Calla Lillies - Knowledgebase Question

Cheektowaga, NY
Avatar for nbumpus1
Question by nbumpus1
June 15, 2000
I have a beautiful Calla Lilly that I was given for Mother's Day. It is doing quite well indoors, but is getting to big for the pot it is in. Should I plant it outdoors (will it survive winter?), or keep it indoors? Any tips for repotting it?

Answer from NGA
June 15, 2000
Your calla will not survive outdoors over the winter, so many northern area gardeners keep them as potted plants. They can be set outside for the summer, or can even be planted in the ground in a shady location for the summer, but need to be brought inside before frost. Callas also take "a rest" after blooming, and need that rest in order to bloom again. It is a good idea to repot into fresh soil each year (usually after the dormant period), because callas like a good rich mix. Here are some general pointers on callas.

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 an annual resting period.

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