Calla lilies are not just elegant flowers for brides, but they represent some of the most preferred choices for hobbyists. For outdoor growing, they thrive well in USDA hardiness zones 7-10, whereas there is no such limitation for indoor plantation. Yes, potted calla lilies can be grown easily indoors, irrespective of the growing zones. Doesn't that sound interesting? Well, let's look further about how to care for a potted calla lily.
Caring for Potted Calla Lilies
Adorned with dark green foliage and long-lasting blooms, the demand for calla lily plants is very high in the floral industry. They are commonly seen growing on the sides of garden ponds and parks. In addition to pure white type, it is available in shades of yellow, orange, pink, peach, red, purple and green. The scientific name for true, white calla lily is Zantedeschia aethiopica, whereas the colorful varieties are represented as Zantedeschia hybrids. Following is a useful guide for growing and caring for calla lilies in pots.
Give Lots of Light
Being native to tropical climatic conditions, calla lily plants require ample amounts of light for optimal growth and timely blooming. Make sure that you keep the potted plant in a bright windowsill, where it receives natural light throughout the day. During cold winter months, you can keep it outdoors for some time during the day for getting adequate sunlight.
The Temperature Factor
Next to light factor, regulating indoor temperature is a prerequisite for growing healthy calla lily in pots and containers. The preferable temperature for indoor gardening of this tropical flowering plant is 70°F. Extreme fluctuation in light and temperature can take a toll on potted calla lilies. So, make sure you protect it from the scorching sun and indoor heaters.
Soil Should be Moist
Watering potted calla lilies should be such that the potting mixture is moist, but not soggy. For achieving this, you will need to irrigate it on a regular basis. At the same time, avoid excess watering to minimize plant problems. A simple, yet effective approach to retain soil moisture is providing a layer of mulch. By doing so, the need for repeated watering will be reduced.
Fertilizing is a Must
This tropical plant needs fertile soil and sufficient nutrients to grow luxuriantly. Taking this into consideration, feed it with an all-purpose fertilizer (10-10-10) once in every 3-4 weeks. It is best to refer to the manufacturer's instructions for deciding correct dosage and application steps. Stop fertilizing your calla lily plant, once it starts developing flower buds.
Care for Calla Lily Blooms
Within 3 months of planting calla lily in a container, it will produce blooms. Then, you are expected to water and feed your plant in the same way as before, even after the blooming period is over. This is to ensure development of healthy tubers and restore nutrients for next year's vegetative growth and flowering.
Calla Lily Problems and Diseases
Though calla lily leaves look attractive with their dark color and leathery surface, they are grown for blooms. It does happen that potted calla lily has healthy foliage, but it fails to flower. This may be due to poor tuber quality, insufficient light and excessive watering of the plant. Also, watch out for signs of common calla lily diseases like tomato spotted wilt, infection due to cucumber mosaic virus, root rot, bacterial soft rot and leaf spot disease. Remove diseased parts in the early stages to avoid severe infestation.
Need for Repotting
After a few years, the potted calla lily tends to become too heavy for the original container. If you notice the same, then it is high time for repotting calla lily. The procedure is quite easy; you just need to loosen soil along the boundary of the pot. Gently lift the plant without injuring the roots. Place the lily plant in a new, large pot (6 inches in diameter) and refill it with fertile potting medium. Water it properly.
With calla lily plants, you will no longer worry about growing and caring for them indoors. Adopt the above mentioned simple instructions for potted calla lily care, and I am sure you will get to enjoy lovely blooms every year. Just keep a stringent watch over the provided growth factors to ensure production of large, healthy calla lily flowers in the late spring.