How to Care for Calla Lilies During the Winter Season


Calla lilies, with their classic silhouette and beautiful flowers, are a popular choice for many gardeners. However, when winter approaches, proper care becomes essential to ensure their survival. Caring for calla lilies over winter involves a few considerations to keep these plants healthy and thriving until the next growing season.

One of the first steps in calla lily care during winter is to determine the right timing for stopping their growth. Once the average temperatures drop below 60°F (15°C), calla lilies pass into their dormant stage. At this point, you should reduce watering to prevent overwatering and potential problems like fungal diseases.

Another important aspect of calla lily care during winter is providing the right conditions for their storage. These plants require a cool, well-ventilated location where the temperature stays around 50-55°F (10-13°C). Storing calla lilies in cooler temperatures will prevent them from wilting and dying prematurely. Additionally, make sure to keep the pots or containers that hold calla lilies separate from other plants to avoid the potential spread of pests or diseases.

When caring for calla lilies over winter, it’s also crucial to pay attention to their leaves. As the colder months approach, calla lilies will naturally start to die back. It’s recommended to wait until the foliage dies down completely before cutting the leaves off. This allows the plant to absorb necessary nutrients and prepare for new growth in the next season.

If you want to propagate calla lilies, winter is a good time to do so. You can use the seeds that form in the calla lily flower heads to grow new plants. The humidity and warmth indoors during winter provide ideal conditions for seed propagation. Additionally, dividing calla lily bulbs is another option for increasing your plant collection, but make sure to do this with caution to avoid damaging the bulbs.

Overall, proper care for calla lilies in winter involves providing the right temperature, space, and water. Following these guidelines will ensure that your calla lilies survive the winter and come back stronger in the following year-round. So, don’t let the colder temperatures discourage you from growing these beautiful flowers – with the right care and precautions, your calla lilies will continue to thrive!

How to Plant and Grow Calla Lily

If you want to enjoy the beautiful blooms of calla lilies in your garden, it’s important to know how to properly plant and care for them. Follow these steps to ensure a successful growing season:

  • Choose a sunny location: Calla lilies thrive in bright, full sun. Find a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
  • Prepare the soil: Calla lilies prefer well-draining soil. Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or peat moss to improve drainage.
  • Plant the bulbs: Calla lily bulbs should be planted about 2-4 inches deep and 12-18 inches apart, with the pointed end facing upwards. Place them in the ground and cover with soil, gently firming it around the bulbs.
  • Water regularly: Calla lilies require regular watering to stay hydrated. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not soaked. Water deeply once or twice a week, especially during hot and dry weather.
  • Fertilize sparingly: Calla lilies don’t require much fertilizer. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer once in early spring, following package instructions.
  • Support the stems: As calla lilies grow, they might become top-heavy and need support. Use stakes or trellises to keep the stems upright and prevent them from bending or breaking.
  • Enjoy the blooms: Calla lilies typically bloom from late spring to early summer. The flowers can be cut and used in bouquets, so don’t hesitate to bring some of the beauty indoors.
  • Overwintering calla lilies: In colder climates, calla lilies are not hardy and require special care to overwinter. Once the foliage dies back after the first frost, carefully dig up the bulbs with a shovel, taking care not to damage them. Shake off excess soil and let them dry for a few days. Store the bulbs in a cool, dry place until the next planting season.
  • Divide the clumps: Calla lilies tend to form large clumps over time. To ensure healthy growth and continued flowering, divide the clumps every 2-3 years. Dig up the bulbs and gently separate them, then replant in a new location or share them with fellow gardeners.

With their stunning flowers and graceful, long stems, calla lilies are a classic addition to any garden. Follow these planting and care tips to enjoy their beauty year after year.

Where to Plant Calla Lily

If you’re thinking about adding calla lilies to your garden, it’s important to consider the best location for planting. Calla lilies generally prefer a location that receives plenty of sunlight, with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. They also thrive in warmer temperatures, so it’s best to plant them in a spot that stays relatively warm year-round.

When choosing a planting location, it’s important to take into consideration the soil conditions. Calla lilies prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They also require regular watering, so it’s important to choose a location that is easily accessible for watering.

Calla lilies can be planted directly in the ground or in containers. Planting them in containers allows for more flexibility in terms of location and makes it easier to bring them indoors during winter months. If you plan on using calla lilies for a special event, such as a wedding, planting them in containers also gives you the option to move them around and create stunning floral arrangements.

Planting calla lilies in containers also helps to prevent them from spreading too rapidly. Calla lilies have the potential to become invasive in some areas, so planting them in containers can help to contain their growth and prevent them from taking over your garden.

When planting calla lilies, make sure to dig a hole that is deep enough to accommodate the tubers. Place the tuber in the hole with the “eyes” facing upward. Cover the tuber with soil, leaving the top part of the tuber exposed. This will help to prevent it from rotting.

Once planted, it’s important to water calla lilies regularly to maintain proper moisture levels. They should be watered deeply, but be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. It’s a good idea to water in the morning to give the leaves and stems time to dry before the cooler evening temperatures set in.

Fertilizing calla lilies is also important to ensure their health and vigor. Use a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Apply the fertilizer around the edge of the planting hole, being careful not to get any on the foliage or flowers. Fertilize calla lilies every four weeks during the growing season.

Calla lilies can benefit from an occasional pruning to remove any dead or damaged leaves and flowers. This helps to keep the plant looking tidy and also helps to improve air circulation, which can prevent diseases from developing. Pruning can be done throughout the year, but it’s best to avoid pruning during the winter months when the plant is dormant.

In colder climates where calla lilies are not hardy, it’s important to take steps to protect the plants from frost. This can be done by covering the plants with a layer of mulch or using frost blankets to provide insulation.

After the growing season, it’s important to properly store calla lilies for the winter. In colder climates, the tubers should be dug up and stored in a cool, dry location. In warmer climates, calla lilies can be left in the ground year-round, but they may benefit from a layer of mulch to protect them from temperature fluctuations.

With the right planting location and proper care, calla lilies can thrive in your garden and add beauty with their elegant flowers. Whether you choose to plant them in the ground or in containers, they are sure to contribute to the overall beauty of your garden.

How and When to Plant Calla Lily

Calla lilies are beautiful plants that can add a touch of elegance and beauty to any garden. If you want to enjoy their stunning blooms, you need to know how and when to plant them. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Choosing the right time: Calla lilies are best planted in the spring when the soil has warmed up. This will give the plants enough time to establish before the hot summer months. If you are planting them in pots, you can start them indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.
  • Preparing the soil: Calla lilies prefer well-drained soil, so make sure to choose a location with good drainage. You can improve the soil’s drainage by adding compost or organic matter to it.
  • Planting the bulbs: When planting calla lily bulbs, make sure to plant them about 2-3 inches deep and 12 inches apart. If you are using pots, choose a container that is at least 12 inches deep and wide. Place the bulbs with the pointed ends up and cover them with soil.
  • Watering and fertilizing: Calla lilies require regular watering, especially during dry periods. However, make sure not to overwater them, as this can cause the bulbs to rot. Once the plants start to flower, you can fertilize them every 4-6 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Providing sunlight: Calla lilies thrive in full sunlight or light shade. If you live in a warmer climate, it’s best to provide them with some afternoon shade to protect their delicate blooms from the hot afternoon sun.
  • Dealing with pests: Calla lilies are prone to aphids and other pests. If you notice any pests on your plants, you can try using a mild soap solution or insecticidal soap to get rid of them.
  • Considerations for winter: Calla lilies are not frost tolerant, so if you live in a colder climate, you need to dig up the bulbs in the fall before the first frost. Store them in a cool, dry place and replant them in the spring.

By following these planting and care tips, you can ensure that your calla lilies will thrive and reward you with their stunning blooms. Enjoy the beauty and elegance they bring to your garden!

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.