The Q&A Archives: Calla Lily Care

Question: I planted Calla Lillies from bulbs and they did really well. I started them in pots and then transplanted into my garden. I got several different stories about them being perennials and not perennials and finally got it down to having to dig them (the bulbs) up for winter and bringing them inside to have them back every year. What I want to know is, if I put them back into pots for the winter, can I just put the pots right into the ground so it's easier to get them out come winter next year. I also wanted to know when I bring them in in the winter, should I cut off all the leaves and flowers and how should I treat them for the winter? Will the bulb go dormant? Some of them are about 18" tall and others 8" tall. Why the difference? My garden is fairly small and they all get about the same amount of light and water.

Answer: Calla lilies should perform well in your 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. Don't cut the foliage back, but let it yellow on its own. Callas go into a dormant period after blooming so if you water less frequently beginning late summer, the foliage will die back and the roots can rest. This is when the roots should be dug and stored in a protected place over the winter months. You can grow your callas in pots sunk into the ground, but they will still need to be dug and stored over the winter. New shoots will develop from the crowns of the plants when they've finished resting and you can replant them in the garden at that time.

The easiest way to feed your calla's is to mulch the plants with 1"-2" of aged-compost. As the organic matter decomposes, it will provide nutrients to your plants.

Hope this answers your questions.

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