Calla Lily Care

Growing Calla Lily

Calla Lilies are easy to grow and have stunning flowers that bloom from late spring through fall, depending on the variety. They require little maintenance and are easy to care for. Chalice-shaped flowers are often in shades of white, pink, red, orange, yellow, or purple. Flowers bloom on sturdy, upright stems and are offset by broad foliage. A native of South Africa, Calla Lilies grow as perennials in zones 8 through 10.


Planting Calla Lily

Calla Lilies grow from thick bulb-like rhizomes. Plant the rhizomes in the spring and position them so the pointed side is up. Select a planting location in full to partial sun with rich, moist, well-drained soil. Morning sun and afternoon shade are best in areas with hot summer weather. Choose a spot near dense shrubs or buildings that will protect the Calla Lilies from harsh, gusty wind.

Watering Calla Lily

White Calla Lilies, Zantedeschia aethiopica, prefer consistently damp soil and can even grow in bogs. Many of the new colored Calla Lilies prefer to dry out between waterings and grow best in dry, sandy soil. 

Do not water newly planted bulbs until they start to sprout, or the rhizome may rot. Water established plants when the top layer of the soil feels dry. Increase watering during a dry spell to help keep the plant blooming. Spread a layer of organic mulch around the plants to slow water evaporation and keep the soil damp.

Fertilizing Calla Lily

Regular fertilizing keeps Calla Lilies healthy and thriving. Apply a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season. A water-soluble fertilizer is easy to use and can be applied during a routine watering session. Stop fertilizing Calla Lilies when blooming ceases and the last flowers fade.


Pruning Calla Lily

Deadhead Calla Lilies by removing the stems when the flowers fade. New flowers will not grow from existing stems, so the entire stem can be removed, encouraging new blooms. Remove dead or damaged growth at any time.

Caring For Calla Lily in Pots

Potted Calla Lilies are just as easy to grow as landscape plants. Many gardeners outside the plant’s growing range choose to grow Calla Lilies in pots to enjoy the beautiful flowers and easily store the bulbs for winter. Select a container with drainage and use a fertile potting mix that is moist and well-drained. Position the pot in a sunny spot and water when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry.


Winter Care For Calla Lily

Apply a layer of mulch around landscape plants in the fall to protect against cold temperatures. Remove greenery when it declines. Calla Lilies are often grown as annuals in zones 3 through 7. You can relocate potted Calla Lilies to a protected area during the winter or dig up the tuber-like bulbs before the weather turns cold to store them inside in a cool, dry place, like a basement, during the winter.