Can You Plant a Calla Lilly Outside?

Written by kaye nemec
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Can You Plant a Calla Lilly Outside?
Know as spring bulbs, calla lilies can be grown outdoors all year. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Calla lilies are unique and sophisticated flowers that come in a variety of colours including white, orange, pink, purple and yellow. Although they are known by florists and gardeners as spring bulbs, calla lilies can be found all year long indoors as potted plants or in flower bouquets. Given the right conditions, calla lilies can also be grown outdoors.

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When to Plant Outdoors

In tropical climates, calla lilies can be planted at any time of the year, but in non-tropical climates, they need to be planted at a time when the temperature will not drop below 12.8 degrees Celsius for the 12 weeks following planting. If the temperature were to drop below 12.8 degrees Celsius, the calla lilies would stop growing.

How to Plant Outdoors

Calla lilies prefer to be planted in areas with bright morning light and afternoon shade. Bulbs should be planted 4 to 6 inches deep and 1 to 2 feet apart in soil that drains well and contains organic material. Once planted, water the bulbs frequently so that the soil stays moist, and weed the area regularly. Once a month, fertilise the calla lilies with a multipurpose fertiliser.

Calla lilies can also be planted in pots outdoors. Place the pots in an area that also gets bright, morning light and afternoon shade. Because there is limited space with pots, bulbs can be planted six to twelve inches apart instead of one to two feet. The pot must allow the soil to drain very well so that the calla lilies do not sit in standing water inside of the pot.

Once the calla lilies bloom they can be trimmed so the flowers can be brought inside. Trimming the flowering plants will not damage them

Winter Growing

If you planted your calla lilies in a tropical climate, you can leave them in the ground year-round. Once they have stopped blooming, continue to water and nurture the foliage. Remove leaves as they turn yellow. After a few months of inactivity, the calla lilies will begin the blooming process again.

In a non-tropical climate, be sure to dig up the bulbs before the first frost of the year. After you dig up the bulbs, remove any excess dirt, and lay them out to dry in indirect sunlight for three days. Through the winter, store the bulbs in a dry location, like a basement, that remains between 10 and 15.6 degrees Celsius.

Calla Lilies are a Bargain

Calla lilies have long been popular in flower arrangements for weddings, funerals and year-round bouquets. Growing your own calla lilies requires very little money and has a great return on investment. The most expensive bulbs are about £3 each, which is about the same price as one stem from a florist; however, a £3 bulb will produce 10 to 30 flowers each season.

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