The Q&A Archives: Calla Lilies

Question: I have just received my calla lilies bulbs and I am in Zone 4. I realize that I will have to lift them each fall, however I would like to start them indoors this spring and transplant them when the weather is better. Could you please tell me when to start them?

Answer: Your Calla Lilies will begin to sprout buds when they're ready to grow, an indication that they can be planted. Since you're going to dig them at the end of each season, you can plant them in containers and sink the containers into the ground. Then, after the foliage dies back in the autumn, you can lift the pots, remove the rhizomes, store them in sawdust or peat moss, and keep them in a cool, dark place. Plant your Calla Lilies 2" deep and 6" apart in regular garden soil or in potting soil, in the ground or in pots with drainage holes in the bottom, and begin watering when the shoots appear. Calla's thrive on lots of water so don't let the soil dry out once they've begun to grow. If you do start them indoors, keep them in an unheated basement or garage, not inside the house where the temperature will be too warm. (They'll be unhappy going from a cozy warm place into the cold spring environment outdoors!)

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