Planting and Taking Care of Calla Lilies

What You'll Need
Calla lily tubers (dried out roots from which the plants are grown)
Watering can
Small trowel

Calla lilies bear beautiful flowers. If carefully cultivated, an amateur gardener can produce a stunning display of them. Follow these simple steps to learn how.

Step 1 – Choose the Location

Choose an area of your garden that has well draining soil. If you live in a warm climate, partial shade is best, as too much sun can wither the plant’s foliage. On the other hand, if you live in a cold climate, choose a position where the plant can enjoy full sun.

When positioning calla lilies, bear in mind that they contain a substance that can be harmful if eaten. You should consider whether small children and pets might be playing in your yard.

Step 2 – Prepare the Soil

Like all flowers, calla lilies will thrive in an environment that is rich in nutrients. If your garden does not currently fit this description, you can alter this by adding fertilizer. Organic matter will be the safest to use, as it will not introduce new chemicals to the area. If your soil is rather sandy, add mulch. This helps the soil to retain moisture (and therefore give the calla lily the chance to get some), and also provides some protection against rogue frosts.

Step 3 – Plant the Calla Lily

It’s essential to get the spacing right between tubers. If you plant them too far apart, your flower patch will look odd. Plant them too close together, and they will compete for nutrients. There should be at least 1 foot between plants, to allow adequate room. Dig small holes that are around 2 inches deep and place the tuber upright in the soil. You can tell which is the top of the tuber because there may be a small piece of developing foliage poking out from one end.

Step 4 – Watering in

Water in the calla lilies thoroughly after you have planted them. For the following weeks, until the plants are well established, it is important to get into a routine of watering the plants to keep the soil moist, but not saturated. If the soil gets too damp, there is a danger that the bulb at the root of the plant might rot.

Step 5 – Ongoing Care

You can expect calla lilies to flower within two or three months of being planted. If the climate is favorable (i.e., humid and warm), each plant will yield numerous flowers throughout the year. However, if you live in an area that is susceptible to severe winter frosts, it is advisable to dig up the tubers and keep them in a cool, dry and dark place inside the house, until you are ready to plant them out again. Take care to ensure that the tubers don't get wet, as this could lead to rotting. Also, inspect the bulbs for signs of damage, as open wounds can cause the calla lilies to die.