Instructions for growing calla lilies - Knowledgebase Question

Dekalb, IL (Zone 5A)
Question by joydavis99
May 17, 2005
I recently bought 2 calla lily bulbs and planted them according to the directions on the box about 3-4 weeks ago. They have sprouted and are about 10-inches tall and the leaves are just beginning to unfurl. Please give me complete instructions on caring for them from this point on, to help them continue growing and bloom. I need to know the requirements for lighting,watering, amout and type of fertilizer to use,best(indoor/outdoor) growing temperatures,humidity,sun exposure and appropriate pot size. I would like to put them on my east-facing balcony which receives sun from about 6a.m.-2p.m. Is this okay? If so, when is the best time and growth stage to place them outdoors?
Thank you for all the great advice you have given me this spring.

J.Davis
N.Illinois


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Answer from NGA
May 17, 2005

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There are different calla lily species with slightly different requirements, so it is always helpful when sending a question to include the complete botanical name, e.g., Zantedeschia aethiopica for common calla. If yours is indeed common calla, it should take full sun for 6-8 hours in your region, so your east balcony is fine. It can also take filtered shade. Keep soil consistently moist, but not wet. They are native to South Africa so can not take cold temperatures. Place it outside when danger of frost is over (and bring indoors in the fall before frost). Use a slow-release fertilizer or any general fertilizer for blooming plants or bulbs according to package instructions. Callas typically don't need a lot of repotting. Good luck!

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