How to Grow Calla Lily Bulbs


Calla lilies grow from bulbs, or rhizomes. The leaves are oval and considerably longer than they are wide, and usually are dark green, though some varieties have white spotted leaves. The pitcher-shaped flowers are tightly curled and grow on tall, sleek stalks, making them very popular for floral arrangements. Calla lilies are hardy in climate zones 8 and 9.

Step 1

Site your calla lily bed where the flowers will get bright light in the mornings and some shade in the afternoons.

Step 2

Dig up the soil and mix in a lot of compost or peat moss, to ensure that the soil will drain well.

Step 3

Dig a hole for each rhizome that is 4-6 inches deep. Space each hole 1-2 feet apart.

Step 4

Put the rhizomes into their holes root-side down and cover them up with at least 4 inches of soil.

Step 5

Water the rhizomes well, but don't leave them standing in deep pools of water. This can make the roots rot.

Step 6

Check on the calla lily bed every 2-3 days to see if the bulbs need more water. Put your fingers into the soil close to the rhizomes to see if it's still damp. If it's not, water the lilies again.

Step 7

Fertilize the lilies as soon as you plant them and then once a month thereafter, following the directions on the packaging to determine the strength and amount of fertilizer to use.

Step 8

Pull up and discard any weeds that emerge immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • Calla lily rhizomes
  • Shovel
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Water
  • Fertilizer


  • Growing Cannas and Calla Lilies; Dutch Gardens
  • U.S.D.A. Plant Hardiness Zones; United States National Arborteum
Keywords: calla lily bulbs, rhizomes, growing calla lilies

About this Author

Cheyenne Cartwright has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She has served as an editor for several large nonprofit institutions, and her writing has appeared in a variety of publications, including "Professional Bull Rider Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oklahoma Christian University and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Tulsa.