How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Calla Lilies

Calla lilies have a status as a minimize flower, particularly as part of bridal bouquets, however they will additionally make a gorgeous perennial border in your flower backyard. The most effective half is that these flowers develop from rhizomes that can unfold and fill in over time.

Give them superb rising circumstances, and they’re going to reward you with extra flowers yr after yr. You may even dig up and divide rhizomes to unfold them to different areas of your backyard. 

These vegetation are frost-sensitive and might solely survive within the floor as perennials in USDA rising zones 8-10. In cooler climates, you’ll be able to both develop them in containers and produce them indoors within the winter or dig up the rhizomes and retailer them indoors to replant within the spring. Both manner, these flowers are versatile and delightful. 

Plant Overview


Zantedeschia aethiopica

Native Space

Southern Africa


Full solar, partial shade

Watering Necessities


Pests & Illnesses

Aphids, slugs, bacterial gentle rot, powdery mildew

Soil Sort

Moist, well-drained

What Are Calla Lillies?

Regardless of their frequent identify, calla lily, these vegetation aren’t true lilies. However identical to true lilies, they’re thought of to be toxic to people and pets alike. For that reason, plant them in an inaccessible space to young children and pets. Regardless of that, these trumpet-shaped blooms provide easy class to the minimize flower backyard. They usually’re simple to look after as nicely! 

Historical past

In a harmonious dance, white calla lilies reach skyward, surrounded by their wide, vibrant leaves. The raindrops, like nature's jewels, embellish both flowers and foliage, casting a refreshing aura.
These lilies gained reputation in Europe and North America within the late 1800s.

Calla lilies had been introduced from South Africa to Europe and North America. Although it’s unclear how they made their manner throughout continents, by the late 1800s, that they had turn out to be a preferred flower.

The calla lily has turn out to be related to many symbols, together with purity, magnificence, rebirth, and union. For that reason, they’re fairly common in marriage ceremony bouquets. And this flower can also be the official bloom representing the sixth marriage ceremony anniversary. 

The phrase calla is derived from the Greek phrase for magnificence, kallos. In Greek mythology, Zeus introduced child Hercules to his sleeping spouse, Hera, to nurse. Hera awoke and pushed the infant away, inflicting drops of milk to fly throughout the sky and type the Milky Method. All over the place that the drops fell to the earth, the lilies bloomed. In one other model of the story, the flowers are stated to have sprung up from the bottom the place Hera’s tears fell to the earth. 

Native Space

A close-up of pale pink calla lilies showcasing their delicate half-bloomed petals. The flowers are gracefully framed by the lush, elongated leaves, creating a stunning composition that exudes natural beauty and floral elegance.
The flowers are native to South Africa and will turn out to be invasive in riparian areas.

Calla lilies are native to South Africa, thriving in coastal prairies and wetlands. For that reason, they could be invasive in riparian areas. Within the wild, they can be present in barely acidic wetlands and bogs or moist ditches alongside roads. They will thrive unassisted in humid and moist circumstances and can come again and unfold yr after yr in areas that don’t obtain a tough freeze. 

Of their native vary, when temperatures drop under 50 levels, the rhizomes will enter a state of dormancy. They may stop blooming till temperatures heat up once more within the spring. The rhizomes can’t survive in areas the place the bottom freezes all through the winter. 


In the foreground, two elegant arum lilies stand tall, supported by sturdy stems. The blurred background, featuring leaves and soil, adds depth, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between the floral subjects and their surroundings.
These vegetation are cherished for his or her lengthy vase life and chic single blooms.

These lilies have a novel chalice-like form. In Afrikaans, this plant is named Varkoor, which implies pig’s ear and refers back to the flower form. Whereas the most well-liked and extensively recognizable coloration is white, additionally they could be present in colours equivalent to pink, yellow, orange, purple, navy blue, and maroon. 

They’ve lengthy arrow-shaped inexperienced leaves that may be stable or speckled. Every flower stem helps a single trumpet-like bloom. They’re recognized for his or her lengthy vase life. This, together with the thick stems and delightful single blooms, makes them a preferred minimize flower.  

Makes use of

A stunning display of white calla lilies basking in the warm sunlight. The yellow spadix stands proudly, adding a touch of vivid contrast. Surrounding the blooms, lush deep green foliage completes the picture-perfect garden scene.
The sturdy flowers are perfect for minimize flower gardens, particularly for bridal bouquets and preparations.

These vegetation are completely grown as a decorative. This flower isn’t edible and is thought of to be toxic. Ingesting any a part of the calla lily plant may cause extreme swelling of the throat, which may end up in problem respiration. 

As talked about above, they’ve an extended vase life, and flowers can last as long as two weeks as soon as minimize from the principle plant. This makes them a fantastic addition to a minimize flower backyard. They make beautiful bridal bouquets and flower preparations. 

The place To Purchase Calla Lillies

In the greenhouse, a row of yellow and red plastic pots presents an enchanting collection of calla lilies, each pot a miniature garden of diverse hues. The flowers stand tall, creating a captivating scene of natural beauty for plant enthusiasts.
They’re extensively accessible on-line, at huge field shops, and native nurseries.

As a result of their reputation, there are various locations the place you could find these lilies on the market. They are often discovered at on-line retailers and massive field shops (particularly through the spring).

Your native nursery can also be a fantastic place to search out calla lily rhizomes. These lilies are common through the Easter vacation and mature, already-flowering vegetation could be discovered round that point. 

You may dig up and divide rhizomes from a fellow gardener or neighbor. Since these rhizomes are likely to multiply and unfold over time, if you understand somebody with a longtime calla lily patch, they could be keen to dig up and divide a few of their rhizomes. The most effective time to do that is within the spring, simply earlier than new development emerges


A gardener, clad in a pink sweater and stylish blue gloves, delicately plants rhizomes in the soil. The careful precision in each placement promises a kaleidoscope of colors in the upcoming early spring bloom.
Plant rhizomes within the spring in 65-degree soil temperatures, or begin them indoors in colder climates.

Rhizomes ought to be planted within the spring when soil temperatures have warmed to no less than 65 levels. In areas with a brief rising season, they are often began in pots indoors a month earlier than the final frost date after which transplanted outdoor in spite of everything hazard of frost has handed. This can be executed in hotter climates to encourage the vegetation to flower earlier within the season. 

Dig a gap 3-4 inches deep, and ensure that the depth of the outlet is no less than two instances the peak of the rhizome. When putting the rhizome into the outlet, make sure the eyes are going through upwards, then cowl it with soil. Area your rhizomes 6 inches aside when planting instantly within the floor to permit for room to unfold. Container-planted rhizomes could be planted a bit nearer at 4 inches aside. As soon as planted, water nicely in order that the soil settles across the bulb. 

The best way to Develop

Regardless of their high-maintenance look, they’re simple to develop! They may thrive in your backyard for years if their fundamental necessities are met. 


A cluster of yellow calla lilies stands tall, their graceful petals unfurling beneath the warm embrace of sunlight in a tranquil garden. The radiant blossoms exude an aura of serenity, their hues dancing in harmony with nature's golden touch.
They like full solar in temperate climates and partial afternoon shade in scorching summer season areas.

Calla lilies could be grown in full solar to partial shade circumstances. Full solar circumstances are greatest for extra temperate climates.

In areas with scorching summers or extended excessive warmth (temperatures frequently exceeding 80 levels Fahrenheit), they profit from a break from the solar. For that reason, partial afternoon shade is helpful in areas with scorching summers. 


A pristine white calla lily stands elegantly, its petals unfurling gracefully. Oversized leaves envelop the calla lily, creating a lush backdrop that accentuates the flower's purity. Raindrops delicately cling to the verdant foliage.
Calla lilies thrive in moist circumstances, requiring weekly watering through the rising season.

Of their native habitat, these vegetation could be discovered close to wetlands. It is because they do greatest in moist circumstances. Maintain soil evenly moist however not waterlogged. Overly moist soils can result in rhizome rot and different fungal points. It’s greatest to water as soon as per week through the peak of the rising season (spring via summer season). If the climate is scorching, think about watering extra usually.

In the reduction of on watering through the late fall and winter when the bulbs enter a state of dormancy. When the temperatures dip under 50 levels Fahrenheit, the above-ground foliage will die again, and the rhizomes will go dormant for the winter. In the event you dwell in a chilly local weather that receives freezes, that is the time to dig up and retailer your rhizomes to replant within the spring. 


Dirty hands tenderly cradle a rich mound of dark, moist soil, showcasing the intimacy of gardening. In the background, a blurred ground hints at the vast potential of the cultivated landscape.
These lilies thrive in organically wealthy, well-drained, and barely acidic soil.

Calla lilies want organically wealthy soils. This may be achieved by including compost or different natural matter to your planting web site. Including compost can even assist with moisture retention.

Though the soil ought to be moist, it shouldn’t be soaked or soggy, so ensure that you present your calla lily with well-drained soil and keep away from planting them at a low-lying space of your backyard or an space the place water swimming pools (like close to a downspout). Additionally they require barely acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5

Temperature and Humidity

A serene garden adorned with a profusion of pristine white calla lilies, their slender stems reaching skyward. The surrounding foliage, rich and verdant, forms a picturesque tableau, showcasing the timeless elegance of nature's own masterpiece.
They thrive in temperatures of 60-80°F with humid, moist circumstances.

The perfect temperature through the lively rising season is 60-80 levels Fahrenheit. The mix of heat climate, constant moisture, and delicate humidity will produce comfortable and wholesome vegetation with loads of blooms. Quite the opposite, they may battle in overly dry and drought circumstances. They don’t seem to be thought of to be drought tolerant and want common water to outlive. 

These vegetation are perennial in areas the place the bottom doesn’t freeze within the winter. In the event you dwell in a rising zone that receives a tough freeze, you’ll need to dig up your calla lily rhizomes, retailer them indoors over the winter, and plant them out once more within the spring, identical to you’ll for Canna lilies.  


A woman in a yellow plaid shirt and fashionable green gloves grips a measuring cup filled with liquid mineral fertilizer. With precision, she skillfully pours the nutrient-rich liquid from the cup into a bright orange container.
Non-obligatory fertilization could be executed with a phosphorus-rich liquid fertilizer in spring.

Fertilizing is non-compulsory. Nevertheless, in case you want to encourage blooms or have beforehand had points together with your calla lily producing blooms, use a liquid fertilizer barely larger in phosphorus. Comply with the applying instructions on the packaging and apply in spring after new development has appeared.

In the event you’d prefer to forgo artificial fertilizer altogether, apply a recent layer of compost in early spring. Fertilizing through the fall and winter is pointless and might harm your rhizomes as they require a relaxation interval. 


Tender care unfolds as skilled hands, wielding pruning shears, snip away a lily stem. Against the backdrop of a lush garden, the meticulous deadheading ritual unfolds, promising renewed energy and vibrant blooms in the seasons to come.
Common deadheading promotes extra blooms and extends the vase lifetime of minimize flowers.

Common deadheading will encourage extra blooms. They make stunning minimize flowers that may final as much as 2 weeks in a vase, that means that deadheading can do double obligation and end in a gorgeous do-it-yourself bouquet.

Minimize flowers on the base of the principle stem the place it meets the foliage development. Ideally, minimize your flowers simply earlier than they’ve absolutely opened for the longest vase life. This can encourage your calla lily to proceed to bloom all through the summer season. 

Rising in Containers

A vibrant yellow calla lily in exquisite detail, showcasing its delicate petals and intricate curves. The brilliant color pops against a softly blurred background, revealing foliage that accentuates the flower's natural beauty.
Calla lilies thrive in containers, which is nice in areas the place they will’t develop as perennials.

Sure, calla lilies could be grown in containers. This may be superb for areas the place they will’t be grown as perennials outdoor. Then, you’ll be able to simply convey your pots inside in winter and put them again outdoors within the spring. 

When rising in containers, make sure the soil is well-draining. Most potting mixes are supposed to maintain onto moisture, which may hurt your vegetation. You may add sand or perlite to extend the drainage of your potting soil combine. All the time guarantee your container has drainage holes so water doesn’t pool on the backside. 


On a rustic wooden table, a tub of calla lily rhizomes sits. Beside the tub, pots and plant label sticks wait patiently for their role in this horticultural story. Another cluster of rhizomes completes the tableau.
Divide rhizomes each three years for optimum development and blooming.

You may develop them from seed, however it may possibly take as much as three years from seed to first bloom. For that reason, the popular propagation technique is by dividing already-existing rhizomes.

Calla lily rhizomes can be dug up and divided within the spring earlier than new development emerges. Through the years, the rhizomes will unfold and multiply. They will then be dug up and divided once more each three years. 

Widespread Issues

These vegetation are comparatively low upkeep and trouble-free, however some points can come up because of less-than-ideal circumstances. Learn on to study concerning the indicators and signs to be looking out for and the way to handle and proper these points. 

Lack of Flowers

A calla lily plant showcases a lush cluster of green leaves. Despite the abundance of foliage, this calla lily plant showcases only one exquisite bloom, making it a solitary yet striking presence.
Inadequate daylight and extra nitrogen are frequent causes for a calla lily not blooming.

There are two primary causes that your calla lily will not be blooming. Whether it is planted in an excessive amount of shade, the vegetation won’t be able to acquire sufficient power to provide blooms. The vegetation can even be stunted, indicating they don’t seem to be receiving sufficient mild. To appropriate this situation, watch for the spring, dig up the rhizomes, and replant them in an space with extra daylight.

One other reason behind a scarcity of flowers is an excessive amount of nitrogen, both naturally occurring within the soil or an excessive amount of nitrogen added through a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer. In case your calla lily has lush, full, vibrant inexperienced foliage and appears in any other case wholesome, then an excessive amount of nitrogen could possibly be the problem. The addition of a fertilizer larger in phosphorus will encourage flowers. 

Drooping Flowers

A wilted calla lily plant, its once vibrant pink flowers now shriveled, reaches towards the warm sunlight. The faded beauty of the calla lily serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of water.
Verify the soil moisture to revive drooping calla lily flowers.

In case your calla lily is flowering, however the flowers are drooping, this may be brought on by both over or underwatering. To find out which situation you will have at hand, push your finger no less than two inches into the soil surrounding your lily. If the soil feels absolutely saturated and moist, you could be overwatering.

They like moist soil however not overly moist or waterlogged circumstances. Again off watering and let the soil dry fully earlier than you resume watering once more. If the soil surrounding your calla lily is bone dry, you’ll need to extend the watering frequency. 


A close-up of a plant stem reveals a burgeoning aphid infestation, with tiny yellow-bodied insects clustered together. These small, yellow pests are feeding on the plant's sap, potentially causing harm to its overall health and growth.
Aphids on vegetation could be eliminated by utilizing a powerful hose blast.

Aphids are a typical soft-bodied insect pest that may afflict many vegetation, together with calla lilies. A powerful blast from the hose can knock them off the plant, and this technique is efficient when caught early sufficient. Nevertheless, neem oil or insecticidal cleaning soap can assist take away aphids if an excessive outbreak happens. Keep away from spraying the flowers to restrict publicity to pollinating bugs and focus these sprays on the foliage. 

Slugs want moist circumstances and might conceal below logs and rocks, amongst piles of leaf particles, and even in mulch. Slugs are land-dwelling mollusks, and they’re largely lively at evening. They feed on plant matter, and their harm is definitely identifiable by the ragged holes they depart behind within the foliage. Slime trails are one other indicator that slugs are the issue. 

When slug populations are low, you’ll be able to hand-pick them out of your vegetation. For a extra hands-off strategy, you should utilize slug traps. Copper strip obstacles might assist deter slugs. Natural slug/snail baits will draw the slugs to the bait and away out of your vegetation. 


A close-up of the intricate details of a leaf reveals the insidious presence of powdery mildew. The powdery mildew's powdery texture on the leaf's surface reflects its parasitic nature, compromising the leaf's vitality and overall plant well-being.
Bacterial gentle rot causes moist, cream, or tan-colored rotted plant tissue.

Bacterial gentle rot signs embody rotted tissues which might be moist, cream, or tan-colored and gentle. Rot begins on the rhizome floor and progresses inward. As its identify would recommend, this illness is brought on by a micro organism that thrives in very moist soil circumstances.

A preventative measure is offering well-draining soil to restrict the best circumstances for this micro organism to develop. As soon as bacterial gentle rot has contaminated plant tissue, there isn’t any remedy. Take away and eliminate contaminated plant materials; don’t compost it, as you danger spreading the micro organism round your backyard.

Powdery mildew is a white powdery substance that assaults many vegetation within the backyard. It may be recognized by the pale, powdery coating that seems on the leaves, adopted by yellowing foliage that ultimately dies. Powdery mildew thrives in damp, cool circumstances. 

Within the case of powdery mildew, preventative measures are key. Spacing vegetation additional aside can assist improve air circulation, and air is the enemy of damp circumstances. You’ll additionally need to keep away from overhead watering by utilizing drip irrigation or soaker hoses. Neem oil or a copper-based fungicide could be utilized to knock down fungal infections if they’re extreme.

Limiting the period of time your foliage spends moist will lower the circumstances wanted for powdery mildew to thrive. If caught early, you’ll be able to take away diseased foliage to forestall it from spreading additional on the plant or to surrounding vegetation. 

Incessantly Requested Questions

Sure, they’re perennial in USDA rising zones 8-10. They are often grown as an annual in cooler climates or dug up within the fall, saved indoors, and replanted within the spring.

They are often grown in each full solar and partial shade circumstances.

They’re superb for planting in pots and do exactly in addition to they’d within the floor supplied the container is large enough.

Sure, common deadheading encourages the vegetation to focus their power on producing extra blooms moderately than producing seed pods.

Last Ideas

Calla lilies provide a surprising and chic bloom within the backyard with ease and low upkeep. This perennial will return yr after yr and proceed to unfold, too! They are often loved within the backyard and make a gorgeous, long-lived minimize flower you’ll be able to convey into your property. 

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