Also visit our Calla Lily Life Cycle page.
Although named the Calla Lily, the Calla is in fact not a lily at all, it is rather the common name for the Zantedeschia genus which is part of what is known today as the Calla genus, a genus of 28 different species that are native to parts of Africa – from South Africa to the northern tip of Madagascar.
Not always known as Zantedeschia, the Calla genus was originally named by the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus. It was after German botanist Karl Koch expanded the genus, that the Calla was given its new name in honor of Koch’s fellow botanist, Giovanni Zantedeschi. Other common names for the Zantedeschia genus include Lily of the Nile, Easter Lily, Arum Lily and Varkoor from the Afrikaans for ‘pig’s ear.’
Grown from a type of bulb called a rhizome, the Calla Lily produces very large green leaves and feature beautiful solitary flower blooms from the top each thick stem. A bulb that flourishes in ponds, streams and on the banks of rivers, the Calla can grow between two and three feet tall.
Due to the fact Callas originate from marshlands, when planting indoors or outdoors, it is essential that soil is kept damp at all times. Calla Lilies require little care and can survive minor frost. In warmer climates, with additional nutrition, the Calla can bloom all year round. Best planted in full sun, or in warmer climates, in part shade, the Calla Lily should be planted in spring to avoid frost damage. Bulbs should be planted four inches deep and spaced around on foot apart. Throughout the growing season Calla Lilies benefit from a monthly dose of fertilizer.
A dormant period is required after the flowering period, so it is important to refrain from watering to allow the plant to die back. If the Calla is planted in a container, simply move the plant to a dark area and cease watering until the foliage has faded. After two or three months you can resume watering .For cold climates, rhizomes should be dug up during the autumn, allowed to dry out and stored in peat moss over the winter.
To order Calla Lilies, check out ProFlowers Lily bouquets.
(Images provided by AFIF)