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The Best Places to Plant Calla Lilies


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Calla lilies grow from a tender rhizome, which is a swollen root section that provides nutrients and energy to the plants. The rhizomes require replanting each spring since they cannot tolerate winter freezing. Choosing the optimum planting location helps ensure your callas produce their elegant, lily-like flowers.

Sunny Beds

  • Callas grow well in full-sun beds as long as the soil doesn’t dry out too quickly. Best flowering occurs when the plants receive at least six hours of daily sun. The beds must have rich soil, so adding compost to the garden prior to planting helps improve the spot for the callas. Using plenty of mulch around the plants keeps the soil moist and protects the calla roots from the heat of the sun.

Shaded Areas

  • While best flowering occurs in full sunlight, calla lilies tolerate light shade with no loss in foliage. Beds that receive full morning sunlight and light or dappled afternoon shade work best and inhibit flowering the least. Planting in these areas allows the callas to brighten up areas of the garden that otherwise appear dim and unwelcoming later in the day. Areas with afternoon shade also provide protection from the heat and drying concerns posed by direct sunlight in areas with hot summers.

Near Water Features

  • Callas tolerate wet soils without rotting, making them an excellent plant to add color around the edges of ponds and other backyard water features. The higher moisture levels in the soil help fuel the plant so it blooms and produces foliage profusely. Some calla varieties, generally the white types, grow better in wet soils than others, so refer to the plant tag to ensure your choice will thrive in a pond planting.

Pots and Containers

  • While callas don’t flower well as houseplants, they do thrive in pots and containers grown outdoors. Planting the calla rhizomes in rich, moist potting soil provides for their soil needs and a full-sun location for the pot keeps the plants blooming profusely. Since containers dry out quickly and callas need moist soils, daily water is usually necessary to keep the plants healthy.

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