Distracted by Calla Lilies

Monday when I read Claus Dalby’s blog, he had Calla Lilies in pots. Oh, joy!

Tuesday when we went to Florida City to the Big Box, they had calla lilies. Swoon.
I brought home a box of something I had no idea of the culture.

Pig Lilies — I can too grow Calla Lilies.

The only Callas I’ve ever had were Zantedeschia aethiopica. I didn’t know the difference. They never fared all that well here because of the climate but some have survived despite me with spare bloom. There are leaves on the one in shade by the rock birdbath. The one in the rose bed is going dormant from the heat.

The Zantedeschia that I bought today are Hybrids. Unlike the hardy Z. aethiopica they come from the other side of Africa and have different needs. Here’s what I determined:


  • I planted them late.
  • They want cooler weather than I can provide.
  • They need a dormant period. (I always thought Z. aethiopica went dormant. They do die back when the weather gets really hot here and again with frost.) This is a different dormant. Deciduous dormant with dry roots.
  • Unlike Z. aethiopica, Zanthedeschia hybrids are not pig lilies and do not want to be in a bog.

Perhaps before summer is over, I’ll have glorious blossoms of pink or yellow or mango or rose color, just like on the box. I put them in shade with the jungle cacti  potted in 6″ pots.

Have you grown Calla Lilies? Are they in bloom again?