Raising Calla Lilies
Calla lilies (Zantedeschia elliottiana) are perennial plants that grow to 12 to 24 inches tall and bear funnel-shaped flowers. Native to Africa, the calla lily is a lot hardier than it appears. It is not particular about the type of soil in which it is grown and can tolerate light frosts. Calla lilies bloom in late spring to early summer and the blooms can last for up to six weeks.
things you’ll need:
- Gardening trowel
- Peat moss
- Grow the calla lily in full sun if you live in a region with mild summers, but plant it in a lightly shaded area of the garden in hotter areas. If you are growing it indoors, place it near a window where it will receive filtered sunlight and keep the temperature between 65 and 70 F in the daytime and 55 and 60 F at night.
- Water the calla lily to keep the soil moist at all times. Empty the catch-tray beneath the potted calla lily after watering. Calla lilies will go dormant if the soil is allowed to dry.
- Fertilize the calla lily every two weeks during spring and summer with a 10-10-10 formula, at the rate suggested on the label. Water the soil both before and after the fertilizer application.
- Discontinue watering the calla lily when the leaves begin to die back in the fall. This will encourage the plant to go dormant.
- Dig up the calla lily before the first frost in your area. Leave it in a shady area for three or four days, until it is completely dry. Brush off the soil and cut off the foliage. Wrap the bulb in dry peat moss and place it in a box. Leave it in an area where the temperature will remain between 50 and 55 F until spring when it can be replanted.
Tips & Warnings
Gardeners in U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness zones above 8 can leave the calla lily rhizomes in the soil over the winter. In parts of zone 8 that receive frost, you can either dig the rhizome up and store it or leave it in the ground and cover the plant with 5 inches of mulch.
All parts of the calla lily are poisonous if ingested.