will settle on the leftover leaves.

Greenflies and Spider Mites

If you recognise that your plant has been infested by spider mites, or greenflies during its winter rest, you can first of all spray the plant with a mixture of dish soap and water. If this won’t help, you have to use insecticides. You should also cut off all affected plant parts. A pest infestation can be treated well and you are usually able to save the calla lily.

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Calla lily, mistakenly called arum, is certainly one of the most beautiful bulb flowers.

Arum facts, a summary

Name – Zantedeschia aethiopica
Family – Araceae
Type – bulbous perennial

Height – 20 to 40 inches (50 to 100 cm)
Exposure – full sun, part sun
Soil – rich, well drained

Flowering – June to October

From planting to pruning, every bit of attention goes towards helping the growth and bloom of your arum. Follow our advice to produce magnificent arums!

Planting arum

Arum bulbs are planted at the beginning of spring, around 1 ½ to 2 inches deep, from March to May.

  • Space tubers around 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm) apart, because arum has wide-reaching leaves and needs space.
  • Choose a location that is in full sun but stays cool.
  • Don’t plant in very dry soil, because arum requires cool, moist soil.

Alternate your arums with other bulbs that bloom in summer.

Watering arum

Water sparingly at the beginning and then more regularly once flowers have appeared, until the end of the blooming season.

Arum grows very well adjoining a body of water, which indicates how much it needs water.

Like all bulbs that bloom in summer, water in case of prolonged dry spells or heat waves.

Pruning and caring for arum

  • Cut them short before the first frost spells.
  • Do not cut before leaves have turned completely yellow, since this is the span of time when they are building up their nutrient reserves for the next blooming cycle.

For spectacular blooming, add special bulb plant fertilizer.

Protecting your arum in winter

Arum or calla lily is quite hardy even in cool winters. Typically, leaves will stay green until temperatures drop to 25°F (-4°C) for several nights in a row.

In areas that are prone to cold winters, protect the rhizomes with a thick layer of mulch.
The mulch can either be a bed of dried leaves, hemp or flax straw, or ferns.

Tip: Before winter, dig out a portion of the rhizome and pot it in your house, and you’ll have arums in winter.

Potted arum, how to care for it

Once the leaves are completely yellow, you can cut them to the shortest.

  • Remove the bulb from its pot, cleaning the dirt off delicately.
  • Set it for the winter in a cool spot where it doesn’t freeze.
  • This storage spot must also be very dry and dark, for example a small shoebox with a ventilation hole pierced in it.
  • In March, you can bring your bulb out and plant it again in new soil mix.
  • Start watering again when the soil is dry and your arum will bear flowers again.

You can also stow the bulb away without removing it from its pot, but the soil mix needs replacing every two years anyway.

  • See also our tips on all the bulbs that bloom in summer.

Video tips on how to care for your arum, calla lily

All there is to know about arum

This bulb perennial is native to South Africa, not from Ethiopia as its scientific name shows.

Particularly exotic, it is perfectly suited to wet areas like water bodies and ponds, but is also the perfect plant for your flower beds, edges or standalone spots.

  • Alternate your arums with other bulbs that bloom in summer.

Even thought the spelling is arum, it is pronounced !

Smart tip about arum

These flowers are pure marvels, before the blooming is over, cut a few stems off and place them in a beautiful vase!

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
White arum by Sanam Maharjan ★ under license

Do You Deadhead Calla Lily Plants: Removing Spent Blossoms On Calla Lilies

Calla lilies don’t drop petals like many other plants when their flowers are done blooming. Once the calla flower begins to die, it rolls up into a tube, often turning green on the outside. These spent blossoms on calla lily plants are done, have no purpose and should be clipped off. Learn how to deadhead calla lily and the benefits of removing spent blossoms instead of leaving them on the stems.

Deadheading Calla Lilies

Unlike many other flowers, calla lily deadheading won’t cause the plant to create more blossoms. Each calla is designed to create a certain number of flowers, sometimes one or two and other times as many as six. Once those blooms have died off, the plant will only show foliage until the following spring.

So if it won’t create more flowers, why do you deadhead calla lily plants? The reasons are twofold:

  • First, it simply looks better to have a neat and tidy green plant than one with dead and drooping flowers hanging down. You plant flowers for their looks, so it makes sense to keep them looking as attractive as possible.
  • Second, calla lily deadheading is important for growing large, healthy rhizomes to plant for next year’s flowers. Spent flowers tend to turn into seed pods, which use up resources better left for other tasks. Having a bloom on the plant takes a lot of energy, and the plant can use this energy better by concentrating on making a large, hardy rhizome. Once you remove the dead flower, the plant can focus on getting ready for next year.

How to Deadhead Calla Lily

The information on deadheading calla lilies is a simple set of instructions. Your aim is to remove the blossom as well as make the plant more attractive.

Use a set of garden shears or a pair of scissors to clip the stem off near the base. Make sure none of the bare stem is sticking up through the leaves, but leave a stub of stem near the base of the plant.

Coincidentally, if you want to clip calla lilies for use in bouquets, this is the best way to remove the flowers while leaving a healthy plant.

Zantedeschia (Calla Lily)

Native to South Africa, Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies) have become popular garden or household plants. Mainly grown for their magnificent, chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a yellow finger-like stalk (spadix), and their arrow-shaped, spotted leaves, they are not true lilies, but are arum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) family members. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, they always provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors.

Zantedeschia species are perennials in tropical and subtropical areas, and some species remain evergreen year-round provided they are given adequate moisture at all times. There are 2 main types of Zantedeschia:

Hardy Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia aethiopica) or Arum Lilies

  • They generally display pure white flowers and can survive in hardiness zones 7 or 8. They can easily tolerate freezing temperatures. Although the foliage of these plants will die back during the winter, they will survive and will emerge in the spring as if nothing had happened. However, applying an ample layer of mulch in the fall would help get these plants through winter.

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Pink Mist’

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Zantedeschia aethiopica ‘Green Goddess’

Tender Zantedeschias or Calla Lilies

  • They feature amazing flowers in almost all the colors of the rainbow and generally white-speckled leaves. Main cultivars include Zantedeschia elliotiana (golden yellow), Zantedeschia rehmannii (pink), Zantedeschia albomaculata (white), Zantedeschia jucunda. Calla Lilies are generally hardy in zones 8-10.
  • In cooler climates (zones 3-7), the tubers are planted in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed, and usually treated as annuals. However, if you want to save your bulbs for next spring, you may dig them up before the first frost and store them over winter before replanting them next spring. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.
  • Calla lilies range in color from pure white to a deep dark purple verging on black. In between are the colors typical of a sizzling summer: from golden yellow to all the colors in a dazzling sunset such as deep orange, burgundy red or even hot pink!
  • The flowers of calla lilies attract so much attention that you could almost ignore their leaves. This would be a shame, however, since some of them feature uniquely speckled leaves. They look as if someone blithely spattered a paintbrush full of white paint over them.

Zantedeschia ‘Fire Glow’

Zantedeschia ‘Garnet Glow’

Zantedeschia ‘Picasso’

  • Zantedeschia are well-suited for bog or marsh gardens, for planting near ponds and streams, as border plants or for containers. Some, e.g. Zantedeschia aethiopica, can be grown in water up to 12 in. deep (30 cm).
  • Zantedeschia makes excellent cut flowers and have one of the longest vase life among cut flowers (up to 2 weeks). They are gorgeous in wedding bouquets and fresh floral arrangements. If you’d like to pick a flower to put in a vase, remember not to cut it with a knife. Instead, carefully pull the flower stem out of the plant.
  • Zantedeschia grow in full sun or partial shade. Full sun is best in cool summer areas but part shade is preferred in hot summer areas. They perform best in organically rich, moist, well-drained soils. Consistent moisture is essential.

Zantedeschia ‘Captain Safari’

Zantedeschia ‘Odessa’

Zantedeschia ‘Captain Chelsea’

  • Calla rhizomes should be planted in spring. They may be started indoors as early as a month before the average last frost date (for earlier blooms) or planted directly in the ground after the danger of frost has passed.
  • After planting, it may take 2 weeks or more for the first shoots to appear. The rhizomes take about 13-16 weeks to start flowering depending upon the cultivar and planting date. When Calla Lilies are planted in the spring, they will produce flowers between midsummer and early fall for 3-8 weeks. Their flowering period depends on the temperature, amount of light and the variety. In climates where Calla Lilies are perennial, they typically bloom in late spring to early summer.
  • Propagate by division, in spring. Small rhizomes that have been overwintered in pots under cover can be cut up into sections, each with a visible bud. Large overwintered clumps in the garden can be divided by lifting the plant before there is much top growth, and chopping through the roots with a spade and dividing into smaller sections.
  • Zantedeschia can suffer from cold damage, but are otherwise fairly trouble-free.

Zantedeschia elliottiana

Zantedeschia albomaculata

Zantedeschia rehmannii

Calla Lily Plant Care

Home › Planting Bulbs › Calla Lily Plant Care

Plant Some Arum Lily Bulbs For Their Beautiful Flowers

Learn all about Calla Lily Plant Care. Grow Calla Lilies for their magnificent flowers in perennial borders or as a house plant. This easy to grow perennial plant is great for flower bouquets and is popular for weddings. Plant some calla lily bulbs into containers or grow them in borders or near ponds.

The exotic looking flowers of the Arum lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) make it a popular perennial plant for cut flowers. This easy to grow perennial bulb is also a great plant for a border or near a pond. They tolerate a wide range of growing conditions including boggy soils.

Their fleshy, arrow-shaped leaves and flowers can grow up to 3 ft high and the plant is quite fast growing if provided with the right conditions.

Callas come in many varieties and colors. The most common and hardiest one is Zantedeschia aethiopica with its white flowers. You will also find yellow, peach, pink or red varieties. The more compact mini calla lily bulbs (‘Little Gem’, ‘Perle von Stuttgart’) are more suitable for smaller flower beds and containers.

Calla Lily Plant Care Tips

Photo: Nemo’s great uncle

Soil And Growing Conditions

Arum lilies like a well drained but moist soil. They tolerate a pH range from 5.5 – 7.5 and like a sunny to semi-shaded position. If you grow calla lilies in a rich, well fertilized soil you will have great results.

Photo: basha04

Winter Calla Lily Plant Care

Callas have their origin in South-Africa. Therefore they don’t tolerate much frost.

If your soil freezes in the winter lift the rhizomes up in the autumn. Dry them off in a sunny spot and store them frost-free in some moist moss peat or sawdust. Replant the bulbs in the spring at a depth of about 4 inches.

Feeding And Watering

Your callas will start flowering during spring until the summer. During this time it is very important that you feed and water the plants regularly! You can use a general purpose organic fertilizer for this. Once the plants have finished flowering stop the feeding and watering. The arum lilies now enter their dormant phase.

Yellow Arums are pretty too!

Photo: TailspinT

If you are growing callas in a container you can repot them during July. Take the root ball out of the pot and shake all the loose soil off the roots. You can also divide the rhizomes during this procedure. Replant the bulbs with fresh potting soil and over-winter them at 50-60 degrees F (10-15 degrees C).

Photo: jazonz

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Home › Planting Bulbs › Calla Lily Plant Care

Why Calla Lilies Don’t Bloom: Making Your Calla Lily Bloom

The typical calla lily bloom time is in the summer and fall, but for many calla lily owners this time may come and go without a sign of buds or flowers from their calla lily plant. This is especially true for gardeners who grow their calla lilies in containers. It makes calla lily owners wonder, “Why don’t my calla lilies flower?” and, “How can I make calla lilies bloom?” Let’s look at why calla lilies don’t bloom and how to fix that.

Making Calla Lilies Planted in the Ground Bloom

Calla lilies planted in the ground tend to bloom without too many problems. When they fail to bloom, it is due to one of three reasons. These reasons are:

  • Too much nitrogen
  • Lack of water
  • Lack of sun

If your calla lily is not blooming due to too much nitrogen, the plant will grow rapidly and be lush. You may notice a brown edge on the leaves as well. Too much nitrogen will encourage foliage to

grow but will prevent the plant from blooming. Switch your fertilizer to one that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen to make calla lilies bloom.

If your calla lilies are not planted in an area that gets plenty of water, this may be causing them not to bloom. The growth of the calla lily plant will be stunted, yellowing and you may occasionally see the plant wilted. If the calla lily is not getting enough water, you may want to transplant it to somewhere where it will get more water or make sure that you are supplementing the amount of water it gets.

Calla lilies like full sun. If they are planted somewhere that is too shady, they will not bloom. If calla lilies are getting too little light, they will be stunted. If you think that your calla lilies are not blooming because they are getting too little light, you will need to transplant them to a sunnier location.

Making Calla Lilies Planted in Containers Rebloom

While the same things that affect calla lilies planted in the ground can also affect calla lilies planted in containers, there is a more common reason that container grown calla lilies do not bloom. This reason is that they do not get a dormant period in order to prepare for a blooming season.

To make a calla lily plant in a container rebloom, you need to provide them with a dormant period. You can do this very easily. Once the calla lily plant has stopped blooming, stop providing water to it. Allow it to go bone dry. The foliage will die back and the plant will appear to be dead. Place it in a cool (not cold) dark place for two months. After this, bring it back out into the light and resume watering it. The foliage will regrow and you calla lily plant will start to bloom shortly thereafter.

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