How To Grow Calla Lily

Calla lilies stunning flowers can be found all year round. In the winter, they make stunning arrangements and are a beautiful way to bring some colour into the season. They can be kept in a vase on their own, or planted with other flowers to create a stunning flower arrangement. They are a beautiful way to bring some colour into the season.

About Lilies and Lilium

Lilies are a popular and significant ornamental plant. They come in a wide range of various types, giving them a lot of versatility in how they may be utilised. Lilies vary greatly in terms of height, flowering length, as well as size and form of the flowers itself. Thousands of attractive cultivars have been developed by breeders and are now readily accessible! Lilies are lovely outside plants in gardens or borders, but their economic value originates mostly from their usage as cut flowers, which sell rapidly due to their attractiveness.

Quick Growing Guide

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Botanical Name: Zantedeschia aethiopica

En français: Lys calla

See More Plants in this Botanical Family:


Water: Keep soil moist

Hardiness Zones:

About Calla Lily

The blossoms of the calla lily are large, about 3 inches across, with a tubular shape and a sweet, musky scent that attracts butterflies. The flower colour of the calla lily is not caused by pigment, but by an alteration in the flow of water in its tissues. The calla lily can be propagated by dividing the root or stem. The plant will bloom longer if you root it in a pot of soil instead of potting soil and placing it in a pot. The ideal soil for growing calla lily blooms is a well-drained potting soil, so that the roots are not crowded. Be sure to provide good airflow to the roots of the calla lily to prevent mould from forming.

Calla Lily, also known as Zantedeschia aethiopica, is a member of the Araceae family and is native to South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland. This trumpet-shaped flower develops quickly with just a few key gardening guidelines.

Calla lilies may be grown in pots both indoors and outdoors in your yard. In milder climes, they can be grown as annuals or dug up in the fall and replanted the following year. If properly cared for, each bulb will produce up to six flowers during its flowering season. They may grow all year in warm climates.

Calla lilies can be selected among other summer flowering flowers.

How To Plant Calla Lily Bulbs in Pots

Although you can start growing calla lilies from seeds, they take very long to germinate. In addition, the calla lily seeds have a very low germination rate. It’s best to begin growing calla lily using bulbs.

  • Use deep pots and plant one bulb in a five or six-inch pot. In eight-inch or larger containers, plant two or three bulbs.
  • When planting calla lilies, allow the tops of the tubers to barely stick out above the soil. Although the roots of the Calla lilies do not spread out much, using large pots will help the soil to stay moist as well as allowing enough space for the tubers to spread and make additional plants.
  • There are several sophisticated suggested soil mixes for calla lily, but all require a well-drained soil. I’ve had good results with a basic combination of 1 part garden loam and 1 part peat moss.
  • I’ve experienced excellent results by giving liquid fish emulsion fertilizer monthly. Some claim that cultivating callas using cow dung yields the greatest results.
  • If you live in areas where the high temperature or the frost has already passed, you can plant the tubers directly in the garden. For the best results, bury the tubers three to 4 inches below the surface of the soil.


Water calla lilies well and place them in a bright location which is required for best growth and flowering. Calla lilies need plenty of water during their growth cycle; their soil must always be moist. At maturity, they can almost stand in water.

Remember plants grown in containers tend to dry out much quicker than those grown in the ground. However, the soil should not be too wet since the lily bulb may start to rot. One of the indicators that you may be over-watering the plants is the presence of dark leaf tips.


Calla lilies should be fertilized once a month using a water-soluble all-purpose plant and bulb fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer more often as the flower grows. Stop fertilizing it after the plant has flowered. The presence of black tips on the leaves typically indicates that too much fertilizer was applied.

As floor plants, calla lilies perform admirably. They must, however, be planted in locations with abundant of sunlight. This might be near a glass door or wide windows. You may also utilise calla lily pots to beautify your patios, porches, gardens, and decks.

What’s The Best Temperature Range?

If you reside in areas where temperatures are low, such as the Pacific Northeast you can try selected varieties, which can tolerate cooler temperatures outside. However, when the temperature is extremely cold, over the winter, calla lily plants should be in containers.

Do Calla Lillies come back every year?

Even though the plant may live all year in the correct environment (60-75 degrees), it must die (rest) for two to three months each year. This allows the lily to recover and bloom more abundantly the next season. Proper care should be provided by maintaining well-draining soil and adding some coffee grounds to the plant’s growing container to make it more acidic.

Bulb Storage Preparing Tubers For Winter

At the end of the growing period stop feeding and watering the plants to allow them to go to dormancy. Callas kept in constant growth without a dormancy period will not flower well. They should be repotted into new soil every year.

Cut the plants to ground level and bring the pots inside if you reside in areas that experience cool climate. Store the pots in cool, dark areas that do not get colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can dig the tubers out of the pot and store them in containers with peat moss for the winter.

Can Bulbs Be Forced To Bloom?

The calla lily flower may be forced to bloom as a houseplant at virtually any time depending on when the bulbs are available and when they are planted. Planting the iconic white calla lily flower, Zantedeschia aethiopica, in August and September is a time-honored tradition, and its fragrant blossoms bloom in the winter and early spring. Callas in yellow and pink (or red) are often planted in January for spring and summer flowering.

Planting Calla Lilies Outside

Choose an ideal spot to plant the bulbs.

  • If you reside in a hot climate, make sure you choose an outdoor spot that gets partial sun and retains moisture.
  • If you live in a cooler region, select an area with full sun and moisture.
  • After selecting the ideal location for planting the calla lilies, make sure the ground has been prepared well.
  • It is important to enrich the soil with organic matter, which helps retain moisture. This is very important, especially if you have sandy or rocky soil.
  • Transplant the started bulbs and plants. It is not advisable to plant the tubers directly to the outdoors before taking care of them in the starter pots.
  • Once they have started your tubers, transplant the lilies into the garden.
  • You should do this once there is no threat of frost.

The ideal spacing for these Lillie should be at least 12 inches apart. Remember some Calla lilies can grow as tall as 4 feet with their leaves spreading to one foot or more.

Watering and Fertilizing

Maintain the soil’s moisture level during the growth season. It is also critical to fertilize the lilies on a regular basis using a water-soluble general plant fertilizer. When you detect the blossoms developing, remember to fertilize more than usual. At the end of the growth season, stop feeding and watering the plant. This allows the soil to dry out and the lilies to perish.


Calla lilies must hibernate over the winter in order to bloom the following year. Dig the calla lilies out of the ground before the first frost. If you reside in a cold area, remove the plant from the ground. Grab the plant around the base and rock it back and forth until the earth at the tuber’s base is loose and you can delicately take it from the ground.

To harvest all of the tubers, sift through the ground with your hands or turn it gently with a hand shovel. This will help you locate any little tubers that may have grown underground but did not have enough time to develop into plants. To prepare the tubers for storing, remove all of the plant debris and place the tubers in the sun to dry for a few days. Keep them in a paper bag with dry peat moss. Keep them between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The majority of the tubers grow in bunches. Before planting them in the spring, separate them into single tubers.

Pest Control and Diseases On Callas

Use insecticidal soap or a plant-safe spray if you see minute insect pests on your lilies, such as plant lice or aphids. You may also use insecticide to prevent diseases such as grey mould, rhizome rot, and bacterial soft rot.

Is Calla Lily poisonous to cats?

“Lilies” of the arum family (peace lily, calla lily) possess insoluble oxalate crystals that can
irritate tissues in the cat’s mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus. (Source: CBA Page 65)

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