calla lily - Knowledgebase Question

pittsburgh, pa
Question by lmccaul4
September 11, 2009
I have a Calla Lily that is about eight years old. It has bloomed every year since I've planted it. It always looked healthy and produced beautiful yellow Lily's. I let the leaves and stem with each flower stay in place over the winter so the bulb or tubors can feed on the plant. The last 2 years I have noticed fewer flowers, only four to be exact this year and seems like something was eating the flowers. Plant leaves still look healthy. I should tell you there is alot going on in this area. There is a Clematis climbing up a trellis on to porch, 2 large Hosta's in front of Clematis, the Calla LIly which is big and three large Dahlia's growing along side the Lily. Area is about eight feet long to about three yards wide narrowing to 2 yards wide where Dahlia's are planted. The Clematis didn't flower as profusely this year either. White Alyssum pokes up were it pleases and actually gives a nice touch as you come up the steps leading to my back porch. Now for my questions. Is there to much going on in this area? With the mix I have would it be stunning the growth of some of the plants? What would you suggest to enhance the beauty of this area? Everything in this area has been established for awhile so if any transplanting to be involved would appreciated suggestions on how to do this so as to not damage anything. I take my garden personal and don't want to kill anything. I rescue plants neighbors toss out after a winter and bring them home and try to revive them and surprisingly it works some of the time. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you

Answer from NGA
September 11, 2009


Lack of bloom indicates it is time to dig and divide your calla lily. You can wait until spring, just as new growth is beginning. Your clematis will bloom more if you prune it back - it blooms on new growth of the season and pruning encourages new growth so the more new growth, the more flowers you should see. I think your grouping of plants sounds stunning! Things do tend to get overcrowded over the years, though so you may have to take a hard look and everything and determine whether or not there's too much competition for light, moisture and nutrients. You won't necessarily have to remove plants or dig and transplant, but they may all benefit from some spring pruning. If they still appear over crowded or they are not blooming as profusely as you think they should, you may want to dig and divide the plants this time next year. Good luck with your lovely garden!

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