Frequently Asked Calla Lily Bulb Questions

The following questions are queries that we have received from our customers. We update these questions and answers regularly. If you have any other questions or comments, please click here to fill out our question form. If you would just like to speak with a representative, please don't hesitate to call us at (800) 533 8573.

Please click on any of the subjects below or scroll down to view the entire collection of questions.

How do i repot my calla lily plant?

If your calla lily plant has become too large for its container, repotting is quite a simple job. Begin by loosening the soil around the edges of the pot then lift and place into the larger pot. There’s no need to disturb the roots – just fill the new pot with additional soil until the rim and finish the pot with a generous helping of water.

What size pot do I need for my calla lily bulbs?

Our bulbs are between 1 1/2 to 2 or 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Two to three of our 1 1/2 to 2 inch bulbs fit very nicely into a 6-inch pot. You could use 1 bulb in a 4-inch pot or 3 bulbs in a gallon pot and more in a larger planter. For the 2 to 3 inch bulbs, plan on just one bulb in a 6 inch pot or 2 bulbs in a gallont pot.

I would like to keep my calla lily indoors. Should I place it in a North or South facing window? 

Callas work great as indoor plants. They still need lots of light though, so please place the plant in your most sunny window and remember to keep it away from air-conditioning vents, heaters or other temperature sources..

How can I tell which direction I should plant my calla lily bulbs?

You will see that one side of the bulb is smooth and rounded, while the other side is flatter and has ‘eyes’ or circular markings. The shoots will grow out of these eyes, so you should place the bulb with the smooth, rounded side pointing down and the eyes pointing to the sky. If you are in any doubt, just plant the bulb on its side – the shoots will find their own way to the top!

My calla lily has finished blooming. What should I do with it now?

After flowering, continue caring for plant in regards to water and fertilizer. This post flowering growth period is when new calla lily tuber growth occurs and the time when they build up energy for next year’s flowers.

What should I do with my calla lilies over the winter?

In USDA zone 9 and 10, your calla lilies can be carried over in the ground during the winter. In cooler climates, however, your calla lily bulbs should be dug up and stored in a cool, dry place for the winter.

I am in zone 7. Do I really have to lift my calla lilies over the winter?

Calla lilies are sensitive to frost. This is especially true for the colored hybrid callas. For this reason, we always say that in areas with frosty winters, to be on the safe side, you should dig up the bulbs and store them indoors over the winter. However, we do have many gardeners in zone 7 and below who report success leaving their bulbs outdoors, particularly with heavy mulching and in plantings closer to a building.

How do I dig up my bulbs and store them for the winter?

Begin by trimming the plant down to the surface of the soil. Carefully dig and loosen the soil until you can easily lift them out. Brush off any excess soil and lay them out to dry in the sun for a few days. Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated location until re-planting the following Spring.

I bought a calla lily plant from a retail store last year and I replanted it outside. This Spring, I only got leaves but not blooms. What did I do wrong?

There are three most common causes of calla lilies not blooming:
a. Lack of light - callas need lots of light and they especially like morning sun with a little afternoon shade
b. Too much water - with the hybrid callas, soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Overwatering can cause disease and/or bulb rot which can severely weaken the plant.
c. Poor quality bulbs - older tubers that have already been used for cut-flower production are often ‘tired’ and worn out and produce few if any flowers.
Try to correct the first two issues if applicable and you could try fertilizing with an all-purpose good-quality fertilizer according to directions.

How do I fertilize my calla lily plant and what fertilizer do you recommend?

Our calla lily bulbs do not normally need fertilizing. If they are planted in less than optimal conditions and you see that they are needing a little boost, you could fertilize with any good-quality, all-purpose fertilizer according to directions. Stop fertilizing when the plant begins to bloom.

My callas are done but at the end of each lily is something that looks like a cluster of green beads. Are these seeds? Can I grow new calla lilies from seed?

Yes, the cluster that you are seeing are the calla lily seeds. It is indeed possible to grow callas from seed. Calla lilies usually take 3 or more years to flower from seed. Seedlings produce an underground tuber that takes several years to grow large enough to produce flowers. Gently push the seeds less than ½ inch deep into the soil and keep soil moist and warm at a temperature between 70-80 degrees. Germination should take place between 30-90 days after planting.

I would like to grow my own calla lilies to use in the bouquets for our wedding. Is this possible?

Yes, it is certainly possible and is becoming increasingly popular for brides to grow their own calla lilies for their wedding. Callas take 12-14 weeks to be in peak bloom, so you should plant no later than 14 weeks before your wedding date. Spring is the optimal time to plant for the majority of climates across the country - you just have to make sure that the temperature rests above 55 degrees after planting (below this temperature the callas will stop growing). If it is still a little cold when you need to start planting, you can always start them off in pots indoors or in a garage/greenhouse, and then move them outside as the weather begins to warm up.

How long can I expect the calla lily blooms to last?

Calla lilies are known for the long life expectancy. This is true whether they are in a vase or on the plant. On the plant, they can look great for around 3 weeks given the right conditions. Just try to keep the plant shaded from overly hot midday sun which can burn the blooms and the leaves and cause the flowers to wither more quickly than normal.

I have a beautiful calla lily in my yard and I would like to know the name of it. Could you identify it for me?

Yes, certainly! Please just email a photo of your calla lily to [email protected] and we will try our best to determine which variety it could be.

Are any of your calla lilies evergreen?

Yes – the Aethiopica Classic Large White calla lilies keep their greenery year-round. Of course, if you are in a zone below zone 8, we do still recommend lifting the bulbs for the winter and re-planting the following Spring. The Classic Large White bulbs ship in August until supplies last. If you don’t see them on our site currently, please check back or you could also sign up for our e-Newsletter and we will send you an update when they are ready to ship again.

What are the 5 varieties in your Fall/Spring Special?

The 5 varieties in the Fall/Spring Special are chosen by the growers. They will select varieties that are doing the best in that particular season and usually try to include a variety of colors. If you would like to inquire about which varieties will be included in your Special, please contact us and we will be happy to let you know which they are.

Can you ship to Canada or Hawaii?

No, unfortunately due to phytosanitary restrictions, we are not able to ship to Canada or Hawaii at this time.

Do you have a catalogue that you can send to me?

We do not have a print catalogue available. All of our calla lily varieties and special offers are right here online. Please just click on any of the thumbnail images for details and pricing on each calla lily item.