The Q&A Archives: Planting Calla Lillies

Question: How do I plant calla lillies, both indoors as a house plant and out of doors? Do I have to dig them in the fall if planted outdoors?

Answer: Calla lillies (Zantedeschia) are originally from South Africa and do not tolerate cold winter weather. They also need a dry dormant period every year. As a potted plant, the rhizomes are usually started into growth during the fall to force blooms during the winter. During their growth period they prefer cool household temperatures, rich soil and ample moisture. After blooming, when the leaves begin to yellow, the plants should be rested by gradually reducing water, allowing them to dry out.

In the garden, they prefer shade and a rich, moist soil. You must be lift them each fall before the first frost, and store them dry over the winter. Replant them in the spring after all danger of frost has passed. They do well as container plants outdoors, too.

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