Calla Lillies

September 7, 2021

Calla Lily Grow Guide

Calla Lillies are classic bulbs, growing tall and elegantly up to 8-inches in height. Its traditional species are available in pure white — typically seen at weddings, but modern hybrids blossom in many other gorgeous colours. Calla Lillies are perfect for adding a delicate and gorgeous-looking flower to your garden.

The history of Calla Lillies

The Greek term ‘calla’ translates to ‘beauty’, and this lillies’ name has a beautiful mythological origin. The story goes that when the Greek goddess Hera was breastfeeding Heracles, some milk spilt and formed the Milky Way galaxy in space, and, everywhere it landed on Earth, Calla Lillies bloomed.

Originally coming from the southern lands of Africa, traditional Calla Lillies have long been a symbol of rebirth and resurrection due to their association with the Christian Easter. This link has been established over the years because of its pure white colour and Spring blossom.

With the other colour of Calla Lilly varieties also rich in symbolism, these bulbs are a must-have addition to infuse some warmth and colour to your garden.

Tips on how to grow Calla Lillies

Low maintenance, Calla Lillies produce long-lasting, richly coloured tubular flowers from late Spring to Summer. They are highly versatile, thriving in cool, temperate, and tropical regions, making them an all-around favourite amongst gardeners with Australia’s unpredictable climate.

Here are some tips on how to grow the Lillies to make them blossom in your home:

  • How to plant Calla Lillies outdoors

    Easy to grow, Calla Lillies are a popular flower as they do not require much attention. The main factor to consider is the proper plant location. For your Lillies to thrive, they should be planted in loose, well-draining soil either in full sun or partial shade in warmer climates. While they are typically Spring flowers, you should wait for the soil to warm before planting your Lillies’ rhizomes, the flat disc-shaped plant stem that sends out roots from its nodes.

    Plant the rhizomes in free-draining soil around 3-4 inches deep and 6 inches apart. If using a medium-sized container, maintain a 4-inch distance between your rhizomes. Since they do not tolerate wet feet or waterlogging, use a good quality potting mix. You could also improve your garden soil with compost and pre-planting fertiliser rich in potassium and designed for flowering plants for the best results.

    During Summer, ensure you water your plants enough to combat the heat, and your Lillies will thank you with stunning blooms.

  • How to grow Calla Lillies indoors

    Since they can grow in partial shade, Calla Lillies also work well as house plants. Plant your rhizomes in a well-draining pot and use a slow-release fertiliser to compensate for the leaking nutrients from the pot. You could also start them outside and move them near a sunny window once flowering. Transfer your plant into a larger container once the roots outgrow the space.

  • Caring for Calla Lillies in the Winter

    Calla Lillies are perennials and can be left in the ground for several years. The plants will die down after flowering, usually around Winter and will reappear next Spring/Summer. If required, bulbs can be lifted and divided during Winter.

Calla Lillies and their colours

The traditional white Calla Lillies are a go-to wedding arrangement flower for bridal bouquets, table centrepieces, altar flowers and corsages. The colourful options, such as mango orange, canary yellow or fire engine red varieties, make for a gorgeous gift for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.

Discover our exciting range of Calla Lillies

Mr. Fothergill’s has an excellent range of virus-free Calla Lillies that produce a striking display of flowers in the first year, including Calla Lilly Odessa, Calla Lilly Passionfruit, and Calla Lilly Grape Velvet. We also have a wonderful range of Pot Calla Lillies to choose from! With this fun and colourful selection, you will find the best hybrid to suit your garden theme, whether in garden borders, flower beds, or pots.

Shop our Calla Lillies today for a lively garden

Add some Calla Lillies to your home today — find the perfect variety in our Summer Flowering Bulb range available in stores and online from August to October every year. For a gorgeous flower bed year round, browse our flower seeds, and other flowering bulbs. Our products are quality-tested, so you can rest assured your garden will be thriving and pest-free. If your seeds or bulbs don’t grow, we’ll replace them! That’s Mr. Fothergill’s guarantee.


Are Lillies and Calla Lillies the same?

Though Calla Lillies and Lillies are pretty similar, they come from different plant families. Calla Lillies are an Araceae plant, while true Lillies are polyploid members of the Liliaceae family. Calla Lillies have thick green stalks with large leaves, while Lillies have a more slender stem and thinner leaves. Lillies' flowers have spread petals, while Calla Lillies display a bulbous trumpet shape. 

Do Calla Lillies come back every year?

Many people dispose of their Calla Lillies once they die off in the cold weather, unaware that they are perennials, meaning they hibernate in Winter and bloom the following year again. The rhizomes can be left in the ground to regrow year after year in Australia. 

Will Calla Lillies multiply?

In short, yes. You will need to divide your Calla Lillies every 3-4 years to help the plant thrive. Divide the rhizomes after the plant dies back in Winter. 

The way to divide them is to use a garden fork, gently dig up the clump and use a sharp knife or pruners to separate the rhizomes into pieces, maintaining their roots and foliage. Discard any dead pieces.

Do you deadhead Calla Lillies?

No. Unlike other flowers, Calla Lily deadheading will not incite the plant to blossom more. Each Calla will only create a set amount of flowers each year, usually between 3 and 7 in the first year and becoming stronger and more vigorous once established.

Shop the Summer Flowering Bulbs Range

Calla varieties