Flower Glossary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Of course you’re familiar with the calla lily and have seen these blooms many times before. But before you start planting, be sure to read our comprehensive list of how to care for and plant these bulbs. These gardening tips will help your flowers thrive in any space and make you the envy of the whole block.
What is a Calla Lily Flower?
Ideal for freshening up your garden beds, the calla lily is a low-maintenance flower we recommend for beginners. This flower is not actually considered a lily but is a beautiful and sturdy plant worth picking up. Also known by its scientific name, Zantedeschia aethiopica, this stunning flower originated in southern Africa. This tall and proud perennial features a perfect funnel shape and comes in a wide variety of colors.
If you decide not to add this flower to your garden beds, they would also be a great addition to container gardens or your collection of house plants. The calla lily blooms in mid- to late summer and lasts for several weeks, weather permitting. Fun fact: This flower has been a favorite flower among brides for the past several years. Because of their soft, elegant look and ability to last throughout the wedding day.
Looking for lots of low-maintenance floral options? Check out our list of flowers that require little to no attention and look great.
Calla Lily Meaning and More Fun Facts
According to floral experts, the calla lily is named for the Greek word “beautiful”, which is calla. The flower’s meaning has deep roots in Greek mythology and is associated with the Greek goddess, Hera. The legend that these flowers are named for begins when Zeus brought Hercules to his wife, Hera, while she was asleep.
When she woke up to find Hercules she pushed him away and drops of milk flew across the sky to create the Milky Way. Those drops of milk that fell from the sky hit the ground and grew into flowers, or calla lilies. If you’re interested, you can read more about this myth here.
Fun Facts About Calla Lily Flowers
- In modern culture, this flower symbolizes purity, holiness, and faithfulness.
- These flowers are perennial bulbs.
- The roots of this flower are poisonous.
- Calla lilies sprout from bulbous roots with growths that resemble fingers.
- You should plant these bulbs about four inches deep.
- To avoid planting blunders, plant your bulbs indoors in late winter and transfer them to your outdoor space in early spring.
- Most calla lilies need a rest period after flowering.
How to Plant Calla Lily Bulbs
When it comes to the planting process of calla lily bulbs, it’s important to understand how to care for them. For these flowers to bloom in the spring, plant them first indoors during the winter to avoid the frost. When spring hits, bring the bulbs outside and transfer to their new home. This will make sure you have strong blooms all spring and summer. If you’d like to skip the transfer, wait to start putting your bulbs into the ground until temperatures are above 55 degrees F.
The calla lily bulbs should be planted in an area that receives full sunlight. But if you live in a warmer climate, choose a space that includes partial shade for those scorching days. Gardening experts also recommend planting your bulbs two feet apart as these flowers can grow rather large.
Finally, make sure that your flowers have the proper soil to call home. We recommend adding mulch to help maintain the temperature and keep your bulbs happy. Adding mulch will also improve the texture of your soil. It’s important that your soil holds in moisture as a reserve for your bulbs. Please note: The bulbs are best suited for well-drained and loose soil. When watering your bulbs, take care not to soak the soil and you can expect blooms to appear in 60 to 90 days.
Tips for Calla Lily Care
Caring for your calla lilies is simple as they need little attention. To ensure your flowers grow strong, keep the following in mind: Keep the soil moist, but not too wet. Provide lots of sunlight but if you’re in warmer climates, make sure your flowers have access to some shade. If you’re keeping your flowers indoors, avoid placing them near heating or cooling vents. And finally, monitor your flowers and cut the leaves off at the soil once they’ve died off.
Ready to get planting? With our helpful tips for planting and flower care, you’re sure to see success. Start shopping for your bulbs below:
California Red Calla Lily Bulbs
Want to learn about other types of lilies? We have you covered!