The Way to Transplant Calla Lilies

Overview

Calla lilies (Zantedeschia) are valued for their big, trumpet-like blooms in intense shades of white, yellow, rose, pink or purple. Transplant calla lilies in late summer to mid-autumn, after the plants have finished blooming but before the ground freezes. Calla lilies are tender, so in colder climates, the rhizomes must be stored until spring, when they can be moved to their new location. In the warmer climates of USDA zones 8 to 10, the calla lilies can be transplanted immediately.

Step 1

Use a garden fork or a shovel to lift the clump of calla lilies from the soil. Dig about 8 inches from the plant to avoid damaging the rhizomes.

Step 2

Use pruners to cut the foliage down to 2 inches. Use your hands to separate the rhizomes at the natural breaking point. Try to leave each section with at least three "eyes," small points where new growth will emerge. Discard any sections that are old, woody and unproductive.

Step 3

Store the calla lily rhizomes for the winter if you live in USDA zone 7 or below. Lay the rhizomes in a frost-free room for two to three weeks. Shake off the loose soil. Pack the rhizomes in a cardboard box filled with peat moss, sawdust or vermiculite. Store the rhizomes where the temperature will be maintained at 45 to 55 degrees F.

Step 4

Prepare a planting area in a sunny, well-drained area of your garden when daytime temperatures have warmed to at least 55 degrees F. Spread 2 inches of decomposed manure or compost over the top of the soil. Add a light application of an all-purpose granular fertilizer, then spade the materials into the soil. Read the directions on the fertilizer package label for rates of application.

Step 5

Remove the rhizomes from storage and plant the rhizomes in the prepared spot. Each rhizome should be planted 4 to 6 inches deep. Allow 1 to 2 feet between each rhizome. Water immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork or shovel
  • Pruners
  • Cardboard box
  • Peat moss, sawdust or vermiculite
  • Decomposed manure or compost
  • Spade
  • Shovel

References

  • University of Minnesota: Calla and Canna Lilies
  • University of Nebraska: Fall Care for Tender Perennials
  • Michigan State University: Zantedeschia--Calla Lily
Keywords: transplant calla lilies, divide calla lilies, plant calla lilies

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.