Use these calla lily care instructions to ensure that your plants continue to bloom throughout the summer. Find out how to protect the sensitive perennials from the elements over the winter months until the following growing season, as well as some helpful hints for growing them as houseplants.
The calla lily is a gorgeous flower that defies complexity. They are widely used in bridal bouquets, Easter arrangements, and at burial services, when they represent purity, resurrection, and rebirth. Other traditional uses include Easter arrangements. These hardy perennials with flowers that resemble chalices can be grown in beds, borders, or containers, where they will reach heights of one to three feet. They are also beautiful when grown indoors as houseplants. Calla lilies can be found in a variety of colors, including white, pink, yellow, orange, rose, maroon, and maroon, which is almost black. Even when they are not in bloom, certain ones have charming white speckles on their leaves, which makes them appealing to look at. Both outside in the garden and within the house here is how to cultivate calla lilies and take care of them.
Because they cannot survive temperatures below freezing, calla lilies, which belong to the Zantedeschia genus, are considered to be fragile perennials. They can be found in their original habitat in South Africa, and they require warmer climates, Zones 8-10, in order to survive. They develop from rhizomes that are similar to bulbs, and if you start with large, robust rhizomes, you will end up with large plants that produce an abundance of blooms. Even the smaller ones will grow and bloom, though not quite as vigorously as the larger ones. Calla flowers can generally remain fresh for up to a month when left on the plant, but only for a few weeks after being cut and placed in vases.
Plant calla lilies in full sun to part shade. They require moist soil but good drainage, as rotting of the rhizomes might occur if the soil is too wet. Before you start planting, you should prepare the soil by adding a lot of organic material, such as compost, because this will assist in establishing the optimal circumstances for plant growth.
Callas should be planted in the spring after all risk of frost has gone or when the soil temperature has reached at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Planting the rhizomes indoors approximately one month before the typical date of your region's last frost can get you a head start on flowering. As soon as the temperature starts to rise, you should replant them in the garden.
When planting the rhizomes, make sure the growing points are pointing upward. Place them in the soil at a depth of four inches and a distance of one foot from one another, then give them some water. You can use them as mulch to help prevent weeds from growing and from keeping the soil moist. Before the plants become established, it is important to water them frequently, especially during dry spells.
Because callas have a fast growth rate, you should start to notice new shoots approximately two weeks after you plant them. After 13 to 16 weeks, depending on the kind that you're growing, the plant will begin to produce flowers. You may have an ongoing display of flowers by growing a variety of plants that bloom early, in the middle, and late in the season. When necessary, remove spent blooms from the plant to maintain its clean appearance and stimulate further flower production.
Callas should be kept at a consistent moisture level and should not be allowed to dry out while they are in the growing stage. While they are in bloom, use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer once every two weeks or in accordance with the instructions on the product label. After the plant has finished flowering, it is vitally necessary to permit it to relax and enter the dormant phase. Reduce the amount of water you give it when its natural appearance begins to change. You will need to dig up the rhizomes if you live in an area where it freezes in order to keep them alive over the winter.
It is common practice to discard calla lilies planted in pots once they have finished blooming, particularly those that were produced for Easter; however, this is not required of you. Instead, you should allow them to enter a state of dormancy and store them in a place that is cold, dark, and devoid of water for a couple of months. After that, bring them back into the light and water them again. They need to start growing leaves and flowers soon.
In addition, rhizomes can be started from scratch in containers to be grown as houseplants. Make use of a recent container potting mix that allows for easy drainage. They should be planted with their growth tips facing up and be spaced approximately four inches apart when measured from centre to center. The plants should be watered sparingly at first or until a few leaves sprout within a couple of weeks, whichever comes first; after that, the frequency of watering should be increased to ensure that they do not dry out. The instructions on the fertilizer label should be followed when administering a monthly feeding of liquid fertilizer to the plants.
Bring potted calla lilies indoors before the arrival of freezing weather, unless you live in Zones 8 to 10 (these tropical plants can overwinter outdoors in these zones but will be damaged or killed in temperatures below 25 degrees Fahrenheit). If you live in areas 8 to 10, you can leave the calla lilies outside. Either continue the growth by placing the pots in a sunny window or dig up the rhizomes and bring them inside for the winter. You can report the rhizomes in the spring if you'd like to.
Calla rhizomes may be left in the ground over the winter by gardeners in regions where the temperature stays above freezing. In any other case, before the season's first freeze, you should strip your plants of their leaves and trim the height of their stems to between one and two inches. The rhizomes require to be dug up and stored in a warm, dry location where the temperature is maintained between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep them there for the next three days so that they can cure.
After the rhizomes have been allowed to dry out, place them in a container that is comprised of sawdust or peat moss that has been gently dampened. Keep the box in a cool, dry environment that is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on them regularly to ensure that they do not become too dry or begin to rot due to an excessive amount of moisture.