The Q&A Archives: calla lillies

Question: I tried calla lillies this year. Although they are not hardy in my area I plan to bring them inside this winter. My question is reguarding what I assume is the seed head. Do I need to remove the seed head or should I leave it alone?

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. You can cut off the spent flowering stem, but allow the foliage to die down on its own. Since callas need a rest period, don't expect to grow them as houseplants over the winter months, but do plan to protect them from freezing weather while they are resting. Hope this answers your questions.

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