The Q&A Archives: Planting Lipstick Calla Lilies

Question: I recently bought a lipstick calla lily from our local Home Depot and was told that these were different from traditional calla lilies. They are supposed to bloom spring to summer and not die out or

Answer: The common calla lilies have different cultural needs than your new lipstick callas. There are two distinct groups of callas: Zantedeschia aestivae (the 'miniature' colored types) and the large white (primarily) Zantedeschia aethiopica.

The miniatures consist of the generally spring and summer flowering, colored and shorter types, some of which have translucent spotting on the leaves. These have evolved in sunny places like the sandy slopes of the South African Transvaal or other similar regions having free-draining soils that are not overly moist and where the ground does not freeze.

The second main group, Zantedeschia aethiopicas, are more evergreen and generally cool-season flowering. They are taller (with the exception of one dwarf) and mostly white (with the exception of one muted pink and one variegated green and white) and are known as Zantedeschia aethiopicas. These evolved in, and are, therefore, partial to far more organic soils with far higher moisture levels and often lower light.

To keep all your callas happy, plant them in separate beds. Your lipstick callas will appreciate more sunshine than your common callas, but in your hot climate, I'd give them morning sun and provide protection from hot afternoon sunshine.


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