Did you know that you can grow calla lilies in the home? Although they have beautiful foliage, most of us will be growing them for their flowers. If you are fortunate to live in USDA zone 10 or higher, these will grow outdoors with no problem. Otherwise, the rest of us will need to grow indoor calla lilies, but they can be placed outdoors during the warmer months. There are a few important things to know about growing calla lilies inside in order to be successful with these plants.
Calla Lily as a Houseplant
First of all, calla lilies actually prefer to grow as a marginal aquatic plant and oftentimes is found growing on the edges of streams or ponds. This is a wonderful benefit for people that tend to water a lot! Keep your indoor calla lilies continually moist and never allow them to dry out. You can even keep a little water in the saucer that it sits in but be sure that it doesn’t sit in standing water for too long.
You’ll want to regularly fertilize your plants throughout the growing season with a low nitrogen fertilizer as this will help with flowering.
Calla lilies in the home prefer some sunshine but be careful to avoid hot midday sun as this can burn the leaves. An eastern window with morning sun or western window with afternoon sun will be ideal for this plant.
Calla lilies inside prefer temperatures between 65 degrees F. (18 C.) and 75 degrees F. (24 C.) as ideal growing temperatures. Be sure not to keep a growing plant any colder than about 55 degrees F. (13 C.), except when your plant goes dormant.
It would benefit your calla lily to spend the warm months outdoors. Be sure to harden off your plants when moving from indoors to out so that the foliage doesn’t burn. Allow your plant to sit in full shade for at least a week when temperatures are appropriate to move them outdoors and gradually introduce more sun.
If you live in an area with strong sun, partial shade is recommended. In other areas, you can safely go with half a day to even full sun as long as you keep up the moisture needs that this plant requires.
Dormancy for Indoor Calla Lilies
At the end of the growing season, you should allow your plant to go dormant in the late fall. Stop watering, allow the foliage to completely die down, and place your calla lilies inside in an area that is above freezing but no warmer than about 50 degrees F. (10 C.) or so. The area should be dark and also with low humidity if possible. Keep them dormant for two to three months. You may want to give a light watering once or twice during that time to prevent the rhizomes from shriveling.
When the dormancy period is over, you may want to repot your calla lily rhizomes into fresh soil and into a larger pot if needed. Place your pot back in its growing location and watch the cycle start all over again.