Garden Calla Lily Growing Information
Colored calla lily bulbs can add a splash of life to any calla lilly garden. Today’s calla lily bulb hybrids range in color from gold calla lily to orange calla lily, pink to burgundy calla lilies, and apricot to red calla lilies—and many shades in between.
A few basic principles of calla lily gardening can make your experience with these callas as enriching as they are colorful. Upon arrival of your colored calla lilies, unpack and let sit in a single layer on a dry, well ventilated area for a few days. This allows them to dry and “harden” prior to planting.
Colored calla lily bulbs are known as tubers, which have developing shoots or growth tips on top of the bulbs, and is round on the bottom. Plant calla lily tubers 2” deep with the developing shoots pointed upward. Calla lily bulbs require a loose, well-draining soil. In cooler, milder climates, callas perform with greater growth and vigor in full sun. Full sun also encourages brighter and richer calla lily bloom color. In warmer climates, though, they should be planted in partial shade to avoid excessive soil temperatures.
Mulching your soil will also aid in controlling soil temperature and aid in stress management of the calla lily plant. Calla lilies need a moist soil medium. It is important that soil never completely dries out, nor is water sodden.
Your calla lily tubers should begin flowering 60-90 days post planting. This date can vary significantly depending on outside and soil temperature, as well as calla lily hybrid cultivar. In general, the larger the calla lily tuber, the taller and more blooms you can expect. Also, the fresh cut calla lily flower varieties will produce taller flowers but less blooms per calla lily tuber. The shorter potted calla lily varieties can produce as many as 20-25 blooms per premium-sized tuber.
Depending on the calla lily cultivar, your calla lilies can continue blooming for as long as 6-8 weeks. After flowering, continue caring for plant in regards to water and fertilizer. This post flowering growth period is when new calla lily tuber growth occurs and the time when they build up energy for next year’s flowers. In comparison to the traditional white calla lily bulbs, colored calla lilies are spring planting, summer blooming, and continue to die down in the fall (referred to as senescence).
Colored calla lily bulbs are also not as hardy in the winter elements, including hard freezes and extremely wet conditions. In USDA zone 9 and 10, your colored callas can be carried over in the ground during the winter. In cooler climates, however, after senescence in the fall, your calla lily tubers should be dug up and stored in a cool, dry place for the winter.
This dormancy period is important in the development of a healthy vigorous tuber for subsequent planting. The minimum storage time is 10 weeks, although they can be stored for as long 8-10 months without detriment. After the storage and dormancy period, the calla lily bulbs can be replanted.