What is Calla Lily?
Calla lily (Zanteschia hybrids) are also know as Arum Lily and are a tuberous perennial that is clump forming. From the Araceae family and native to South Africa the calla lily grows everywhere from Tasmania to Queensland. The tuber or rhizome needs to be planted fairly deep (10cm below the soil with the rough side facing up) in late Winter to Spring after the last frosts. Clumps of sturdy stems with large, upward-facing arrowhead-shaped leaves coloured green, which is some varieties are spotted white, will begin to appear in Spring (depending on climate). Then in late Spring in warm climates or Summer in cooler trumpet shaped flowers will emerge. Usually 3 to 7 flowers per rhizome, more depending on its size. There is a vast range of hybrids featuring a huge array of fabulous colours ranging from pale yellows and pinks to deep burgundy and multi toned. Calla lilies have a wide range of climate tolerances, except extreme heat and cold. They need at least 6 hours of sun to flower, more shade results in more foliage but will decrease flowering. They prefer a full sun to part shade location in your garden and don’t like frost.
Benefits of Growing Calla Lily
Calla lily are easy to grow and do not generally require too much attention. They are ideal for pots, boarders and is an excellent garden plant when planted en masses with different colours. Calla lily’s in pots can be brought indoors when flowering for short periods of time. They make excellent cut flowers and come in a large variety of colours.
How to Grow Calla Lily
Cool to Sub Tropical.
Height: 30-75cm, Width: 30-50cm
When To Plant Calla Lily
Plant in late Winter to Spring, once the last frost has passed.
A rich, moist soil, with plenty of organic matter added is required. Well broken down animal manure, blood and bone or a complete fertiliser for flowering plants can be worked into the soil before planting. Soil needs to be well drained as the rhizome will rot if kept too wet.
How To Plant Calla Lily
Plant in full sun to part shade, It likes the morning sun. 20cm apart with the bulb 10cm underneath the soil. Plant rough side up.
Calla Lily Plant Care
During summer they need to be kept moist, so do not allow to dry out as this will trigger dormancy. These rhizomes love lots of water as long as they are not sitting in water for extended periods. So they require good drainage. Does not like to be waterlogged as the rhizome can rot.
If in pots an annual application of fertiliser is necessary. Nitrogen rich and fresh animal manure is not recommended.
Bulbs can be left in the ground for several years. Plants will die down in Winter and, if required, can be lifted and clumps divided. Rhizomes can be stored in a dry and dark area after cleaning and drying the rhizomes for a few days. Division is usually done during the Spring to rhizomes at flowering size. These will produce little bulblets on the side. You can also divide the large rhizome by cutting it into smaller sections with at least one developing eye/bud in it.
Watch out for Slugs and Snails as they will eat the leaves.
Recommended Calla Lily Varieties
Calla Lily make great displays of colour when planted together in the garden. Brought inside in a pot or as a cut flower these Summer time flowers will never disappoint.