Calla Lily Questions

jrgardner(z8b FL)June 23, 2005

I have several questions that any help on would really be appreciated.

I planted some callas in a west facing garden and they did well and bloomed last year. I've subsequently read that they can't take that much heat. Should I move them? If so, what time of year? How much sun do your callas get?

Second set of questions. A friend gave me a potted calla that I left on my back patio (nice morning sun). When is the best time to plant it in the garden -- I'm assuming fall, but am not sure.

Also, I let this calla go to seed -- there two flowers that went to seed. They are green -- when do I harvest the seed and are there any things I need to know about growing calla from seed.

Thanks so much!


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forester2(z2/3 BC)

A good time for moving or planting Callas is in the spring before they leaf out. The one you have in a pot you can plant out any time.
I'm not sure about planting Callas out in the fall because they are not hardy for me and I have to dig them up every fall and over winter them indoors. Hopefully somebody can help you with that one.
Callas Love sun. I can keep mine out in direct sun all day. Since you are in a warmer climate the sunlight you recieve is probably a higher intensity than here. I have read that in climates like yours you should keep your Calla out of Hot mid-day sun but morning, afternoon and evening are fine.

hope this helps a bit.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 1:07PM
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They live in full on sun here in southern Japan without any problems. It also gets hot, hot, hot here from late June to early September, so I'd say they're pretty heat resistant. In your zone they should be just fine overwintering outside. PF

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 6:27AM
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KatrinaG(5 IN)

I too, have planted some calla bulbs, some in the garden and some in containers. The web site I bought them from specified that one of them was to receive full sun and the others shade. Am I going to run into problems because I've pretty much plunked them down in the shade?


    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:32PM
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judybobmv(z7 -7A MA)

We grew callas successfully for 3 years outdoors-they did not come back this year- a friend in San Fran. sent us 3 offshoots yesterday- what should we do with them- they are very green- Thanks for advice.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 11:57PM
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Hope someone responds. I bought some tubers of X. aethiopica and was wondering if I should plant now or keep til spring. I had planned to just keep them and plant in spring. We are about ready for our first frost - should arrive in couple of weeks.

It is also my understanding that calla lilies are moisture lovers??? Our summers get very, very hot. I don't know about Japanese summers, but Oklahoma summers are hot and humid. Temps often get into the 100's +. West sun is too hot for most anything except my pine trees.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 8:21PM
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Callas really are more temperate than tropical. Mine make faster growth in mild weather rather than the heat of the summer and are also less likely to rot. Mid-day shade is best in summer. With a lot of other stuff to deal with I let mine go dry and dormant in the summer. Last weekend I started potting some up so they will bloom at Christmas. I leave them outside on the patio until frost threatens then move them to the sunroom, probably not necessary in your location.That far south is is probably best to put them in the ground now so they will become established before the warm spring.

When I visited Leu Gardens in Tampa last spring they had a nice selection of Z. aethiopica cvs. flowering from a winter planting much the same way as I treat mine.

Letting them go dry and dormant for about 3 months every year (senescence) is important for vigor and flowering, especially for hybrids.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 8:32PM
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girasol1(Z7 NY)

I from Long Island-NY I planted some tubers 2 weeks ago in a pot I wonder if they would do best into the ground but I don't know if I have to lift them before the winter? I read judybobmv planted in the ground and they comeback for three years.........

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 11:12AM
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I just recieved a potted calla lily as a gift from my boss and have no idea how to care for it. I love this flower and want it to live but have had bad experiance with plants in the past. How do I care for this wonderful flower? I am seeing some yellow leaves that look like they are dieing, do I trim them off or leave them? And how much do I water and how often? I know these calla lilies love sun light so I will be making sure it is outside through out the day and brought in during the night. Is there anything else I need to know? Please help me!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 12:25PM
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Hi I grow alot of cally lily like a couple of hundred. frist cally should be in shade at the hotest time of day evening sun or early morning sun only. Here in quebec I have to bring my cally in and store them which I like doing cause I like to see how much the bulbs has grown. Now the seed part. Let the flower die and then it will dip the inner tube that you see is the seed that will get bigger leave it on the plant as long as possible. Then when the plant goes yellow it time to cut the flower or seed at this time let it dry for a couple of months then plant the seed give it about 3 weeks to a looks like grass coming up I have about 5 pots of seed planted it looks like a pretty house plant. Also you will have to do this for 3 year before you get flowers. For me it worth it i paid my cally 7 bucks each that why I grow them by seed. if you want to see pictures of the seed e mail me at Cally lily is one of my favorite flower if you need any more information just e mail me. I hope this help Anna lisa

    Bookmark   April 27, 2006 at 12:46PM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

Hybrid callas like full sun but cool roots.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 1:58PM
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bihai(zone 9)

Calla lilies in zone 8 FL are treated more like annual bulbs than anything else. They are basically spring flowers (like daffodils, etc) and are pretty much gone from the garden bed by May. IMO they are a complete waste of money here. It gets too hot. We have already had about 10 days with 90 degree heat in April.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 8:02PM
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Well, they grow them in the ground here in Oklahoma. There's a lady up North of OKC, who grows them year round in the ground - all different colors. They did a segment on Oklahoma gardening about her entire garden, including her calla lilies. I don't think she has a clue that they are aroids, or that they need to be kept dry during dormancy, or anything like that, but hers persist in coming back every year despite how they "should" be treated. Why some people just get lucky in their complete ignorance of a plant's particular cultivation needs is beyond me. If I knew it was supposed to be kept dry, and I just threw chance to the wind and watered it anyway, it would die. However, if I knew nothing about the plant and just watered it, and treated it like every other bulb or tuber in the garden, it would grow.

I think that plants like to play head games with me. They are very sneaky that way.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2006 at 7:48PM
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I have planted four cala lillies in my garden for the first time this year they are very beautiful howerver the blooms are starting to brown will they bloom again this season. The greenery on the plants looks great lots of new growth. I am just not sure what to do with the blooms do I cut them back or do I just let nature take its course. Any help appreciated just want to do the right thing

    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 5:43PM
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Deadhead - meaning cut off the dead blooms only. They may not be through blooming, and may bloom some more from the new growth. When the foliage starts to yellow and then brown, like most tubers or bulbs do, let it die naturally to feed the tuber for next year's growth. I can't tell where you are as to whether you can leave them in the ground or need to dig them up for winter.


    Bookmark   May 7, 2006 at 6:37PM
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Thankyou Susan that was a big help I had a feeling they needed to be deadheaded I just did not want to cut off something I wasn't supposed to. I live in Washington state so I will probally have to dig them up and winter them indoors I even put them in a little to early this season however they seem to be doing great and we covered them at night to protect from the cold anyway thankyou

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:07AM
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If you're in the Seattle area, you're in zone 8a, which means you should be able to keep them in the ground, if you have excellent, excellent drainage. Calla lilies don't like wet feet when dormant, or they will rot.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 9:45AM
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hello, this is my first year for planting calla lilies. They have all come up and bloomed. How can I tell when the flower is spent? The first two blooms came about 4 weeks ago, and are now slightly blush-colored around the edges, but the rest of the flower is now green leaf color and stays closed up most of the day.

Also, I live in zone 8, Austin, TX--do I need to dig them up in winter? thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 2:02PM
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I have about 12 Calla lillies, which I have had in pots for about 3 year. They have done v well until this year,so what should I do with them now?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 11:01AM
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I dug some up for storage, but the bulbs rotted in storage. Some came back however in the ground. I have very mild winters, but we had a super wet March it rained ever day. However, they did not rot in the ground. This is confusing. They failed in containers, because I think they did not drain fast enough.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2006 at 5:30PM
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This is my first posting. I found this site by searching for help on Cala Lilies growth cycles. I planted Cala Lilies for the first time this year and have had three flowers... all of which have gone to seed. My question is if I let the seed dry over winter will I be able to just plant them in the spring along with the other Cala Lily bulbs that I have. Also, any suggestions on how to store the bulbs and seeds over winter would be very appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 6:35PM
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I have callas in full sun, morning sun and afternoon sun and they all do beautifully. I lifted my bulbs last fall and promptly forgot where I put them. Surprisingly quite a few that I missed returned this summer and are putting out loads of flowers. I'm still planning on lifting them in the fall again though. Hopefully I'll remember where they are come springtime. lol

I wanted to start some from seed inside this year. How do you know when the seeds are ripe? Do they change color or should I just gather them before the first frost? Should I plant them fresh or let them dry? I assume that you take off the pulp surrounding each seed. And last question, how long do they take to germinate and get large enough to produce flowers?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 4:58PM
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radici(5-6 Europe)

I received my callas (purple-pink and green colored) as a gift and figured they died after I tried to grow them after a few months of dormancy. Then we moved and I carried them to the new garage...and I was surprised to see green poking out! I set them in a new larger pot and keep them fairly moist with morning until mid-day sun in an open entryway. The leaves are doing spectacularly, there are always more coming up. BUT...sadly no flowers. Do I need to fertilize them or do they need more sun to send out flowers??

Hopefully some folks with more answers read all of our questions!


    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 3:43AM
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My mother in-law gave my calla lillys' potted and they bloomed and more are on the way too. I was just wondering why are the bloomed ones turning green and closing.The bloomed about a month ago and some are still comeing. They bloomed white then turned pink now turning green and somewhat stiff. Yes there watered and fertilze properly. Someone help me i love Calla lillys.!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2006 at 11:24PM
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Jlfairful don't worry the flowers do that as they mature. There will be a bunch of seeds inside the bloom. It looks kind of like a little corn on the cob. You can cut them off if you don't want the energy to go into seed development or you can just leave them alone.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 10:35AM
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    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 2:53PM
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My husband is a wholesale floral distributor and supplies calla lilies to the florists Jan through Dec, no problem. The prices vary depending on where they are grown. Dutch callas are much more expensive than the ones grown in Ecuador, California or Oregon.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 3:23PM
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My calla lilies died and do they grow back or do i need to repot them in a bigger pot?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:43PM
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I just dug up my cally lily plants and bulbs from the pond area, for the winter. I had planned on replanting them for winter flowers indoors. After reading many of these threads, I have a few questions and I hope some kind soul will help me out, as I just joined Gardenweb, and need to learn the ropes:)
First, should I dry my bulbs and keep in a cool, dark place all winter or can I replant right now in a pot to continue growing?
Second, this summer, after the first month of blooming beautiful lilies, the only flowers we would get were green and filled with seeds. We never got anymore pretty white ones. Is there a specific amount of time to expect blooms, and then just a pretty green plant? Thanks for any help.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 12:21PM
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windyrr2(z9a FL)

I planted some calla lilies last spring. I live in zone 9a Lakeland, Central FL). I had them so they weren't directly under the tree. We have a huge oak, but where shade was cast and they could get some relief from blasting sun. Maybe get 2 hours a day of dappled, filtered sun, glinting through the tree branches, not full on sun.
My three Lavender Calla lily bulbs are now 12( I just took them out of the container to put in my new little calla lily garden bed( yes in December). We've been having temps in the 80's here.
My peach ones only made one baby and the Crystal blush two babies. My purple made a baby. I don't know why the lavender one procreated so rapidly.
Anyway, they do well here if they get half shade. and the sun is never driectly blasting straight on them.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2006 at 5:59PM
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What can I do with the seed pods?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 9:17AM
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I have a purple calla in a large pot on my deck, which faces north and east. I know that callas don't need tons of sun, which is why I bought it. And I know they like to stay watered. It looks completely healthy, except....

The flowers bow over. I was checking them out and discovered that instead of the usual yellow spike in the middle, there is a segmented green center that is fairly large that is weighing down the flowers. Am I doing something wrong? Or are they alien plants getting ready to invade the moment I fall asleep? I've never seen a lily with this type of center. People in previous comments mention seeds. Is that what these are?

Any help would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2007 at 10:03PM
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I have white calla lillies that are in the ground and would like some help please.

We planted them in spring already flowered. Then we had a bad heat wave before summer hit and wiped them out.

Now, 5 months later, I am seeing some new growth (leaves only for now).

My questions are -
How much water do they need? I typically deep water twice a week with my topicals, are they alright with that?

Are they alright to leave in the ground here year around in Southern CA in my zone (8)?

Should I expect more blooms after the heat of summer?

Thanks for the help! - Terra

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 5:54PM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

debinseattle- yes, your flowers are spent and starting to form seeds.
Firefightersflame, yes, twice a week should be enough. If you have a pond they can be planted at the edge, they like the "boggy" soil.
They may bloom again in late fall, and you can leave them in the soil year around. If you are in for a spell of freezing weather, you might want to mulch them up a bit to protect the bulbs.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 10:32PM
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honeybunny- thanks. we don't get much of the freezing temps here in So Cal where I am (inland). Last year was a freak of nature with the freezing temps. But I will keep it in mind if we get the same this coming winter. Thank you! =) I look forward to the return of the lillies cause I was only able to see them in bloom for about 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 12:56AM
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Before I declare a time for removal:
I've tried pulling up my Calla lily bulbs because no matter where they are in my yard they grow to a large size and then flop over. When I moved in 8 years ago they were dainty and lovely. What gives? Too much something? I have never been able to pull up enough of the bulb and they keep coming back, looking huge and ungainly. Any ideas? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:24PM
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I'm in Houston and we've had one of the hotter, drier summers here and my calla lilies are holding up fine.

I had them in part shade. They came back every year but are not happy. Surprisingly they want a lot of sun, even down here in this heat. I moved them this spring into a sunnier area and they are doing much better.

I do find they want more water than my other bulbs.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:49PM
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I have 2 seed pods on my calla...when do I cut it off and what is the best way to cultivate them?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:38PM
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My husband bought me a potted calla lily February last year and to my surprize the blooms lasted almost to November! I thought that a plant that hardy I might like to see if we could grow some outside this year at our home in Young Harris, Georgia. We bought two more pots over at Home Depot of the hot pink callas and brought them home. We have them in the dining room with indirect sun for the moment. We have noticed something very odd happening to them each day. They will form drops of water on the tips of the leaves. We thought, at first, that we had gotten water on the plant when we watered, but we have been careful not to do this and the water dropets continue to form. We are puzzled greatly by this and wonder if we are doing something wrong or if this is normal. Imagine... a plant that cries!!!
If anyone knows what is going on we would like to know.
Thank you

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:00AM
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archoo16(5b, MO)

Hi. Last year i received a potted calla lily, with beautiful dark purple flowers. I repotted them in to a slightly bigger pot and kept it facing a window with good amount of sunlight. After they became brown, i cut them off decreased the watering till the leaves died and put it in a dark room outside our house over winter. When i was about to plant them this year they had sent up tiny shoots, 2 actually. Now there are no less than 20 shoots, 2 lil tiny ones excluded. Of them 5 are full sized each with a leaf. All this in a 5inch diameter pot. What can i do to make sure i have lovely pot full of Calla lilies? I dont have a garden. I have them indoors near a window where they get lots od sunlight. I live in zone 5b. Help!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Please help. I purchased my home last March and it has well established White Cali Lilies that bloomed like crazy last year and are doing the same this year. They seem to require little care other than keeping the snails off them and I cut them down at the end of the season. I found Yellow, Purlple, Pink and various other ones at HomeDepot and Lowes so I purchased about 8 off them in various size containers (quart and gallon). Each one I have planted are very sickly after transplanting. The leaves first turn yellow and then the blooms start going bad. I was hoping not to just have white ones but a multitude of colors but they don't seem to do well. I have one purple one still in the original one gallon pot that in doing good and I am afraid to transplant it. I feel I have wasted a lot of money on these. Please help.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 12:31PM
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I have been trying to grow Calla Lilies for about a month now and they are growing really healthy, but this morning my dog accidentally got out of his crate and bit off the growing leaves. I don't think he ingested them because I saw all the leaves on the ground and he still looks alright (well, no vomiting or stomach upset).
I am just wondering if my callas will grow their leaves back and still be healthy plants and eventually bloom. I am hoping someone will enlighten me on this.
Thank you in advance.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 1:16PM
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