Planting Guide - Calla Lily Bulbs
Planting Calla Lilies in Your Garden
Available in a multitude of colors, calla lilies are ideal for use in beds and borders. Graceful blooms twisting, curling and finally unfurling in a delicate open bloom. Take your pick of color to compliment your garden or stay classic in white!
When & How to Plant Calla Lily Bulbs
Although calla lilies are known as 'spring bulbs,' tropical climates in USDA zones 8-10 grow calla lilies outdoors year-round. In fact, they can be planted at any time. In other areas, they can be planted when temperatures rest higher than 55 degrees F (below 55 degrees, calla lilies stop growing). Just make sure that there is no danger of frost or temperatures dropping below 55 degrees in the first 12 weeks after planting.
Although quite hardy, calla lilies can only take minor frost before they are at risk of dying. If you live in a cooler climate where temperatures can drop into the freezing zone, consider planting your calla rhizomes in pots or containers. This way, you can transport them to a warmer area if need be. Potted calla lilies will need to be replanted once a year to supply them with adequate room.
Plant your calla bulbs in full sun or partial shade (a partial shade location is best in warmer climates so as not to stress the delicate calla). When choosing a location for planting, it should be taken into consideration that calla lilies average between 1 and 3 feet high and have a diameter of approximately 1 to 1½ feet when fully grown.
Calla Lily Bulb Growing Guide
Before planting, it is important to properly prepare the soil; adding mulch to the soil will help maintain a constant soil temperature. This will help keep the plant stress-free. Mulch will also improve the texture of the soil and help hold in valuable moisture. Calla lilies thrive in well-drained, loose soil. Once the soil has been prepared, they should be planted at a depth of approximately 4 inches, placed horizontally with the developing foliage pointing upwards. Calla lilies need 1 to 1½ feet of growing space between each plant. After planting, thoroughly water the bulbs to help them settle.
During the growing season, it is important to keep the soil evenly moist but not soaked. Depending on the variety, soil temperature, and weather conditions, you can expect calla lilies to begin blooming within 60 to 90 days.
Calla lilies make wonderful cut flowers, so be sure to cut some blooms to bring inside. Their large leaves make a wonderful statement as well, and supply needed support in the vase.
As with other flowering bulbs, Calla lily rhizomes will spread, as each bulb will sprout more new bulbs. These new bulbs can be dug up and either separated to thin out your garden or replanted in a different location.
Preparing Calla Lily Bulbs for Next Season
Calla lilies, as with most other bulbs, spread by producing even more bulbs. These bulbs can be dug up and replanted in another location. In tropical climates (zones 8-10), calla lilies can be left in the ground over winter without trouble. In other areas, lift the bulbs before the first frost, clean off excess soil and allow them to dry out in the direct sun for a few days. Store your bulbs in a dry location (open paper bag, onion bag, cardboard box, wooden crate – anything that allows air circulation) remaining between 50 and 60 degrees F. Re-plant in spring after the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.