The genus Zantedeschia (Common name Calla Lily) consist of eight species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Araceae, native to southern Africa from South Africa north to Malawi. The colourful flowers and leaves are highly valued, and both species and cultivars are widely used as ornamental plants.
Zantedeschia aethiopica (Common name White Calla or White Arum Lily) is the botanical name for the white colored variety. White calla lilies are able to grow at cooler temperatures than other callas (50 degrees), slower to go dormant and can tolerate wet conditions. Various cultivars are available. This plant can be grown as a marginal aquatic.
Zantedeschia rehmanii (Common name Pink Calla or Pink Arum Lily) is the botanical name for the pink colored variety. It is a smaller plant than the white or yellow varieties. Its long, tapered leaves are deep green, often with faint white spots. The spathe is mauve to rose-purple with paler margins, enclosing a yellow spadix.
- Growing up to 16 inches.
- Large, elegant, clear white flowers.
In the Garden
Calla lilies are excellent houseplants, best for beds, borders, bouquets and flower arrangements. The flowers create elegant and charming yard decorations in baskets, wooden boxes, plastic or metal containers and terracotta pots.
Work best when placed along back lines of landscaping, framing shorter flowers planted in the front rows of flowerbeds. The plants’ sturdy, green leaves provide a backdrop as you bring additional color to the garden. Callas also work well in an area of high humidity, such as that surrounding a pond. Calla lilies may be planted in up to 12″ of water in mud at the edge of ponds or water gardens.
Callas grows well in well-drained containers. Growing calla lilies in containers allows the flexibility to use them to decorate outdoor living spaces such as a patio or deck with a touch of the tropics. In addition to colorful blooms, some calla lilies have leaves with white spots, adding a textural aspect to their decoration. Using containers also allows the callas to be easily moved without digging them up, since in a cold climates, moving callas indoors helps them survive winter.
- Average between 1 and 3 feet high and have a diameter of approximately 1 to 1 and 1/2 feet when fully grown.
- All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. They contain a poisonous ingredient called oxalic acid. Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. If this plant is ingested, a poison control center should be called immediately.
Caring & Growing
Calla lilies are easy to grow and are generally grown from a bulb or rhizome. It should be planted rather deep, about 4 inches for greater results, and spaced approximately a foot apart. Once planted, the area should be watered well.
Winter hardy to USDA Zone 8, and may survive some Zone 7 winters with protection. If grown indoors, it performs well at an average indoor temperature.
The calla lily flower requires part shade in warmer climates, and full sun in cooler climates. If growing indoors, require bright indirect sunlight.
Prefer moist, peaty soil. Can tolerate sandy loam to clay Loam. Prefer slightly acidic soil.
Keep the calla lily flower’s potting soil damp at all times. At the same time, do not over water as the plant’s bulb may rot.
Adopt a regular monthly fertilizing schedule, either through liquid fertilizer in the water or compost in the soil, to ensure better blooming. Stop fertilizing once the calla lily plant has bloomed. Burnt leaf edges is an indication of overfeeding.
Re-pot or replant in new soil every year helps to improve plants health.