Best Environment for Calla Lilies?

patlovesdirt(8 NC)July 21, 2009

I've got a yellow and a pink calla lily and many small calla babies. In 2 years, neither has bloomed and the information I've found is conflicting. One source says full sun - the other says semi-shade. Right now the pink is at the back of the bed (by accident) and is too shaded (I think). The yellow is quite tall, with very nice foliage, in half sun half shade. In the past, they look good, then turn yellow and die back without blooming. Can someone please set me straight on what I need to do to get some blooms. I'm going to be in the process of a total garden overhaul soon, so they'll be moved anyway. Do they like it dry or moist? I got different information about that, too. Thanks!

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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

I'd say more sun than shade, though not baked over midday, excellent drainage and soil that's not 'cluggy'. They do appreciate reliable water when they're in leaf, though.

They seem to be indifferent about planting depth - at least in the first year. Somewhere between one and four inches underground. They appear to multiply grandly and 'dig themselves down' whatever a caring gardener might do.

If the clump is thinned out and the bigger corms planted in mid spring to early summer (over an inch wide) - like Gladiolus. Put the smaller ones in a 'grow on' bed, if that suits you.

Otherwise you can leave them to make a clump so long as they won't be in boggy land over winter.

Some of them also do quite well in deep pots provided that they aren't forgotten when it comes to regular refreshing of the medium.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 11:33PM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

Hi Pat, I'm in NC too, and I have mine in planters on the deck (where I can enjoy them more often) with no problems having them bloom and thrive. I do lift and bring them in, in late fall however, then put them back out in the spring. I've noticed that they are heavy drinkers and will be the first of everything I have to dry out, and I fertilize fairly often while watering. But they're on my "trouble free" list for sure. Alana

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 12:47PM
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Mine are in the ground in the full sun in Alabama and came back this year very nicely (just in time for the Janpanese Beetles drat!).

They do like water when they leaf out though, more than I had relaized until we got a nice rain.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 6:36PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Mine are in part sun (5 or so hours a day) in a nice south facing area about 3 feet from the foundation of my house. They are in their 3rd year and doing just fine. The area receives supplemental water (1/2 hour every other day).

They have been blooming for about a month, 3 flowers so far this year. (I got one last year). The plant seems quite happy and healthy and it was a very small bulb when I planted it 3 years ago.

I also have a pineapple lily growing about 4 feet from it (Eucomis). Its in its second year and blooming now also!


    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 1:24AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Here in the hot and dry summer of the Napa valley, mine do best in mostly shade and regular water. I have noticed they do not like root competition and suffer quickly if allowed to dry out. Al

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 9:05AM
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