Alphabetical Plant Listing

Zantedeschia (Calla Lily)

Calla Lily, Arum Lily (Zantedeschia)


Native to South Africa, Zantedeschia lilies have become popular garden or household plants. Mainly grown for their magnificent, chalice-shaped flowers (spathe) surrounding a yellow finger-like stalk (spadix), and their arrow-shaped, spotted leaves, they are not true lilies, but are arum (Jack-in-the-pulpit) family members. Whether used in borders, containers or as cut flowers, they always provide a spectacular effect with their rich, cheerful colors.

What to know about Zantedeschia Lilies

  • Zantedeschia species are rhizomatous, herbaceous, perennial plants coming from swampy regions of eastern or southern Africa.
  • Zantedeschia lilies last for many years. Most go dormant in the fall and come back in the spring.
  • Zantedeschia lilies bloom from 6 to 12 weeks in late spring and throughout the summer, depending on geographic location and calla lily variety.
  • Zantedeschia lilies do not all bloom at the same time. There are early season, midseason and late season calla lilies. By choosing the right variety to plant, you can enjoy calla lily flowers from spring through first frost. 
  • One Zantedeschia bulb-like rhizome can produce up to six flowers during its flowering season.
  • Easy to grow, Zantedeschia lilies thrive in full sun to part shade. Full sun is best in cool summer areas but part shade is preferred in hot summer areas.
  • Zantedeschia lilies perform best in organically rich, moist, well-drained soils. Consistent moisture is essential.
  • Zantedeschia Lilies are well-suited for beds and borders, cutting gardens, pots, planters and containers. Some are well-suited for bog gardens, rain gardens and plantings near ponds and streams.
  • Zantedeschia can suffer from cold damage, but are otherwise fairly trouble-free.
  • Zantedeschia are poisonous. All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested.They are also toxic to cats, dogs and horses. The sap may irritate skin and eyes.
  • Zantedeschia lilies spread underground through multiplying and creating new bulb-like rhizomes. White calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is considered invasive in California, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The best time to plant Zantedeschia lilies is spring. They may be started indoors as early as a month before the average last frost date (for earlier blooms) or planted directly in the ground after the danger of frost has passed.

There are 2 main types of Zantedeschia.

Guide Information

Hardiness 7 - 10
Heat Zones 4 - 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Zantedeschia - Calla Lilies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2' (30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Depth 4" (10cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 7 - 10
Heat Zones 4 - 10
Climate Zones 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Zantedeschia - Calla Lilies
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 1' - 2' (30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Depth 4" (10cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moisture Retentive, Poorly Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Clay Soil, Deer, Rabbit, Wet Soil
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers, Ponds and Streams
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
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