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Growing Calla Lilies

Growing Calla Lilies

These perennial bulbs require some special care to produce exquisite late spring flowers. This guide is about growing calla lilies.


Solutions: Growing Calla Lilies

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Article: Growing: Calla Lily

Growing: Calla Lily

Botanical Name:


Life Cycle:

perennial bulb

Planting Time:

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


18" to 24"


full sun to light shade


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


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

Bloom Time:

late spring


variety of colors




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.

Interesting Facts:

Calla lilies are often used in wedding bouquets because their meaning signifies magnificence and beauty.

By Ellen Brown

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Here are questions related to Growing Calla Lilies.

Question: Overwintering Calla Lilies

Do calla lily bulbs need to be dug up in the winter?

Hardiness Zone: 7b

By Chelle from Savannah, TN

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Most Recent Answer

By Debbie 2 11/16/2010

They make it through Dallas Ft. Worth in Texas.

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Question: Planting A Calla Lily Outside

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.


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Most Recent Answer

By eileen 7 49 09/05/2008

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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Question: Calla Lily Has Droplets at Tip of Leaves

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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Most Recent Answer

By D'borah1227 3 07/10/2012

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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Question: Sun Requirements for Growing Calla Lilies

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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Most Recent Answer

By joan pecsek 88 545 04/01/2011

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

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Question: Repotting a Calla Lily

I just purchased a calla lily in a 2 quart pot. I put it into a 12 inch pot, but I can not get the lily to stand up after being planted. Some of the lily broke off. I did put water on the roots before planting. Also I put water in the pot after I planted it.

By Paulette H

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Question: Calla Lilies Not Blooming

We have a lot of calla lilies, but few actually flower. What's up with that!

By Doyle

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Question: Calla Lily Flowers Droop Over

Why do the flowers droop over? Do they need to be cut?


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Question: Growing Calla Lilies from Pods

I would like information on growing a calla lily from a seed pod.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By Margie from South Bend, IN

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Question: Leaves Dying on a Calla Lilly

I have calla lilies growing outside; what makes the leaves turn yellow?

Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Myra from Birmingham, AL

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Question: Calla Lilies Damaged by Freezing Weather

I live in the Deep South and have had Calla lilies for many years that I don't have to dig up in the winter. However, this winter we had several days in a row of freezing weather. I cut back all the damage to the head of the bulb. My questions is: Will the bulbs make new leaves (I already had a lot of green growth) or should I start all over?

Hardiness Zone: 9a

By Debbie from Destrehan, LA

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Below are photos related to this guide.

Arum (Calla) Lily

white lily flower with yellow stamen

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

By BessieBessie [188]

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Garden Calla Lilies

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. These too are in full sun, all day, and the soil is very sandy as well. She surround many of her plants with pine straw and it doesn't seem to harm them in any way.

By HICKCHIC3 from North Augusta, SC

Garden: Calla Lilies

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Calla Lilies in Bloom

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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Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

Archive: Leaves Dying on Calla Lilly

My father bought me a potted Calla Lilly plant. It had holes in all it's leaves, even the new ones just coming out. Since then, at the base of the stems just above the bulbs/dirt they turn to mush and fall off.

I water it the way I was told to water it and keep it warm and make sure it gets the right amount of sun, but still it seems to be dying. Is there something to do to save it? It is a wedding gift from my dad and I would sure like for it not to die.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

By gecko_20002000 from Howell, MI

Archive: Garden: Calla Lilies


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

RE: 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

Archive: Leaves Dying on a Calla Lilly

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

Archive: Growing Calla Lilies from Pods

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.