Whether you are using them as florist cut flowers or are growing them in your garden, it makes sense to know the basics of the care of calla lillies. These tubular shaped exotics originate in South Africa.
They have become popular as wedding bouquet flowers, but are also planted in home gardens. Actually, the “blooms” of calla lilies are not true flowers but a modified leaf called a spathe. The plants feature speckled sword-shaped leaves. Read on to learn about the care of calla lilies.
To take care of calla lillies in the garden, you need to choose a place that gets sunshine in the morning. In the afternoon it is appropriate for them to have some shade, particularly in areas that have hot summers. The soil should be moist and rich with organic material.
Plant the rhizomes of calla lillies in this rich soil a foot or two apart and four to six inches deep. Care of calla lillies requires that you keep track of the temperatures of your garden during the winter.
If you are in zones 8 or 9, you can either dig them up during freezing weather and keep them protected, or you can mulch them with bark or straw. Cooler climates require you to dig up the rhizomes.
When you get your rhizomes dug up, they need to have the loose soil knocked off. Next they need to be allowed to dry out in the sunshine for a few days. The best winter storage location for the care of calla lillies is a dry spot with a consistent temperature of about 55 degrees. The rhizomes can be replanted in the garden when the soil has warmed up in the spring, and the danger of frost is no longer an issue.
Fertilizing Calla Lillies
While calla lillies are in the garden, they need to be fertilized every month. Good care of calla lillies requires keeping them watered. It is also essential to keep the weeds out of the garden. Spots that are appropriate for calla lillies are those where other shade lovers bloom, such as hostas or caladiums.
If you’ve been to a wedding or are decorating with cut flowers you can take care of calla lillies so that they will last longer in the arrangement. Always be careful not to touch the flower heads or handle them too much. Cut the stem ends with a sharp knife, and cut them at an angle. This allows more water to enter the stem.
Calla Flower Arrangements
You can take care of calla lillies in arrangements by adding flower food to the water. If you don’t have any of this, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of Sprite or a similar soft drink to the water. The ingredient that helps calla lillies stay fresh in the vase is citric acid, which can be found in citrus flavored sodas. Keep the vase full of water.
Be careful where you place your arrangement if you are taking care of calla lillies. Don’t place them in a spot where there will be warm air blowing on them, such as near a heating vent. Also watch out about sunny spots. The best areas for cut arrangements is one with a cool room temperature.
Whether you are taking care of calla lillies in the vase or in the garden, you can add the charm and beauty of these exotic blooms to your life.