How to plant and grow Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies (although not considered true lilies) are a very popular flower especially as cut flower for wedding displays and bouquets. Also known as Zantedeschia or Arum Lilies. This stunning flower is available in a multitude of colours and is ideal for use in beds and borders. You can also grow calla lilies in containers either outdoors or in a sunny window position indoors. Calla lilies will bear narrow, lance or funnel shaped flowers and are particularly effective when grown in groups within a border, or planted in pots and spread out on the patio.

Planting calla lilies in the garden

Plant in the spring months for flowers in June/July. Calla lilies want bright but indirect sunlight, so find a suitable position in your garden with free draining soil. Depending on how you want your display to look, you can space your rhizomes 30cm (12″) apart or plant in groupings of 3 rhizomes slightly closer together. 

Harts’ Hint
” Add a good multipurpose compost to garden soil to improve the texture. “

Planting Callas in pots

Calla lilies are ideal for planting in containers for houseplants or patios, or for seasonal outdoor bedding displays. Plant just under the surface of the soil with the eyes of the rhizome facing upwards.

  • If planting in pots, use a loam-based compost like John Innes No. 2 but a good multi-purpose compost is also fine. 
  • Plant one rhizome to an 8″ pot or 3 to a 16″ pot. 

Caring for your calla lilies

  • In most areas, the foliage will be hit by frost and slightly blackened. This should be cut away.
  • Lift Rhizomes before the first frosts and store them over winter before replanting them next Spring (after the risk of frost has passed).
  • Store Rhizomes in trays of compost in a cool, dark, frost-free location, e.g a garage, shed, warm greenhouse or conservatory.
  • Do not over water.

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Advice about cutting

This question was asked by
Paul C

Hi. I planted out some rose lilies for cutting in a cutting bed and I’ve just started bringing them in, delighted with the results.
I just want some advice about whether they will repeat flower next year and if there is any way I should cut or feed them to improve the chances. I am so delighted with them we will be buying new stock anyway but would like this to become a recurrent bed if at all possible. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hi Paul
You need to leave a good amount of stem on them to die back naturally to feed the bulb for the following year. If they are cut too short then they probably won’t flower for a few years. I’d suggest leaving atleast 2ft of stem if you can. You can give them a diluted tomato.feed to help them every 2 weeks.

The Hart Family

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