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How to Grow Calla Lilies: Calla Lily Care & Planting Tips

Calla Lilies

Calla Lily Care and Growing Tips Guide

Known botanically as Zantedeschia, calla lilies are a favourite flower in summer gardens and cut-flower bouquets. They grow well in borders, containers or even indoors as a houseplant. They come in many different colors and can be quite the attention getter in your garden or patio. Learn more about how to care for calla lilies outdoors and indoors, how to plant calla lily bulbs, popular pests and diseases and plenty more below.

What Is a Calla Lily?

Calla lilies are one of the easiest flowers to grow and they look amazing in any perennial garden, as container plants, or as cut flowers. When it comes to planting calla lily bulbs, you can choose from a variety of colors from pink and lavender to dark maroon, or yellow and orange calla lilies!

What Does a Calla Lily Look Like?

Calla lilies are smooth and have freckled, sword-like foliage. Their foliages are stunning all season and look wonderful in a vase as a cut flower or in your garden outside.

Calla Lilies look

How to Grow Calla Lilies

When it comes to calla lily bulb care and growing, do not be intimidated by their beauty—calla lilies are very easy to grow. They are planted as rhizomes which look like little clusters of dirt. But on each rhizome, you should see eyes or little shoots that are ready to sprout and grow. They need to be planted in the spring after the threat of a frost and will thrive in zones 3-10 but only hardy in the ground in zones 8-10. Plant them in a sunny location or part shade. They like moist, well-drained soil.

Calla Lilies

Growing Calla Lilies in Containers

If you want a jump start on the blooms you can plant in pots indoors in the winter or early spring and then bring them out to the warmer weather. Calla lilies perform very well in pots and containers. Mix them with some annuals for a dramatic display. Use fertilizer in your containers monthly.

When to Plant Calla Lily Bulbs

When deciding when the best time is to plant your calla lily bulbs, it's important to consider planting them during the spring once frost has subsided. If you live in a colder environment and you're worried about your outdoor calla lily care, plant the bulbs once the soil has reached a temperature of at least 65°F for best results.

How to Plant Calla Lily Bulbs

Plant your calla lilies 3" deep and about a foot apart. Once planted it may take a couple weeks for them to sprout. Once they sprout, they will grow quickly. Water liberally and feed them monthly with fertilizer.

Calla Lilies as Cut Flowers

The calla lily flower is perfect for bouquets, lasting up to two weeks in a vase. Plant your calla lily bulbs in containers or in a raised bed for cut flowers. They look great paired with other lilies, roses, lily of the valley, and many other flowers in your garden.

Calla Lily Winter Care

Calla lilies are only hardy in the ground in the warm zones 8-10. In northern cooler zones 3-7 they may require to be lifted in the winter or you can just treat them like annuals. If you are familiar with lifting dahlias, you will take the same steps storing calla lilies for winter. You will need to lift them after their leaves start to turn yellow and die back. To dig them up gently lift them with your spade and try not to cut into the rhizome. Lift them out of the ground and shake off all the soil on the rhizome.

How to Store Calla Lily Bulbs

You can store your calla lilies in a vented cardboard box or a paper bag. Place them in the box and add peat moss, vermiculite or wrap them in newspaper. Store them in a dark cool place around 50°F. Check to make sure they are not molding throughout the winter. Once spring arrives and no chances of frost, replant them in your desired space. If they have mold or are too soft and wilted, you may need to buy new rhizomes. Breck's will offer calla lilies each spring. They will ship in the spring at the right time to plant for your zone.

Common Calla Lily Pests and Diseases

There are some common calla lily diseases to be on the lookout for. From bacterial soft rot, a disease infecting the calla lily rhizomes by injury, to Botrytis, a fungus that causes greyish mold, and powdery mildew, is a disease that causes the calla lily leaves to curl and appear whitish, usually common in more humid weather climates.

When it comes to calla lily pests, there are a few that could cause harm to your lilies. Pesky aphids, spider mites, and thrips are a few pests you'll want to avoid in your calla lily garden. Slugs and whiteflies are other common calla lily pests that can leave holes in the leaves of your flowers and destroy the appearance of your garden.

Popular Calla Lily Varieties

Calla lily flowers are available in all colours of the rainbow. Here are some popular calla lily types that you can add to your home or garden.

  • If you're looking for a type of calla lily that is vibrant in color, our Red Alert Calla Lilies may be a perfect match.
  • If you're wanting to add some romance with wine-red or pink hues, choose our Frozen Queen Calla Lilies.
  • For orange calla lilies, plant the Beatrix Calla Lily.
  • We also have purple Rio Calla Lilies.

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