How to plant arum lilies

Updated February 21, 2017

The arum lily, also known as the calla lily, is most commonly seen as a cut flower. But the arum lily also grows well in the landscape. African natives, arum lilies need warm temperatures and moist soil to grow. They fare best on pond edges or areas with high rainfall or a high water table. The best way to start arum lilies in your garden is to plant bulbs in early spring.

Turn and loosen the soil to a depth of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inches) with a hoe.

Rake the soil smooth.

Plant each small bulb 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep and 30 to 60 m (1 to 2 feet) apart.

Water the soil until the top 7.5 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) are quite moist -- even soaking.


Arum lilies need moist soil to grow. When rainfall or groundwater does not keep the soil moist, you must keep it moist with regular watering. Arum lilies grow best in full sun to partial shade. Calla lilies should be planted in early spring once the ground thaws and temperatures warm. If the growing season in your area is short, you may start the calla lilies in containers filled with potting soil in late winter; then, transplant them in early spring.


Arum lilies are toxic if any part of the plant is ingested.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Hose
  • Rake
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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.