Growing Calla Lilies

These perennial bulbs require some special care to produce exquisite late spring flowers. This guide is about growing calla lilies.
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February 14, 2006 Flag
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Botanical Name:

Zamtedescjoa

Life Cycle:

perennial bulb

Planting Time:

spring to early summer; plant tubers in fall if using as houseplants
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Height:

18" to 24"

Exposure:

full sun to light shade

Soil:

rich, moist, well-drained soil; tolerates areas too moist for other bulbs

Hardiness:

hardy to frost-free zones; bulbs can be dug up and stored over winter in cooler zones

Bloom Time:

late spring

Flower:

variety of colors

Foliage:

green

Propagation:

Seeds, division in early spring, basil cuttings in summer.

Suggested Use:

beds, borders, bouquets and flower arrangements

Growing Hints:

Calla lilies need to be planted deeply for their size. Plant them at a depth of 4 inches, spacing each bulb 12 inches apart. In cooler zones, start bulbs indoors in late winter and transplant them in the spring when danger of frost has passed. Apply a bulb fertilizer monthly during the active growing season. Calla lilies can also be grown as house plants if placed in a sunny window. Most Calla lilies need a rest period after flowering, so gradually withhold water until the leaves die back and let plants rest for 2 to 3 months before resuming watering to encourage new growth.
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Interesting Facts:

Calla lilies are often used in wedding bouquets because their meaning signifies magnificence and beauty.
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September 2, 20080 found this helpful

I am wondering, my blooms turned to big pods of seed. Can I use them for new plant's and will they bloom?

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October 3, 20080 found this helpful

If calla lilys are planted outdoors, should you leave them in the ground during the winter or bring them inside? I live in Memphis and have frost during the winter.

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October 3, 20080 found this helpful

If calla lilies are planted outdoors, should you leave them in the ground during the winter or bring them inside? I live in Memphis and have frost during the winter.

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November 25, 20080 found this helpful

August 17, 2015 Flag
4 found this helpful

Photo Description
We have arum lilies in our garden. I love watching them develop into beautiful flowers, but unfortunately, so does my dog. It is quite the nightmare to keep him away from these lilies. ;-) Luckily I managed to snap this pic before he could destroy the flower.

Photo Location
Waverley, Pretoria

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August 19, 20150 found this helpful

Beautiful picture. Love the close up detail.

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August 28, 20150 found this helpful

What an amazing shot....this would be beautiful blown up to a larger size and framed in a livingroom. Color or black and white, gorgeous!

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April 26, 2016 Flag
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I ordered calla seeds. I received small bulbs some with shoots. The size is about 1/5" to 1/3". I planted them in a plastic tray each individually and covered with a dome to create a medium for growth. I don't know if I did the right thing. I also put them in a cool dark place. I got them in small plastic bags without instructions. Please help. I am starting a garden and probably need professional help. I live in zone 8.

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April 28, 20160 found this helpful

Get the corms (I think) out of the cool dark place and into a pot filled with good soil. Place the pot outside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gym0td2XjDk

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May 15, 2005 Flag
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The calla lilies are in full bloom. Mock orange and white rugosas are perfuming the yard. After a rain it is particularly fragrant around here. These calla lilies seem to thrive in moist, rich soil, and full sun. They almost look like a sculpture, inspiration for a glass blower.

Dineen from the Pacific Northwest

Calla Lilies in Bloom

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May 16, 20050 found this helpful

How gorgeous, they look so exotic.

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May 18, 20050 found this helpful

I actually got a small calla lily plant last summer at a nearby family nursery..the lady sold it to me for 50cents b/c it was near dead.. the 2 lone leaves were brown & it looked pretty hopeless.. I took the chance & put it in the ground where it didn't look like much & even my hubby almost pulled it thinking it was a weed!! Then here we are in the spring & its magically re appeared it's now about 20 or more leaves & 6 blooms!! It's HUGE!!!! I am soo amazed!! All I did was put it in the ground w/some plain old soil!!! I love it!! I agree..very exotic.. which I love since we are going for a tropical look in our yard so it's great!!

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June 16, 20060 found this helpful

This Calla Lilly is so pretty.You did a great job for a dieing plant. I can't get over how good it looks now. You do have a green thumb when reviving plants.

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May 20, 20090 found this helpful

June 22, 2009 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here is another one of my Nana's lilies (we both enjoy lilies). This is a calla lily she just tried her hand at planting this year and they seem to be responding well.

Garden: Calla Lilies

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April 1, 2011 Flag
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Where I am going to try to plant my calla lily is facing west and gets afternoon sun, but gets morning shade. Is that alright for them?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Nancy from Citrus Heights, CA

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful

That should be fine. Callas are the only lilies that will grow in shade.

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June 27, 20160 found this helpful

Yes, thats perfect

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April 11, 2010 Flag
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Do calla lily bulbs need to be dug up in the winter?

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Chelle from Savannah, TN

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April 11, 20100 found this helpful

I also live in central VA--Zone 7 and according to packaging labels the Calla Lilies are not hardy to Zone 7. I did dig mine us the first year (about 10 years ago). What a job!! I decided then that they weren't worth it and I would buy new ones every year. Didn't have to buy new ones because they have come back every year since.

In the fall I cut the old foliage down and just leave it on the bed as an insulation. I have so many now that I am giving them to all our neighbors and relatives. This past winter was one of the coldest in many years. I'll just have to wait & see if they come back. If you live any further north than zone 7 you may need to dig them up or treat them as an annual.

Sandy, Richmond, VA

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November 16, 20100 found this helpful

They make it through Dallas Ft. Worth in Texas.

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June 24, 2012 Flag
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We recently got a calla lily and it has small droplets on the end of it's leaves. What are they?

By Stan D.

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July 10, 20120 found this helpful

In your Calla Lily water is absorbed through the roots and travels up through the plant. Most of the water taken up like this is 'lost' to evaporation. What water is left behind for the plant to use is for tissue growth, etc. The evaporation action works like a pumping station which pulls water (and fertilizer and anything else dissolved in the water) up through the plant. This is how plant tissues function. When a plant grows in very wet conditions, or is watered generously, it absorbs moisture and builds up pressure inside the cell walls. Holes in the leaves are forced open and water may drip giving the appearance that the lily is 'crying'.

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September 2, 2008 Flag
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I would like to purchase a calla lily plant for outdoors. I live in zone 6 and do NOT want to have to bring the plant in during the winter. Is there a calla lily plant for my zone that can be left outdoors? How would I protect it from the elements? Thank you.

Jo

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Anonymous Flag
September 4, 20080 found this helpful

Calla Lily's are a tropical plant and many varieties will not survive zone 6 temperatures ... I've had a few for years and simply repot with fresh soil and a larger pot every two years or separate to have more potted plants ... It really isn't that hard, even for an old geezer like me, to bring them in during early Fall and take them back out during late Spring and they give lots of indoor enjoyment and health benefits during the 'house closed up for the Winter months' :-) The years I did leave some of mine out (I also live in zone 6) they died :-( Check with a local nursery (not a mega store nursery) and ask for honest advice so you don't waste your money ...

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September 5, 20080 found this helpful

I live in Northern CA, and we get frost, I have the small calla lilys out in my yard, and they never die!

Just don't plant in the yard, keep in a planter and it won't take over!

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June 20, 2010 Flag
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I have some calla lilies that have some kind of pod inside the flower. I was wondering I can plant those and get more flowers from them? I am new to this and have no idea what to do and my flowers are all full of pods. Please help. I want to grow more especially since those were the ones we used at our daughter's wedding. Any suggestions will be welcome. Thank you.

Maria

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April 24, 2010 Flag
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I bought a Calla Lily plant a few weeks ago. It's getting yellow and drying up on me. I've kept it indoors, and have been watering it maybe every other day. Should I cut off the stems and leaves now and let the plant regrow on its own? Or should I replant the bulbs with new soil and fertilizer?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By scissors from San Jose, CA

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June 25, 2009 Flag
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Calla Lilies
Calla Lilies
These are my calla lilies! This was taken three years ago. I used the picture to make my wedding invitations. I did them in black and white on brown paper, it looked antique. The callas are beautiful every year!

By Karen from Bolivar, TN

Answers:

Garden: Calla Lilies

That was a wonderful idea and the callas are beautiful. I have some calla lilies also but they don't grow very well here in NC. It is a little bit too warm for them. But I keep trying! (06/06/2009)

By ncgardener

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