How to Take Care of Calla Lilies

How to Take Care of Calla Lilies

These beloved graceful, trumpet-shaped flowers are a beautiful addition to your property. It works whether you get them as cut flowers or plant them in borders or pots in the garden.

Native to Swaziland, South Africa, calla lilies bloom all summer long. Besides that, they are relatively easy to care for if you know what they need.

And allow us to help you with that. So here’s a simple guide to taking care of calla lilies concerning their light, water, and fertilizer needs, among other things.

Growing Calla Lilies

Growing Calla Lilies

Calla lilies (Zantedeschia spp) can be treated as perennial or annual plants. You don’t really have to throw them away because they can regrow again the next summer.

Despite their name, they aren’t real lilies. Real lilies grow from bulbs, but calla lilies grow from rhizomes. Rhizomes are ginger-like underground stems that put forth shoots and roots when planted.

The flowers are best placed in a warm environment with plenty of moisture. After all, they are tropical plants.

But they can also tolerate cold weather well in zones 8 to 10 which have a temperature of 10℉ to 40℉, whereas hybrids can be grown in zones 9 to 12 from 20℉ to 60℉.

After planting them, they will start flowering within eight weeks. You can enjoy these majestic flowers for about two to three months.

Let’s now look at the specific needs of the calla lily flower:


While calla lilies can grow in a variety of soils, it can be tricky to care for them.

To keep it simple, we recommend planting them in an all-purpose potting soil. This kind of soil is healthy consisting of two parts soil, one part compost, and one part sand, perlite, or vermiculite.

The soil for hybrid calla lilies should be well-drained and porous. As for sandy soil, you have to add fertilizer so the plants can continue to be nourished, while clay soil is a bit tricky, so we suggest not using it.


These blooms need warmth and lots of light to grow and be healthy. They are best placed in a location where they get partial shade during the summer.

However, you can also put them in a spot for full sun in mild summer weather. But be careful, as oftentimes noontime sun is hot and can scorch the leaves of the plant.


It will suffice to water calla lilies once a week. That said, if it’s extremely hot or dry outside, you have to water them more frequently.

If you keep them indoors, they’re bound to dry up faster than when they’re planted on the ground. So it can help to turn on your humidifier or place them outside for a while.


To help your calla lilies grow, feed them fertilizer when you plant them and during spring. Choose a well-balanced fertilizer with equal or close amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Avoid those with large amounts of nitrogen, as this will hinder the plant’s ability to produce flowers.


For this, remove wilted or discolored leaves and cut off the dead flowers.

Doing this has a couple of benefits: one, it gives a fresh appearance to your plants, and two, it allows newer and more beautiful flowers and leaves to emerge and grow.

Winter Care

If frost threatens the plant in autumn or early winter, here are the things you should do to take care of your calla lily flowers:

  • Ground-planted calla lily – As soon as the plant has withered, cut the stems three inches above the ground. After that, dig up the rhizomes carefully.

Place the rhizomes in a cool dark place, preferably your garden shed or garage. Don’t put them in a hot location, as it can come as a shock to them, which will cause mold to develop on them.

Afterward, store them in separate paper bags, fold them, and leave them in a warm place at 60℉ to 70℉, but don’t let the sun shine on them.

  • Potted calla lily – As opposed to in-ground calla lilies, this is easy to do. Once the potted flowers turn yellow, transfer them indoors to a cool and dry spot to let the rhizomes recover.

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