The following tutorial is formulated for anyone who would like to grow a collection of calla lilies in their backyard or indoors. The comprehensive article covers all the dos and don’ts needed to be known about how to grow calla lilies.
Throughout the length of documented history, calla lily is often described as a symbol of purity. Along with the fact that they usually bloom during the spring season, calla lily is also associated with youth and rebirth.
The plant derives its name from its scientific name. The flower generally falls under the classification of the calla genus, thereby inheriting its name. Unlike other flowers, the calla lily has three distinct colors namely white, pink and yellow.
Is the plant perennial or annual?
Most of us are unaware of the fact that calla lilies are toughed out perennials i.e. their bulbs can be saved up to bloom again. We tend to throw away the plant when they stop blooming or they have reached their dormant stage when the leaves have turned yellow. Hence, saving up the bulbs would be a more economical idea.
Things that it covers
- Required information for caring about the lilies from bulb to bloom
- Know exactly what amount of lighting conditions, nutrient requirements and requirements for a healthy yield
- Cost effective method or growing calla lilies and their effects on pets
- Solutions to almost all problems that may arise during the course of its run
Tips To Grow Calla Lilies
Following the given information as precisely as possible will result in a good produce of calla lilies. These include how to plant and care for your calla lilies.
Preparations for Planting Calla Lilies
Light: At least six hours of indirect bright sunlight ensures a healthy plant. You should avoid placing the plant under direct sunlight as it would burn out the leaves and flowers of the plant. And we definitely don’t want that right?
Water: These plants just love water; they favor moist soil and are definitely not resistant to long dry spells. Keeping this in mind you should never let your plants completely dry out. Don’t let this get the best of you and turn the soil all soggy thereby drowning the plant.
Fertilizer: Liquid fertilizer or in a more appetizing term plant food rich in potassium but low in nitrogen should be used in a cyclic manner. This is very important and should be carried out especially if it is blooming.
Pro Tip: Opt for application of fertilizer on a monthly basis when the plant is only producing leaves. A diluted dose of the recommended limit is advisable (approximately ½ of the recommended dose). Opt for a granular form of fertilizer if the plant is an outdoor one
Temperature and humidity: Our plants love the temperature range of 75 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 24 to 10 degrees Celsius in case of an indoor plant which ensures a healthy growth. In case of an outdoor plant make sure you dig up the bulbs and bring them indoors before the temperature starts to dwindle. An average amount of humidity is preferable.
Pests and diseases: Like most of the living world, Calla lilies are no exceptions to pests and diseases. In terms of pests keeping weather, eye for scales or aphids may prove fruitful. These plants are also vulnerable to various bacterial and viral infections such as gray mold and rot. Calla lilies are most vulnerable when they are in the dormant stage.
Depending on where you are growing the Calla lilies, you may select the steps as applicable from below:
Things to do For Growing The Plant Indoors
1. Soil: A soil based on peat moss and a pot that is aerated and has quick drainage is preferable.
Pro tip: You can mix sand with the soil mixture if it appears to have more clay content. You will need a shovel or trowel for transplanting and mixing.
2. Pot size and instruction in planting: Choosing the right pot for optimum growth is an absolute necessity. The calla lily bulbs are to be removed from their pots and kept in a cool dark place, during their annual dormant cycle. After 2 to 3 months, while replanting do so in a new and fresh soil mixture.
Pro tip: A 5 to 6 inch pot should only house one bulb, whereas an 8 to 10 inch pot should house a maximum of 3 bulbs. Exceeding this limit would hinder their growth.
3. Pruning: Unlike most plants and trees calla lily doesn’t need to regular pruning. Keep this in mind that they should be pruned when they are in the dormant stage. You can choose a scissor or hand pruner for prunning flowers.
Things to do For Growing The Plant Outdoors
1. Soil: Finding the perfect location that both has good drainage and can provide ample and bright indirect sunlight to the plants is very much necessary. Adding a mixture of peat moss, bio compost and animal manure can work wonders for your lilies.
2. Planting: Digging at least half an inch deep holes in the ground and shallow planting the bulbs with their growth sides up and half exposed is advised.
Pro tip: The growing side of the bulb should be kept facing upward as it would prevent the accumulation of fungi in the same and most importantly, we want our plants to grow upwards and not inwards into the ground.
3. Water: After the rhizomes or the bulbs are planted don’t forget to sparsely soak the soil with water as it would facilitate the germination of the bulbs.
- Why my plants are not producing flowers?
There are some possible factors that may inhibit growth and development.
- Fertilizer: a constant supply of nutrients should be provided to the soil as gradually the nutrients in the soil get depleted and they should be replenished time to time.
- Drainage: Excess water should have a proper drainage path so that it doesn’t result in drowning of the bulbs by depleting its source of oxygen and sunlight.
- Clay rich soil: If such is the case where the soil has an excess amount of clay in it, it is advisable to add some builder’s sand in the mixture.
- General precautions: Any dead or diseased part of the plant should be trimmed off immediately and carefully. Multipurpose anti fungal spray should also be sprayed from time to time to avoid fungal infection of the plants
- How to care for my plants during the winter season?
During mid autumn, after the frost has let go of the soil and settled for the year, digging out the bulbs is advised. After doing so, remove the soil adjoining to the bulbs and store them in a mixture of peat moss and store them in a cool dark area. Occasionally water the bulbs so that they don’t completely dry up.
- Are Calla Lilies poisonous?
Yes they are but nothing too serious as they cause mild irritation to the skin on contact and especially if the skin is wet or broken.
- Are they poisonous to cats and dogs?
Yes they can cause some level of toxicity to our feline and canine friends if ingested directly the symptoms to watch out for are excessive drooling, difficulty in eating, pawing of the mouth and vomiting.
- What are the reasons for such a pretty plant to be poisonous?
Well it’s a bit technical to understand but let me chalk it down for you, the plant stores its excrements in its body, leaves and flowers in the form of crystals of calcium oxalate called as Raphides.
Growing and maintaining calla lilies, if done properly is very easy and inexpensive. Now coming to the point, did you enjoy the tutorial, did you find it informative and encouraging enough to make you go and start off your very own calla Lily flower bed right away? We certainly believe it must have answered all your queries related to how to grow calla lilies.
Do you feel like there should have been more of some comprehensive information in the tutorial? Do you have any suggestion for the same? If so then do let me know in the comments section below. And don’t forget to share this with your friends and family.