Everything you need to know about the Calla Lily

The calla lily is one of the most beautiful flowers I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of flowers, believe me (no, I don’t work in a funeral home, I just live with a mom who’s obsessed with gardening).

The beautiful Calla Lily is not considered a true lily, and yet, they are truly astonishing flowers, colorful, beautiful, and aesthetically pleasing. They will definitely add a touch of delicacy and elegance to your garden, and who doesn’t want that, right? Right?

Calla Lily is a flower associated with holiness, purity, faith, rebirth, and youth, so your garden will be pretty happy to have a bush of those beautiful flowers in it.

Calla lilies come in different colors: they can be white, yellow, green, pink, purple, orange, and even black (like my soul … Sorry, couldn’t help but make this joke).

Source: Pixabay

Now, if you’re reading this article, it means you’re thinking about growing Calla lilies and we’re here to encourage you, and most importantly, to make that gardening journey easier for you.

So, dear reader, go on and discover everything you need to know before growing Calla Lilies and turning your garden into the fairy tale dream of every Tangled fan (I’m one of them and Tangled is definitely the best Disney movie ever … I’ll fight you for this, Frozen fans!)

A few things you need to know before planting your Calla lily

Calla lily flowers are some of the easiest plants to grow and care for, which is why they are so popular lately. You can grow them in your garden, but you can also grow them in pots and gave them decorate your windows, which will definitely make your house feel more like home.

Those flowers are easy to grow and do not require too much attention, if and only if planted the right way. With proper planting and proper location, you’ll soon have a river of colorful flowers growing in your garden.

If you’re asking yourself when to plant Calla lily, spring would be the perfect season for that, since Calla lilies need warm soil to grow strong and beautiful. But, if you live somewhere warm, the best thing would be to plant them in fall.

Calla lilies are native to Africa and coming from such a warm continent, they cannot survive winter in the outdoor.

Transplanting and caring for Calla lily

Source: Pixabay

Preparing your soil and planting spot

Before starting to grow calla lily, you might ask yourself this question: what’s the perfect soil for calla lilies? As we know it, every plant requires a different type of soil, with different alkalinity or acidity, and calla lilies are no different.

So, here we go!

It’s pretty easy to grow calla lily flowers, since those plants don’t usually require much attention; but still, that is only true if calla lilies are properly planted.

You see, first of all, you shouldn’t plant calla lily seeds, since they might not bloom, since they don’t have a high germination rate. Instead, it would be better to plant calla lilies’ bulbs.

The soil should be loose and well-drained; and most importantly, it should be fertile, somewhere sunny in cold climates and partially shaded in warmer climates, since too much sun can damage your calla lilies.

Of course, like any other type of plants, calla lily thrive in a rich, nutritious environment. So, if your soil is pure in nutrients, make sure to fertilize it with organic matter (which is the safest and more eco-friendly way).

Also think about adding mulch to your soil if it’s too sandy and can’t retain moisture (which is important if you want your calla lily to bloom colorful and beautiful).

Maybe think about planting your calla lily near a pond or a body of water, since they only thrive in a soil that’s constantly moist.

Planting your calla lily at the right time of the year

You might be asking yourself when you should plant your calla lily flowers, and it’s a legit question. Plant them too soon or too late and you might end up with a result you weren’t expecting.

Since calla lily thrive in a warm environment (being native to Africa which, as we know, is a warm country to say the least), it’s better to plant your calla lilies during the spring, when the frost of the winter is completely gone.

In some warm areas though, calla lily can be planted during the fall. Sweet right?

The best way to transplant your calla lily

Source: Pixabay

The best way to plant those beautiful, colorful flowers is deeply, more precisely, 4 inches deep. Also, bulbs should be at least planted one foot apart from each other to allow for a free and easy growth.

You should always keep the soil moist throughout the whole growing season, and fertilize your flowers using compost, or any other fertilizer (an organic one is always preferred of course) once a month.

Caring for your calla lily

As I said earlier, calla lilies don’t demand a lot of care if transplanted properly into the soil. But still, it’s always good to have information.

You should keep your calla lily plants watered and fertilized throughout the whole growing season, and add some mulch around your plants now and then to keep the soil moist and free of unwanted visitors, such as weeds.

Once flowering has ceased, calla lilies will enter a dormant period during which they shouldn’t be watered nor fed with fertilizer, so they can die to come back even more alive for the next flowering season.

If your calla lilies are in a pot, then move them to a fully shaded area during their dormant phase (mostly the winter) and cease watering. After two or three months, you can start feeding and watering your flowers again!

Caring for your calla lily during the winter

During the winter, you should completely change your caring method for your calla lily. As I stated before, they should not be watered nor fed, and should be put somewhere fully shaded.

Usually, calla lilies’ dormant period starts after the first frost; when that happens, dig up your flowers’ bulbs and shake off any soil from them.

Allow these bulbs to dry out first, for a few days, before storing them for the winter. They should be stored in peat moss in a cool, dark, and dry area, until the warmer days come back to plant them again.

Growing calla lily in containers

Maybe you’re like me, and live in a small apartment with no garden, but still want to make your house colorful using some houseplants.

Well, calla lilies are the perfect houseplants, and they can easily be grown and taken care of in containers. Want to know how it works? Read away, fellow gardening enthusiast!

Use deep pots with good drainage, and plant your calla lily bulbs down to 5 or 6 inches. If you have bigger containers (8 inches containers), you can plant up to 3 calla lily bulbs in them.

Why large pots you might ask? Well, even though calla lilies’ roots don’t spread too much, using a large pot ensures that your soil will always stay moist and allows for more plants to grow there, next to the calla lilies.

Just like calla lilies grown in a garden, make sure the ones grow in pots are well watered and fertilized.

To know more about how to care for potted calla lily, follow this link.

When your calla lilies are not blooming

Calla lily normally bloom during the summer and fall, but some calla lilies’ owners might find themselves with a colorless garden if their flowers don’t bloom.

Why don’t calla lilies bloom even though they’re properly taken care of? Well, for three main reasons actually:

There’s too much nitrogen in your soil

If there’s too much nitrogen in your soil, you’ll know if by taking a look at your flowers: if your calla lilies are growing rapidly and are lush, then yes, your soil might be containing too much nitrogen.

How can you deal with that? Easy, switch your fertilizer from one that’s higher in phosphorus than nitrogen. That should do the trick!

Your soil isn’t moist enough

This is the most obvious reason, if your soil is lacking in water content, then you’re probably not going to get fully bloomed calla lilies.

There are some signs that show that your calla lilies lack water: they’re stunted, yellowing, or wilted. If that’s the case, then it’s easy, just water your plants often or transplant them somewhere that’s closer to a body of water.

They’re somewhere not sunny enough

Calla lilies absolutely adore the sun, especially since they need it to bloom beautifully. If you have planted your calla lilies somewhere too shady, they will definitely not bloom, that’s for sure.

In case your calla lilies are stunted, then they’re probably lacking their daily dose of full, warm sun.

If that’s your issue, then the solution is easy: if they’re in a pot, move the pot somewhere sunnier. And if they’re planted in your garden, then transplant them in a spot that gets more sunlight.

Believe me, your garden and your calla lilies will thank you for that!


Deadheading calla lilies

Unlike many other flowers, calla lilies don’t drop their petal when they’re done blooming; instead, they roll up into tubes that turn green on the outside.

The thing is, those green blossoms should not remain on your flowers, and have to be clipped off. This is what we call deadheading, and here is how you can do it.

Use your set of garden shears or a pair of scissors to remove the stem off the near base, all while making sure none of the base stem is sticking up through the leaves.

You should also leave a stub of the stem near your plant’s base. This is the best way to keep your plant healthy and ensure a beautiful and full bloom during the next flowering season.

Calla lilies diseases and their solutions

Like any other plants, calla lilies tend to encounter diseases and all kinds of pests. But, because we always have your back, here is a list of som of the diseases and problems, that you calla lilies could encounter, and of course, their solutions!

Fungal diseases

Calla lily can be affected by several kinds of rots, which can result in poor growth, wilting, and possibly the death of your precious flower.

Root rot, crown rot, and phytium rot are caused by different pathogens that typically flourish in poorly drained soil.

If your plants are experiencing symptoms such as yellowing on the leaves, leaf margins, or water-soaked lesions on the leaves, then your calla lilies are probably suffering from some sort of fungus disease.

All these diseases prevail in warm, moist conditions, so be sure that your soil is properly drained and that the spot where your calla lilies are growing has several hours of direct sunlight every single day.


Two viruses that can attack calla lilies are spotted wilt and dasheen mosaic. The first one causes white or yellow sports or streaks on your flowers stalks, leaves, and petioles.

This virus is usually spread through thrips, an insect pest.

The second virus, dasheen mosaic, is transmitted through aphids and results in the loss of vigor, which will make infected plants develop a mosaic-like pattern on their leaves.

If you see any of these symptoms, be sure to remove the infected calla lilies and directly get rid of them, since viruses can spread from one plant to another.


Calla lily

Source: Pixabay

Even though they’re not “real” lilies, calla lilies are beautiful, colorful plants that are easy to take care of.

Always remember to water them, to give them enough sunlight, and you will soon be thanked by a garden full of colors.

And if calla lilies are not your cup of tea, be sure to check out our other articles about several kinds of plants (such as hydrangeas for example) for some gardeninspiration!