Calla Lily Plant Care – How To Grow Calla Lily Bulbs

By Heather Rhoades

Image by Karyn Christner

The calla lily is a popular wedding favorite, and there is little doubt as to why. With its beautiful shape and fluted cup flower, the calla lily looks much like a wedding champagne glass. Learning how to grow calla lily bulbs in the home or garden is a great way to enjoy these beauties.

Calla Lily Growing Info

The proper name for a calla lily is Zantedeschia.

Most people are familiar with white calla lilies, but the calla lily also comes in several bright colors too. Their leaves are mostly lance or heart shaped and are a lovely dark green. There are a few sub-species that have been developed through hybridization that have spotted leaves.

Calla lilies prefer moist soil, and some species are even marginal aquatics. The calla lily grows best in humus-rich, moist soil in full sun.

Care for Calla Lilies in the Garden

Calla lilies have rhizomes that are not cold hardy. This means that while it can be grown in the average garden, it must be dug up each fall and stored in a relatively warm location. To store the rhizomes of the calla lily, simply dig up the plant in late fall, knock as much dirt off them as possible (but do not wash them) and lay them out on some newspaper to dry out for a few days. Then pack the rhizomes in newspaper in a box. Place the box in a cool (but not cold) dry place. Replant the rhizomes the next spring.

Propagating calla lilies is quite simple. Divide the rhizomes in the spring and replant. That’s it. It’s just that easy.

While calla lilies are very lovely, they are very susceptible to several diseases, including rhizome rot, bacterial soft rot, gray mold and several viral diseases. If you plan on growing the calla lily, make sure you keep a close eye on the plant and treat at the first sign of disease.

But don’t let its susceptibility scare you off. Calla lilies are a wonderful addition to any garden, especially the particularly frustrating soggy garden. Where other plants will wither due to too much standing water, the calla lily will grow, thrive and be quite happy.