How To Winterize Calla Lily Bulbs


Calla lilies (Zandedeschia spp.) are not true lilies. With broad, trumpet-shaped flowers and a waxy appearance, the blossom colors are white, red, yellow and pink. Originating in South Africa, this tropical plant blooms mid to late summer and is not hardy in cold winter weather; the flowers grow from a tuber-like rhizome which needs winter protection.

Moderately Easy


things you’ll need:
  • Calla lilies
  • Sharp knife
  • Shovel
  • Burlap bag
  • Sawdust
    1. Cut the foliage off the calla lily 2 inches from the ground with a sharp knife after it has suffered frost damage.
    2. Dig around the clump of lilies and carefully work the shovel under the rhizomes. Lift the bulbs up and separate them. Shake off the soil and remove the excess soil with your hands.
    3. Place the calla lily rhizomes in a dry, warm location out of the direct sunlight. Leave them in that spot for two weeks.
    4. Fill a burlap bag with sawdust, vermiculite, perlite or peat moss. Bury the rhizomes in the bag and hang in an out-of-the-way place that stays between 45 to 60 degrees F. Leave the top of the bag open slightly to allow for air circulation.
    5. Plant the calla lilies back in the flowerbed after the soil has warmed up and the last spring frost has passed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Calla lilies grow well as houseplants. They produce tropical, green leaves all year long. Just plant the calla lilies in a large container and place in a sunny location.

  • Calla lilies are commonly left in the ground over the winter in climates where freezing temperatures rarely occur. Spread 6 to 10 inches of bark or straw mulch around the calla lilies in the late fall. Remove the mulch when new growth starts in the spring.

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