Do Calla Lilies Like Shade or Direct Sun?


Wedding bouquets and household vases frequently hold the large blossoms called calla lilies. These plants with their large, cup-shaped flowers provide elegant centerpieces and vibrant additions to the garden and houseplant collection. Taking care of calla lilies is simple with the right general information about the plant and its growing needs.


  • Calla lilies grow naturally along the banks of Egypt’s Nile River.

    The most common is the white calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica), which grows over 3 feet high with a width that measures 2 feet. It produces glossy, green leaves and large white spathes that span up to 10 inches in length surrounding golden spikes. The plant produces its blooms in the late spring or early summer and thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. Other types of calla lilies include the Zantedeschia dbo-maculata, which produces light cream-colored flowers; the Zantedeschia devonienst, which produces an abundance of snow-white flowers; the Zantedeschia elliottiana, which produces long-lived yellow flowers with golden spathes; and the Zantedeschia rehmanni, a pink-flowered calla.


  • Calla lilies produce white and pastel-colored blooms.

    Calla lilies are easily grown from bulbs in rich soil that has been mixed with compost or manure to provide the nutrients the calla lilies need to thrive. These plants grow naturally in swamps or lake edges and need damp soil to grow. Water them regularly to keep the soil moist. The plants benefit from fertilizer every few weeks during their peak growing seasons in the spring and summer. Use caution when you apply the fertilizer; too much can cause the leaves to burn and harm the plant’s growth. Dig up the bulbs at the end of the season to replant in the spring.


  • Calla lilies like direct sun and greedily soak up the sun’s rays. In northern areas, outdoor callas should be planted where they can receive the afternoon sun. In southern regions where the temperature is consistently warmer, a location where they receive the morning sun is best.


  • Calla lilies are toxic to animals; caution is suggested if your household contains pets.

    Apply the fertilizer sparingly; too much can cause the leaves to burn and harm the plant’s growth.

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