The Q&A Archives: Calla Lillies

Question: My calla lilies haven't performed well. I started to dig them up, but even as the foliage was turning brown and lying down, new ones were sprouting. Should I go ahead and dig them up anyway? What should I amend the soil with and when should I replant?

Answer: Calla Lilies go through a short dormancy period after bloom. Since the foliage began to fade naturally, it's an indication of dormancy (even though the plants are already beginning to resprout). You can cut back the old foliage and dig the plants now. Callas grow from tuberous rhizomes so divide them after you dig and before you replant. Transplant them to a sunny or partly shady bed into which you've added some organic matter (peat moss, compost or leaf mold). Callas like moist soil so water them well after transplanting, and mulch the bed after planting to help keep the soil moist. Set the rhizomes 4-6 inches deep and 1-2 feet apart.

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