How to Care for Calla Lilies


The calla lily, also called by the scientific name Zantedeschia, is a flowering tuber plant that spreads through underground rhizomes. The plant has arrow-shaped leaves and grows to a height up to 24 inches. The calla lily is known for the elegant funnel-shaped flower that it produces in late spring through early summer. Plant calla lilies in the fall months before the first frost or in spring once the soil has warmed.

Step 1

Select a planting location that has a well draining soil that does not pool water and full sunlight conditions. Amend the soil by working 2 to 3 inches of organic compost into the soil prior to planting.

Step 2

Plant the calla lily tuber at a depth of 3 to 4 inches and so the top of the tuber is exposed above ground. The side of the tuber with the most eyes should be facing up as this is where the plant growth occurs. Plant the calla lily tubers 12 inches apart.

Step 3

Water the calla lily tubers generously after planting. Continue to water the calla lily during the growing season as they prefer a moist, but not wet, soil.

Step 4

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the calla lily plants to prevent weed growth and increase moisture retention in the soil.

Step 5

Fertilize the calla lily with a liquid general purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season once the leaves of the plant open.

Step 6

Over winter the calla lily tubers by allowing the foliage to remain on the plant until they turn yellow. Dig the tubers out of the ground after the fall frost has appeared. Let the tubers dry for several days and then place them in a container of peat moss. Store the container in a cool, dry location.

Things You'll Need

  • Organic compost
  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Liquid general purpose fertilizer
  • Storage container
  • Peat moss


  • North Carolina State University: Zantedeschia, Calla Lily
  • Plant Biology: Zantedeschia aethiopica
  • Easy to Grow Bulbs: Callas
Keywords: care of calla lily, grow calla lily, plant calla lily

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.