Calla, Calla Lily

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Lawn & Garden

A type of perennial flower called Calla, or Calla Lily, is commonly seen at florists with its great, white, waxy flowers. However, in its native South Africa, it is considered nearly a weed. It can be grown as a perennial in Zones 8, 9, and 10, but in areas with frost, it is grown as an annual. Gardeners can plant the tuber each spring to enjoy its lush, green leaves and bright flowers in the summer.

Calla lily can grow up to 2 feet above the arrowhead-shaped leaves that come from the rhizome planted below the ground. A large clump of leaves displays a continuous succession of flowers by the end of summer.

To get maximum enjoyment from Calla lily, start rhizomes indoors 8 weeks ahead of warm weather. Plant the large tubers in a soil mix high in peat or organic matter and grow them at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the soil uniformly moist and fertilize weekly with a water-soluble fertilizer. Plant them outside in a rich soil high in organic matter that retains moisture and incorporate a slow-release fertilizer before planting. Grow them in full sun for maximum growth. Lift them before frost in the fall, and store them in a frost-free place until spring.

You can buy rhizomes at garden centers in the spring to propagate Calla lily. Ensure that they are firm and moist.

Calla lily can be planted anywhere if you want to achieve a tropical look. It also makes a dramatic container plant and a superb cut flower.

Related species of Calla lily include Z. rehmannii, which is the pink calla, and Z. elliotiana, which has white, spotted foliage and a golden-yellow spathe. The California series of dwarf callas comes in a full range of colors.

Green Goddess is a variety of Calla lily that is green with a white throat, while White Giant reaches 6 feet and has white flowers and speckled foliage. The scientific name of Calla lily is Zantesdeschia aethiopica.

Want more gardening information? Try:

  • Annual Flowers
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  • Perennial Flowers

FAQ

1. What is a Calla Lily?

A Calla Lily is a flowering plant that belongs to the Araceae family. It is native to South Africa and is also known as Zantedeschia, Arum Lily, or Trumpet Lily. The plant has a long stem that bears a funnel-shaped flower with a yellow spadix and a white, pink, or purple spathe. The foliage is green and arrow-shaped.

2. How do you care for Calla Lilies?

Calla Lilies thrive in moist and well-drained soil with partial to full sun exposure. They require regular watering and fertilization during the growing season but should be kept dry during dormancy. The plant should be protected from frost and kept indoors during winter in cold climates. Deadheading spent blooms and removing yellow leaves can help to promote new growth.

3. Can Calla Lilies be grown indoors?

Yes, Calla Lilies can be grown indoors in containers or pots. They require bright and indirect light and should be watered regularly without letting the soil become waterlogged. Indoor-grown Calla Lilies may not bloom as profusely as outdoor plants, but they can still add a beautiful touch of greenery to any room.

4. Are Calla Lilies toxic to pets?

Yes, Calla Lilies are toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause irritation, swelling, vomiting, and difficulty in breathing if ingested. It is best to keep Calla Lilies out of reach of pets or to choose pet-friendly plants instead.

5. When do Calla Lilies bloom?

Calla Lilies typically bloom in late spring or early summer, but the exact timing may vary depending on the climate and growing conditions. The flowers can last for several weeks and may be cut for use in floral arrangements or left on the plant to enjoy in the garden.

6. How do you propagate Calla Lilies?

Calla Lilies can be propagated by division, which involves digging up the plant and separating the rhizomes or bulbs. Each division should have a healthy root system and at least one growing point. The new divisions can be replanted into fresh soil and kept moist until established.

7. What are some common pests and diseases of Calla Lilies?

Calla Lilies may be susceptible to pests such as aphids, spider mites, and thrips, which can cause damage to the foliage and flowers. Diseases such as bacterial soft rot, fungal leaf spot, and root rot may also occur if the plant is overwatered or exposed to humid conditions. Proper care and maintenance can help to prevent these issues.

8. What are some popular varieties of Calla Lilies?

Some popular varieties of Calla Lilies include ‘Black Star’, which has dark purple-black flowers, ‘Green Goddess’, which has green and white flowers, and ‘Pink Mist’, which has pink flowers. Other varieties may have different colors, sizes, and shapes of flowers, making Calla Lilies a versatile and attractive addition to any garden or floral arrangement.

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