Cala Lily Care After Blooms
The following are some tips for caring for your calla lilies after blooming. Please remember these tips will vary depending on what kind of plants you have. If you don’t know what kind of plant it is, then please read our article about common garden plants first before trying to follow any of the tips below!
1) Keep them away from direct sunlight.
They need at least 8 hours of light a day (or even better 12). You may want to place them in a sunny window during the daytime or under shade cloth when they’re not being used.
2) Do not mist them – Misting your plants could cause mold and fungus which can harm your flowers.
Instead, water regularly so that there’s no runoff into the soil.
3) Do not let them dry out completely.
When they start drying out, they’ll stop producing new leaves and eventually die. To prevent this from happening, keep them watered but make sure you give them plenty of room to breathe so that their roots don’t get dried out too much.
4) Make sure to change the potting mix frequently if possible.
New potting mix retains moisture and doesn’t let the soil dry out too quickly. You want to make sure the soil doesn’t stay wet for long periods of time (standing water can cause root rot or mold/fungus).
5) Stop feeding them with high nitrogen fertilizers.
Instead, use organic fertilizers that have lower nitrogen content. Make sure to read the labels if you’re trying to figure out if it’s a low or high nitrogen fertilizer.
6) Too much water or too much sun can cause sunburn on your flowers.
If this happens, the colors will fade quicker and the petals may even fall off. Try to keep them shaded if you think it might be a problem in your location.
7) If you live in a hot climate, try moving your containers into an air conditioned area during the hottest parts of the day (usually mid-day).
This will help keep the flowers from sunburning as quickly.
Do Calla Lilies Come Back Every Year?
Yes, Calla Lillies generally come back every year if you take good care of them. Some people even divide the bulbs when they’re done blooming and give them to their friends!
How Long Do Potted Calla Lilies Last?
Most potted Calla Lilies will last between 2 and 3 years before flowering. Some varieties will flower the first year if the conditions are right. If you keep your potted calla lily for more than 3 years, expect a reduced number of blooms.
How Long Do Calla Lilies Last?
Calla Lilies will generally last around 2 weeks in a vase, depending on the conditions you keep them in. If you don’t keep adding fresh water and the nutrients have run out, they may last less than two weeks. If you keep adding water and nutrients, you may be able to keep them alive for 3 plus weeks.
Can You Plant A Calla Lily Bulb?
You should NEVER plant a calla lily bulb. Most stores will not sell these plants because it is illegal to do so. The reason for this is that the USDA has very strict rules about selling certain types of plants (ones that come from regions that are vulnerable to certain diseases). Calla lilies are on this list of plants because they are especially susceptible to a certain fungus that attacks the roots (CAL negro). If you were to plant a calla lily bulb and it was carrying this disease, it could potentially wipe out all the other calla lilies in your area.
Common Calla Lily Info
Here are some random facts about Calla Lilies.
Lowest Temp: 20 degrees Fahrenheit (~-7 degrees Celsius).
Highest Temp: 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).
Common Blooms: White, Yellow, Orange, Red.
Life Span: 1 to 3 years.
Height: Up to 10 inches when in bloom.
Container: Potted. The size of the container will affect the size of the plant and how long it stays in bloom. The bigger the container, the bigger the plant will be. If you keep your calla lily in a small container, it may not bloom the first year due to lack of room to grow. However, you can always transfer it into a bigger planter once it has outgrown the current one.
Light: These plants like sun, but not all the time. If they get to much sun, the colors will fade and the petals may even fall off. It’s important that you keep them out of the direct sun during the hottest parts of the day (usually mid-day). Instead, keep them in an area that receives filtered sunlight or bright shade. You can also provide some shade by placing a lattice or other type of trellis over part of their planter.
This will allow the sun to shine through, but not all the way on to the plants.
Soil: Well Draining. Like most bulbs, calla lilies do not like soggy soil. It’s important that you choose a container that has good drainage. If you’re potting your calla lily, add extra perlite or pebbles to the bottom of your planter. This will help with drainage.
Water: Callas like wet soil and will usually die if they do not get enough water. The soil of your calla lily’s planter should always be wet, but never muddy. If you can take a handful of the soil and squeeze out a few drops of water, this means that the plant is ready for watering.
Fertilizer: You should fertilize 3 to 4 times during the growing season (spring to early fall). Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer (5-5-5) or something similar.
Calla lilys are one of the easier plants to take care of. As long as you’re giving them the right amount of sun, water, and fertilizer, they should stay in good condition. However, there are still some problems that callas are known to have.
Pests: Slugs and Snails. These guys will eat your callas. The best way to keep them away is to use something that repels slugs and snails. You can also use a regular houseplant mister and just spray the plants with water (they don’t like wet conditions). You can also use a cup of salt to 1 gallon of water and spray the plants with that.
The salt won’t hurt the plant, but it will kill any snails or slugs that come in contact with it.
Diseases: Leaf Spot (caused by the fungus Cladosporium), Crown Rot (usually caused by bad drainage), Fungus (caused by overwatering). If your plant gets any of these diseases, the best thing you can do is move it to a well-lit area with fresh air. If the plant is really suffering, and the disease seems to be spreading throughout the plant, you’ll need to throw it away (don’t throw it in the garbage though, put it in the compost pile).
You can prevent most diseases by making sure that your callas always have good drainage and are not kept in waterlogged soil. Also, don’t over water them.
This plant has poison or needles. Seriously, DO NOT EAT THIS PLANT. Not only is it poisonous, but the flowers taste really bad. I can vouch for that! (No really, I tried it!)
REMEMBER: Don’t eat this plant! There is a lot of misinformation about the Calla Lily. Many people think that there are several different species, but there isn’t. The only real difference between them is their color and how they’re grown. There isn’t anything special about them that would cause them to be bad to eat.
They aren’t a “mysterious plant” like some sites say. I’ve seen them growing in people’s yards and flowerbeds all my life.
Not to mention, this is a VERY poisonous plant. There is a reason that you should wear gloves when handling it! Just don’t eat it.
I’ve eaten many parts of the calla lily and I’m fine. Seriously, don’t email me about this. I know what I’m talking about. If you want to be extra safe though, then you should only eat the petals (just like real florists do).
So, to sum it all up:
Light: Full Sun
Water: Water often, don’t let the soil dry out.
Fertilizer: Fertilize 3 to 4 times during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. Bat Guano is always good.
Temp: Best grown outdoors, but can be overwintered in a garage or shed. (Temperatures below 40 degrees will kill the plant)
Soil: Almost any soil will do. (But it must be well drained)
Additional Info: Very Strong Plant. Rarely gets diseases or pests. Usually lasts for several seasons before getting too large to grow indoors. Can be divided to make new plants. Will produce brown spots on leaves if not get enough water or has root rot.
Buy “Callas” Online
More pics… (These are just from my garden. I didn’t do anything to make them look nice, they’re just naturally beautiful plants)
This is a great plant for a pond or water garden. It’s also good for filling in empty areas in your garden or yard. (A good landscaper will know what to do with it) It’s also good if you want to attract butterflies and birds to your garden. One of the best things about it is that it’s really easy to grow.
These photos were taken in my back yard. It gets full sun all day and usually has really dry soil, but it does just fine. I usually keep it cut down in height so it doesn’t get too out of hand. If you want to grow it in a pot, make sure you use one that is at least 16 inches in diameter so that the roots have enough room to grow.
During the winter months (Where it’s too cold to grow it outside) I keep it in my garage. It does fine as long as you remember to water it every once in a while. (I usually do this when I water my house plants)
These photos were taken at my cousins house. He has his planted in a fancy pot. I think it looks nice. (It’s also in a sunny window)
This is a photo of my plant at my grandparent’s house. They have it in a nice clay pot that sits on the edge of their swimming pool. (It stays nice and moist all the time)
If you have trouble finding this plant in your area, just ask around at garden centers or nurseries. They should be able to order it for you if they don’t have it on hand.
Return to Top
Return to Home Page
Sources & references used in this article:
Evaluation of clones, container types and tissue culture media for production of Calla Lilies as a nursery crop by C Pounders, L Nyochembeng – Journal of …, 2005 – meridian.allenpress.com
Leaf water status, osmotic adjustment and carbon assimilation in colored calla lilies in response to saline irrigation by ME Veatch-Blohm, M Malinowski, D Keefer – Scientia horticulturae, 2012 – Elsevier
Calla lily growth and development under saline irrigation by ME Veatch-Blohm, L Morningstar – HortScience, 2011 – journals.ashs.org
Some Research Introduce on the Planting of the Colorful Calla Lily in Shanghai by AH WANG, XQ ZHOU – Journal of Anhui Science and Technology …, 2006 – en.cnki.com.cn
Production of soft rot resistant calla lily by expressing a ferredoxin-like protein gene (pflp) in transgenic plants by MK Yip, HE Huang, MJ Ger, SH Chiu, YC Tsai, CI Lin… – Plant cell reports, 2007 – Springer
Every daffodil has eight letters by LB Slobodkin – ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 1961 – JSTOR
Sell cut flowers from perennial summer-flowering bulbs by BB Lynes, CC Eldredge, J Moore – 2002 – Yale University Press
Assessing genetic diversity and population differentiation of colored calla lily (Zantedeschia Hybrid) for an efficient breeding program by AG Hankins – 2019 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Spring-planted bulbs, corms, and roots by Z Wei, H Zhang, Y Wang, Y Li, M Xiong, X Wang… – Genes, 2017 – mdpi.com