Calla Lillies - Knowledgebase Question

San Jose, CA
Avatar for joyce50
Question by joyce50
October 4, 1999
I purchased a very costly pot of calla lilies this past summer and the plants have died off. I need information on the care and feeding of the bulbs and the plant (when it's in bloom), the variety I have has very nice maroon blooms with white variations.

Do I need to remove the bulbs from the soil or can I leave them in the pot with occassional watering? I'm totally lost and cannot find anything specific to this bulb variety.

Any information is greatly appreciated.

Answer from NGA
October 4, 1999
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, as long as you allow them a resting period. If you don't get killing frosts in your southern California garden, you can leave the callas in their pots all year.

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