Calla lily (Zantedeschia spp.) is a popular bouquet flower, incorporating sleek and elongated blooms with color variations, such as white, orange, pink, red, yellow, purple, green, and black.
The Calla lily plant is native to South Africa and is considered a weed.
You can quickly grow these plants in your garden with little care and attention. Continue reading to learn everything you need about the Calla lily flower.
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How Often does the Calla Lily Flower?
The Calla lily is a lovely, easy-to-grow floral home plant that blooms profusely.
Depending on the variety, they only flower when they mature and for 6 to 12 weeks in late spring. For the plant to mature, it could take up to three years.
In ideal conditions, Calla lilies bloom in late spring and continue to bloom throughout the summer.
Calla lilies are available all year round, and their bloom will stay fresh for seven to ten days.
On the other hand, plants can live for many years; typically, they go dormant in the fall and return in the spring.
Overview of Calla Lily Flower
Do you know that the genus, Zantedeschia, was named in honor of the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschia?
The common name, Calla, is derived from the Greek word for beautiful. Despite its name, they are not an actual type of lily.
Furthermore, these lovely flowers are grown widely on the island nation of Saint Helena.
The flower comes in different color variations. They often change colors and turn brown when the plant enters its dormancy.
Here is a brief overview of the Calla lily Flower.
|Calla lily, Arum lily
|Standard: 4-8 inch long
Miniature: 3 inches or less
|2-3 feet tall,
1-2 feet wide
|Spring and Summer
|White, orange, pink, red, yellow, purple, green, black
|8 to 10
|Fresh and floral scent
|Toxic to humans and pets
Pollination of Calla Lily Flower
Pollination is essential to a Calla lily’s life cycle, resulting in seeds that grow into new plants.
Calla lilies need external pollinators like bees, beetles, and ants to transfer pollen from another flower.
Although it is best to encourage cross-pollination through natural agents, you can still hand-pollinate Calla Lilies to produce hybrids.
You will simply need two things; gardening gloves and a Q-tip.
- Firstly, select the Calla Lilies you want to breed. Now using a Q-tip, collect the pollen from its bloom.
- To gather the pollen, gently rub the Q-tip over the flower’s stamens.
- Next, place the Q-tip on the Stigma of a different plant’s flower and rub the ends over the Stigma of the plant.
This way, you can quickly transfer the pollen and fertilize the flower.
Repeat this technique with all your flowers to promote variation and many seeds.
Eventually, when the flower blooms wither, they leave a mature pod filled with Calla lily flower seeds.
How to Make a Calla Lily Plant Flower?
If you want to grow Calla lilies, spring is the right time to plant them. By early to mid-summer, the blossoms will be visible.
Calla lilies are easy to grow, but there are specific requirements that you should take care of. Let’s look at them.
- Water the Calla lilies weekly or more frequently if the weather is hot and dry. But avoid over-watering as it stresses the plant and hinders bud production.
- The Calla lily plant flowers best when the temperature is between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- A well-balanced light liquid fertilizer works well for Calla lily. Every other week, use a balanced NPK ratio of 5-10-10 with a low nitrogen value to encourage its bloom.
- Sunlight exposure is very crucial for Calla lily to bloom. They prefer partial shade if the weather is hot and humid but may tolerate full sun in a moderate climate.
- For full blooming, the Calla lily plant demands nutrient-rich, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.6–6.5. Use a high-quality potting soil of 60% coco peat, 20% fine Finnish peat, and 20% coarser.
- Calla lily can flourish in normal room humidity levels if the soil is moist. If you have Gardenia indoors, you can mist the foliage or use a humidifier to add moisture.
Common Problems Associated with Calla Lily Flower
Calla lilies are usually trouble-free and are a low-maintenance plant. You must be careful with aphids, spider mites, slugs, and rot.
Sometimes Calla lilies can produce blossoms with faded colors, drooping petals, and no flowering.
Let’s look at the most common problems.
1. Fading of Flower Colors
Calla lilies may lose their color or turn yellow with poor lighting.
If you put a Calla lily indoors, ensure it’s in a room with plenty of natural light.
On the other hand, avoid placing Calla lilies in an overly warm or light place when planting them outside.
Get them into some shade, either total or partial.
2. Flower Not Blooming
Calla lilies may stop blooming and promote foliage growth when nitrogen levels are too high.
For Calla lily to blossom fully, use a fertilizer with more phosphorus than nitrogen.
Also, Calla lilies do not bloom when they are underwatered. Make sure the Calla lily receives adequate water.
If Calla lilies receive too much or too little sunlight, that could be another factor preventing them from flowering.
3. Flowers Drooping
Calla lily flowers can droop when the plant is underwatered or has a low moisture level.
So, water the Calla lily routinely and maintain the proper moisture level to prevent the flower from drooping.
Another reason it might be drooping may be from excess nitrogen or a fungal root rot disease.
Or perhaps the blooms are too huge, and the stems cannot support the entire flower.
To ensure that your Calla lily blooms magnificently, look for potential problem signs and take appropriate measures.
What Should you do with Calla Lily Plant Flowers?
Like any other plant, the Calla lily needs a period of dormancy once the flower starts to fade.
Typically, you’ll see the signs in the leaves as they turn yellow and eventually brown.
Calla lilies roll up like a tube after their blossoms start to fade. Simply clip off the faded flowers.
You should deadhead the flowers for two reasons:
- Deadheading allows large and healthy rhizomes to grow. It will enable the plant to use its energy to make continuous blooms.
- Clipping dead flowers makes the plant look tidy, as they are grown for aesthetic appeal.
Use sharp pairs of scissors and garden shears to clip the stem off.
Uses of Calla Lily Plant Flowers
Calla lily is a symbol of purity and beauty. The flowers are widely appreciated for their floral arrangements.
Due to their gorgeous and elegant appearance, they have become one of the essential cut flower varieties in the international market and are also used as air purifiers.
Their excellent decorative effect is mainly used to make bouquets, garlands, flower baskets, etc.
Every Calla lily color has a symbolic meaning. Let’s look at them here.
|Symbol of innocence and youth
|Signifies sense and gratitude
|Portrays love and appreciation
|Represents royalty, loyalty, wisdom and admiration
|Symbolises elegance, beauty and mystery
|Conveys courage and determination
The Calla lily flower is highly toxic, but the plant’s underground stem or rhizome is often used for medicinal treatments in South Africa.
Besides, did you know how Calla lily got its name as the flower of death?
It is because people often bought Calla lilies at funerals, as it was a custom to come with white flowers in European countries.
Calla lilies bloomed beautifully on the grave of the deceased. And just like that, it got named the flower of death.
Health Considerations to Keep in Mind
Calla lily flowers poison humans, dogs, cats, and most other animals.
According to ASPCA, Calla lily contains excessive calcium oxalate crystals and alkaloids.
The calcium oxalate crystals in them can irritate the tissues of the tongue, throat, and gums. Ultimately upsetting the stomach.
The juices of Calla lily can also cause swelling and burning sensations along with pain, watery eyes, redness, and even damage to the cornea.
If you suspect that your pets have consumed a part of Calla lily, look for the following clinical signs:
- Oral Irritation
- Intense Burning
- Irritation of mouth, tongue, and lips
- Excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing
If you or your pets ever encounter a problem caused by this plant and its flower, remember the following numbers.
- American Association of Poison Control Center (AAPCC) at (800) 222-1222.
- For pets, contact ASPCA Poison Center at (800) 426-4435.
From Editorial Team
Calla lilies are beautiful flowers that deserve a spot in your garden, and with their rich and brilliant colors, they will provide a spectacular effect.
Also, they are simple and convenient to grow.
Follow the instructions in the article to maintain your Calla lilies in bloom.