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Planting Calla Lily Bulbs

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Calla Lily Planting & CareCalla Lily Planting and Care Information

Calla Planting:

When planting calla lily bulbs in the ground, place bulbs in 3 inches deep and a foot apart. If you are planting your calla bulbs in a container make sure the containers diameter is at least 8”. Calla lilies need soil that is free draining. Calla lilies are native to the Transvaal region of South Africa, which is known for its porous mineral soil. As long as the temperature is not freezing, calla bulbs can be planted at any time of the year. Staggering the time you plant your calla bulbs will result in blooms coming throughout the growing season.

Lighting: Callafornia Callas prefer full sun. In hotter climates, Callafornia Callas needs partial shade during the hottest part of the day.

Watering: Keep soil moist but not soggy. Bulbs will rot in saturated conditions.

Fertilizing: Any full spectrum fertilizer at standard rates will help keep plant healthy and green.

Dormancy: After blooming, callas will continue to grow green foliage. This allows for the plant to store energy for next year’s growth in the tuber. In the beginning of fall, leaves will begin to naturally turn yellow as the tuber begins its dormancy cycle.

  • Bulbs in ground: Discontinue watering and allow soil to dry, this will prevent rotting of the bulb to occur. In mild winter climates, callas can handle light frosts, but it is best to mulch where freezing temperatures may occur.
  • Bulbs in containers: Bulbs grown in containers can rot easily. It is important for the bulb to remain dry throughout the winter. You can prevent the bulb from rotting by placing the containers against the eves of the house or in the garage. Containers can be placed back outside during spring time.

Bulbs in cold winters below USDA Zone 8:

  • Bulbs in ground: In areas where winters reach 10° F or colder dig up tubers. Keep bulbs dry in paper or mesh bags and protect them from freezing. Replant tubers in spring after the last freeze.
  • Bulbs in containers: It is ok to leave tubers in their pots if the soil is completely dry, store containers in a dry non-freezing area. Place containers outside and begin watering the pots the following spring after the last freeze.

Colored Callafornia Callas vs. Large White Callas: Colored Callafornia Callas are not to be confused with the more common Large White or ‘Green Goddess’ Calla varieties (Z. aethiopica), which can live in water and bog like conditions. Remember these smaller colored callas cannot tolerate saturated soil or they will rot away.

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