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How to Grow Calla Lilies in Pots

A flowering potted houseplant, the calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) provides a tropical look to any home. Gardeners also grow the calla lily as an annual garden plant in regions that suffer frosts or inclement winters. In subtropical or tropical locations, the plant will grow as an outdoor perennial. It grows from a bulb, also called a rhizome. A hardy plant, it can withstand a wide range of soil conditions and continues to flourish if it has adequate moisture.

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  1. Moisten the potting soil before planting the calla lily. The soil should feel moist but not saturated.

  2. Fill the pot 3/4 full with the moist potting soil. Firm the soil into the bottom of the pot with your fingers.

  3. Place the calla lily on top of the potting soil. Make sure the pointed end of the rhizome points straight upward.

  4. Sprinkle moist potting soil around the bulb and across its top. Leave just the tip of the rhizome exposed above the soil level.

  5. Place the calla lily pot in a south-facing window so it receives adequate sunlight. If potting the calla lily for an outdoor garden, choose a sunny location to place the pot in.

  6. Lift the calla lily pot and place it in a saucer of water. Keep the saucer of water full. The calla lily enjoys moist, even waterlogged soil. Water the calla lily from the top of the pot if the top portion of the soil becomes dry to the touch.

  7. Tip

    When grown as an indoor potted plant, the calla lily reaches a height of approximately 36 inches. Outdoor garden plants can attain heights that range from 1 to 5 feet. Calla lilies will bloom approximately eight to 16 weeks after potting the rhizomes. Clip away spent flower heads to encourage further flowering. Remove any leaves that turn yellow or brown and discard.


    Bring the potted calla lily indoors if a frost is expected or it may suffer damage. Keep the potted calla lily out of the reach of children and pets, because it is toxic if consumed.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • General purpose potting soil
  • Saucer
  • Pruning clippers

About the Author

Based in Oregon, Kimberly Sharpe has been a writer since 2006. She writes for numerous online publications. Her writing has a strong focus on home improvement, gardening, parenting, pets and travel. She has traveled extensively to such places as India and Sri Lanka to widen and enhance her writing and knowledge base.

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