How to Plant & Care for Calla Lilies


Calla lilies are easy to care for plants that can be grown in most areas of the United States. The calla lily is native to South Africa before being introduced to Europe in the 1600s. While not a true lily, these plants propagate by producing additional bulbs from the original rhizome. Calla lilies prefer full sun and well-drained soil. If left alone, calla lilies will take over the garden space.



things you’ll need:
  • Garden trowel
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
    1. Prepare to plant calla lily bulbs in the flower garden during the spring. Warmer climates can plant in early spring. In northern climates, it’s best to wait until mid-May.
    2. Dig holes 4 to 5 inches deep in the prepared space. Space the holes, if planting multiple bulbs, 12 inches apart.
    3. Insert a single calla lily bulb in each hole with the growth portion of the bulb facing upward.
    4. Fill in the dirt removed from the hole, packing the dirt tightly using the back of the garden trowel. This will remove excess air from around the bulb.
    5. Water the area until you can insert your finger into the soil and the soil is wet to a depth of 2 inches.
    6. Apply a general 10-10-10 fertilizer to the soil at the time you plant and again two to three times during the growing season.
    7. Remove blooms from the plant after they are spent by pinching off the bloom from the stem.
    8. Water the calla lily weekly during dry months. The plant thrives on water.
    9. Dig up the bulbs every fall if you live in an area where frost or freezing temperatures are normal. Store the bulbs in a cool area where they will not freeze.

Tips & Warnings

  • Dig up and separate the bulbs every few years if you live in areas that do not freeze. Save the bulbs you wish to replant in the spring and give away the rest to friends.

  • Very few insects are a problem for the calla lily. Disease also is rarely a problem.

  • Calla lilies are poisonous to humans. No part of the plant should be eaten.

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