by High Country Gardens
How to Grow Calla Lilies: Planting & Care Instructions
Summer blooming, calla lilies are easy to grow, low care, and will fill your summers with elegant blooms.Learning how to grow Calla Lilies is a gift that never stops giving.
Butterflies and hummingbirds love the pollen found on the yellow central finger-like structure - it’s actually the true flower. Rabbit and deer avoid these plants and so should your dogs and cats, as they are poisonous if ingested.
While not considered a true lily, the calla lily brings a unique look to a garden bed. Try planting ‘Nashville’ in front of ornamental grasses or as a striking centerpiece amongst the smaller Echinacea, Salvia, Allium and other summer bloomers. We recommend planting 3 bulbs/rhizomes within a square foot area. This will give you a striking effect of blooms and foliage. Well-placed, your lily planting should yield many flowers for both cutting and garden enjoyment.
How to Grow Calla Lilies: Important Tips
To plant in spring, be sure all danger of frost is past. Native to southern Africa, callas like it warm and won’t grow happily until the soil has warmed up a bit.
Be sure your spot has good drainage and enrich with compost, organic fertilizer and some bone meal.
Plant bulbs (they look like a ginger root or gladiolus bulb) so that the pointed eyes or growing points face up and the top of the bulb is about 2 inches below the soil level. Water well and water as needed to keep soil moist as the plant gets established.
How to Grow Calla Lilies: After Season Care
Feel free to cut flowers, it won’t hurt the plant. Once blooming is finished for the season, leave the leaves intact. They will continue to feed the bulbs until they yellow.
If you live in zones 8-11, your callas will rest for several months before beginning another season. If you live in zones 3-7, dig your bulb/rhizomes after the first frost. Let them air dry for several days and then store them in a cool (not freezing), dark place in paper bags, ready to replant when winter’s chill has departed.
Calla lilies are also happy planted in containers as they don’t mind being root bound. Plant as above, keeping in mind, that you can get a jump start on blooms by starting them indoors.
A season with calla lilies reminds us of why they were favorite subjects for artists like Georgia O’Keeffe and Diego Rivera. Calla lilies inspire, blushed with color they remind us of the piercing beauty of simplicity.
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