The Q&A Archives: Calla Lilies

Question: I have quite a few Calla lilies growing next to the house I just bought. I live in Sacramento, where the summers are really too hot to sustain lilies. I am not sure whether the former owner just planted them this spring or if they've been there a while. If I cut the lilies back to just stalks and keep them watered, will they survive to bloom again next year? If not, do you have any suggestions for keeping them alive? They are already laying down from the heat.

Answer: Calla lilies should perform well in your zone 8 garden, especially if they're planted in a shady bed (morning sun is okay, but afternoon shade is a must), in rich, moist soil. Calla's thrive on heavy watering so soak the soil every few days to keep it moist. Plants that wilt in the heat should perk up during the evening hours. If yours remain wilty looking overnight and into the morning hours, they need more water. Callas go into a dormant period after blooming so water less frequently beginning late summer to allow the foliage to die back and the roots to rest. New shoots will develop from the crowns of the plants when they've finished resting.

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