Calla Lily Plant Care. Zantedeschia Aethiopica. The Calla Lily plant is a stunning, beautiful and elegant plant. Just a handful alone can make an amazing gorgeous bouquet. The bouquet commonly used for wedding events and gifts. Learn more about the plant.
Why you should grow Calla Lily?
The Calla Lily plant is easy to cultivate. The plant provides a sensuous color range. The Zantedeschia Aethiopica plant blossom just about eight weeks after planting. Their arrow-shaped foliage is very attractive. They make captivating and beautiful cut flowers.
Calla Lily plant profile
The scientific name of the plant is Zantedeschia Aethiopica. The common name is Calla Lily and Arum Lily.
Growth and size
The Zantedeschia Aethiopica plant grows 12 to 36 inches tall depending on the variety. The flower is the tallest part of the plant.
The plant reaches its optimum height in just one year. The flower rises several inches above the leaves. The flower does not reach full height until the flower itself blooms.
The leaves of the Calla Lily plant are 12 to 18 inches long. Te spread of the plant between 18 and 24 inches. The widest spread could reach 36 inches.
The perennial plant only grows in the first year. The following year, the plant stays the same height or not as tall as the previous year. In warm climates, the Calla Lily plant can stay the same height.
The attractive look of the Calla Lily plant that grows between 2 to 3 feet tall is a perfect choice for the middle or front of a flowerbed.
The Calla Lily plant is a great cut flower. They can last about 2 weeks in a vase and very easy to arrange.
Flowers are in many colors and commonly used in bridal bouquets or funeral.
The plant is happy to be grown in pots, containers, and planters. The Zantedeschia Aethiopica plant can be grown as a house plant.
They can be mix with other annual plants. Some varieties may change color as they establish.
The Calla Lily plant is attractive because of its flowers. The flowers shaped like a chalice in yellow, many colors, pink, white, salmon, and purple. They are gorgeous and beautiful.
The flowers of the Calla Lily are pure white. However, numerous hybrids have been developed that come in every color of the rainbow.
The white varieties bloom mostly in the spring months. The hybrids Calla Lily bloom in the summer months.
The hybrids Calla Lily sizes are about 50% smaller than the basic species. The hybrids Calla Lily and are more temperamental to grow.
How to grow Calla Lily
Calla Lily light requirements
The best light requirement for Calla Lilies is the bright and indirect light environment. They like to be in part shade.
Calla Lilies need at least six hours a day of very bright indirect light. The leaves and flowers will burn if exposed by direct sunlight. Especially during the middle of the day.
The plant should be placed facing southern and eastern window exposure. If the area receives direct sun, you can block with a sheer curtain.
Calla Lily soil
The best soil for Calla Lily is good drainage soil. Make sure to enrich the soil with compost, organic fertilizer and some bone meal.
You can use a peat moss based potting soil. With this kind of soil, it is well aerated and drains quickly.
If you have clay or heavy soil, add sand or perlite to the soil.
It is recommended that the soil have pH values between 5.5 and 7.0.
Calla Lily temperature
The best temperature condition for Calla Lily is between 50°F to75°F or 10°C to 24°C. In these temperatures, they will reach their optimal growth.
To avoid being harm or possible death of the plant, relocate the Calla Lilies away from cold draft, heating, and air conditioning vents.
During the winter months, it is recommended to relocate the plant indoor before temperatures dip below freezing.
Since the Calla Lily originates from the southern parts of Africa and Malawi, the best humidity level for Calla Lily must be similar to these areas.
The relative average annual humidity level in South Africa is 59.2%. The average monthly relative humidity ranges from 47% in August to 71% in February.
While in Malawi, the average annual relative humidity is 67.4% and average monthly relative humidity ranges from 50% in October to 80% in February.
For the Calla Lily to thrive well, prevent a relative humidity below 50%. The average humidity must be above 50%.
Avoid fluctuations in relative humidity during the daytime. Calla Lilies requires constant humidity condition. The right humidity level will produce not only more flowers but also flowers of a better color
The best pot for Calla Lily plant is a plastic pot or clay pot with drainage holes. The right size for Cala Lily is an eight-inch pot.
You can plant the Calla Lily bulbs or rhizomes in a plastic pot with rich potting soil. Bulbs can be removed from their pots. They can be stored in a cool dark location.
Calla Lily plant care
Calla Lily fertilize
The best fertilizer for an indoor Calla Lily plant is a liquid fertilizer low in Nitrogen. Feed the plant once every two weeks if the plant is flowering.
However, when the plant is not producing flowers and only leaves, feed the Calla Lily plant once every month. Use only ½ strength diluted the plant food.
For outdoor Calla Lily, use granular plant food.
Before applying fertilizer, take a soil sample. Use a soil test kit and measure the soil.
If the measurement shows that the pH values are too low (under 6.0), add calcium to the soil. Iron, magnesium, and potassium are important nutrients that should be mixed into the soil.
It is also important to achieve the right balance between nitrogen and potassium. The achievement has to be met to stimulate root growth, stem vigor, and flower production.
This sort of fertilizer contains little nitrogen and higher levels of phosphorus and potassium. The N-P-K ratio should be 3-20-20 or 3-10-10.
Too much nitrogen for Calla Lily plant will result in drooping plants and longer stems.
Watering Calla lily
This South African native plant is a marginal aquatic plant. It is happy to be grown in moist soil. The areas to be grown are along ponds, streams, riverbanks, around the edge of a rain or water garden.
The Calla Lily plant will not tolerate drought conditions, soggy soil, and poorly drained soil.
The best time to water Calla Lily plant depends on whether the plants are grown in pots or containers and a garden.
If the plant is grown in the garden or outdoor, water the plant regularly to keep the soil moist. If you notice the soil is not draining well, add organic matter or compost to fix the problem.
To water potted Calla Lily plant, water frequently to keep the potting mix evenly moist. Avoid the potting soil to become soggy.
Calla Lily plant in pots dries out much rapidly than those planted in the garden.
Pruning Calla Lily
The best way to keep the Calla Lily plant beautiful, healthy and for maintenance, pruning is the best choice.
Begin the pruning practices after the bloom has dry and shriveled. Do not prune during its dormant period. That would be in late autumn or early spring months.
Pruning in these periods will end up erasing the potential blooms. Once the flowers have fully grown, get those flowers. Then get the pruning tools to prune them away.
Prune no more than a third of the shrub’s stem every year. The bush should have 9 to 12 stems of different ages. With 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
Remove dead branches in spring, because they could not survive the winter.
Cut off the dead stems with a very sharp knife. By doing this, you avoid crushing the healthy branches.
If a major stem or a full branch is dead, cut them off. The new stem or branch will grow quickly.
Once cut off, give them a proper shape of the Calla Lily. Branches that grow and makes them rub against each other, must be cut to a proper shape.
Prune the branch which is taller than the others. Cut above the node. Just make the plant look good.
Deadheading helps the Calla Lily bloom better. Remove the spent flowers, so the plant will not put most of its energy in seed production.
Deadheading will ensure the plant to make new buds for next season. Snip the blooms off once they start to fade.
Repotting Calla Lily
The best time to re-pot Calla Lily plant is in the mid-winter months. During its growing period. When they are resting in a cool place in its soil.
Prepare a pot that is about 2 to 3 inches larger than the original pot.
To re-pot, remove the rhizome from the original pot. Relocate the plant into fresh new soil.
Start watering right away to encourage new growth and avoid stress.
How to propagate Calla Lily plant
Propagation of Calla Lily is possible in two ways. By seeds or rhizome.
The best, fastest and easiest way is to propagate Calla Lily is by dividing the rhizomes. Do this in spring.
Prepare a 6-inch plastic pot with drainage holes. Fill the pot with potting soil.
Plant a single rhizome or bulb in the soil. Make sure each has eyes and roots attached.
The key to growing the plant is a bright light and a pot that gives them room to grow.
Wait until the plant has begun to produce new green leaves. When it does, start to the regular fertilization program.
Pests and problems
Inspect the Calla Lily for infestation of scale or Aphids. If you find one, get rid of them by spraying Neem oil.
Calla Lilies are susceptible to bacterial infection and viruses. The signs are rhizome rot and gray mold.
When leaves and stems start to turn yellow before the dormant phase, that is a strong sign of bacterial infection.
Frequently ask question
Does Calla Lily plant poisonous?
A Calla Lily plant is actually a very poisonous houseplant. Its toxicity level is #3. Keep away the plant from pets or children. The high levels of Calcium Oxalate may cause severe burning and swelling of the mouth, throat, lips, and tongue. Diarrhea and stomach distress can also occur.
Why do the Calla Lily leaves turn to yellow?
Yellow leaves are a sign of problems in the roots. Yellowing leaves, known as chlorosis, commonly caused by a nutrient shortage in the soil. The soil is short of nitrogen, iron, or zinc.
Does Calla Lily come back every year?
Many people treat the Calla Lily as annuals. They get a potted flower. Purchase them for spring decorating. Calla Lily is perennials. You can save a potted plant. Watch the plant bloom again next year.
Do you deadhead Calla Lily?
The Calla Lily plant does not need frequent pruning. Deadheading the flowers is necessary as they wilt. Using your fingertips, pinch the stems just below the base of the flour. Cut them back at the soil level.
Calla Lily live plant
Person: Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom.
Contact Info: You can reach me by email. Hi, this is Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom. I am a garden and outdoor activities lover. I try to write a comprehensive article for good information and guide.