Growing Calla Lilies in Cold Climates

Captain Trinity Calla Lily

Growing Calla Lily plants in cold climates (in fact any climate) is not difficult and is possible with great success!  Living in a cold growing Zone (3 to 7) and finding long lasting plants with beautiful long lasting flowers can be challenging, to say the least.  Calla Lilies are the answer!  They are a great house plant, non-fragrant, their flowers make beautiful bouquets and last longer than any other flower.  They thrive in warm, humid temperatures, and have long been loved for their elegance and simple beauty. It’s a bit more effort than growing Callas in a warmer climate but well worth the effort and the rewards are high for these beautiful, long lasting flowering plants that will bloom into the Fall!  Simply follow our instructions and you be able to enjoy theses beauties without fear of losing them when freezing temperatures strike.

Easy to Grow

Calla lilies are one of the easiest plants to grow in containers and this is how you should grow them if you live in a cold climate region.  If you would like to see calla lilies year after year in cold climates, you need to take a few easy extra steps for growing them in colder climates and caring for them through out the winter months.  Growing Calla Lily plants in cold climates is not difficult.

 What is a “Cold Climate”?

Although I have heard of some success growing Calla Lilies in colder climates outdoors, they generally will not survive once the tuber temperature reaches at or below freezing. Since Calla Lilies are should be planted no more than two inches deep in the garden or landscape, they will freeze and will not survive colder climates. Therefore, a cold climate is one that has sustained temperatures at or below freezing.

In order for your Callas to stay a perennial plant and last for years in these areas, Callas should be grown in containers.

Crystal Blush Calla Lily

Here’s What To Do

Tubers arriving to you in the Fall

Step 1:  Store in a paper bag with slightly damp peat moss or newspaper for a minimum of 8 weeks in a cool, dry place such as your garage or even in your house.  Callas will need a “rest period” in order for them to bloom the following season. 

Step 2:  Plant in your container (follow our planting and care instructions included with your order), grow inside your house until ALL possibility of outside freezing temperatures have passed.  Then place your Calla Lily outdoors in the container.  NOTE:  You should not place your growing Calla Lily in direct sunlight after growing indoors.  Place it in a cool, shady area for a few days.  Then move it to a more sunny location.  Otherwise, the leaves may burn. 

Step 3:  After they have finished blooming and the leaves turn yellow, remove your Calla tuber from it’s container, clean off the potting mix, and let the tuber, roots, stems, and leaves dry.  Remove the dead or dying parts of the tuber (roots, leaves, etc.) being careful not to damage the tuber.

Step 4:  Repeat step 1 when you first received your Calla tuber.

Tubers arriving to you in the Spring

Step 1:  We have already given your Calla tubers the 8 week “rest period” needed for them to bloom the current Spring.  However, if you still are having cold or snowy weather, then follow step 1 of the Fall arrival (above).  Otherwise, follow steps 2, 3, and 4 of Fall arrival (above).

Helpful Hints/Review

Calla Lilies are non fragrant, can bloom through a 6 month period, and are very easy to grow!

Callas grow best in containers large enough to support root and tuber growth.

Calla Lilies can be grown in partial shade or full sun but do best in morning sun and afternoon shade.

Callas are usually pest free.

Callas need a minimum of an 8 week “rest period” in order to bloom the next year.  DO NOT ALLOW THE TUBER TO FREEZE DURING IT’S REST PERIOD!

You can “jump start” your Calla Lilies by growing them in your house for awhile or as a permanent house plant.  Just remember to remove the tuber in the Fall and give it a rest.

Callas grown in containers need plenty of room for root and tuber growth.  Use a large enough pot or container to give your Calla tuber and roots plenty of room to grow.

When placing your Calla plant grown indoors to an outside location, remember to place it in a cool, shady location for a few days.  Otherwise the leaves may burn.

Calla Lilies are heavy feeders.  Remember to add a fertilizer to your potting mix low in nitrogen (no more than 10%) and high in mineral content.

I recommend not using a fertilizer mixed with water then applying it to the leaves.  Instead, use a small amount of slow release granular fertilizer applied directly to the planted Calla Lily pot or container every 3 to 4 weeks.

Calla Lilies do not require or need a lot of water.  Keep the potting mix moist…NOT WET.  If the potting mix is too wet, you will rot the tuber!  I very seldom water my potted Callas more than once a week, whether grown indoors or outdoors.