Caring for calla as a houseplant, planting, fertilizing & more

Calla as a houseplant is decorative for weeks and impresses with its simple elegance. In addition to the classic white flowers, there are fascinating varieties with colorful bracts. It is important to know when caring for Calla that the flowering houseplants have a natural rhythm, which represents a change between the growing season and the resting phase. During the dormant period, the above-ground part of the plant dies and the calla does not need water at this stage. After 2 months of rest, you can plant the tubers in fresh soil and encourage them to sprout again.

Worth knowing Location Watering/maintaining Fertilizing Repotting Dormant period Species Pests & Diseases FAQ

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Worth knowing about Zimmercalla

Botanical name: Zantedeschia aethiopica
Other names: calla lily, calla lily, room calla, common calla lily, dragon root, snake root
Use: houseplant, interior greening, office plant, trend plant, cut flower for bouquets and arrangements, potted plant or balcony plant from May
Origin: African swampy areas
Flower colours: white, yellow, pink, purple, red, black, orange
Features:The plant impresses with fascinating flowers and low demands on care. The mostly white bract is a special form of a flower. A large number of colored variants have emerged through selection and breeding. The plants can be cultivated and overwintered over several years. If the calla only forms leaves and no flowers, the site conditions during the dormant phase are not optimal.

In which location does the Zantedeschia feel most comfortable?

Calla prefers a light location without direct sunlight. From mid-May, the flowering plant can be on the balcony or in the garden. It is important to gradually get used to the outdoor conditions in order to avoid unsightly burns on the leaves. Temperatures of 20 to 22 °C are ideal, the minimum temperature during the flowering period is 16 to 18 °C. The calla lily does not tolerate direct sun and cold drafts. Regular spraying with a spray bottle of lime-free water helps to increase the humidity.

Care tip: During the dormant phase, the Kalla can stand in a dry place, without light and water, for 2 months.

How do I water and care for my indoor calla lily?

The popular plants are easy to care for and thrive even with beginners. It is important that watering is based on demand. This means that you water 1 to 2 times a week during the growth phase and during flowering and stop completely during the dormant period. The substrate should always be evenly moist during flowering, but never waterlogged. With a permeable substrate, you should remove the excess water from the planter or flowerpot saucer with the watering can 15 minutes after watering.As with many other plants, spraying with low-lime water promotes vitality. Older flowers turn green and can initially be left on the calla. They are only cut off when the whole flower has turned brown.

How do I fertilize my calla?

Basically, the nutrient requirement of the Zantedeschia aethiopica depends on the growth phase. The need for fertilizer is highest during flowering , and you don’t need to fertilize at all during the dormant phase. If you have a new Zantedeschia, fertilize it every one to two weeks with indoor plant fertilizer for flowering plants. The calla plants need fertilizer until they wither and turn brown. As soon as the Zantedeschia is in the dormant phase, you can stop fertilizing and stop completely for 2 to 3 months.

Tip: Fertilizing with fertilizer sticks is easy to handle. With this convenient long-term fertilization, your flowering plant is sufficiently supplied with all the necessary nutrients, minerals and trace elements.

How do I repot my Zantedeschia aethiopica?

New Callas do not have to be repotted first because the plants still have sufficient substrate in the planter and care is easily possible. If you would like to enjoy the Zantedeschia in the garden or on the balcony, you can plant the flowering plants in a semi-shady place from mid-May. Either you plant the specialty in the ground or in a larger container. When growing in tubs, it is important that a thin drainage layer is placed on the bottom of the pot to protect against waterlogging. Room calla are repotted after the resting phase. Use regular potting soil with a pH of 6.5 or peat-free soil.

How long is the dormant phase at Zantedeschia?

In their homeland, Zantedeschia grow in moist soil or on the banks of rivers that dry up during the dry season. Accordingly, the species has developed fleshy rhizomes. Thanks to this storage organ, the plants can easily survive a rest period or overwinter. Depending on the species and cultivation form, the dormant phase takes place in late summer or in winter. Zantedeschia aethiopica as a houseplant usually blooms for 2 to 3 months. After the flowering period, the leaves gradually turn brown and the growing season is over. Place the jar in a cool place that likes to be dark and keep the soil completely dry. After 2 months, remove the tubers from the soil and place them again in the same pot or in a slightly larger one. There are also tubers that, like dahlias, are planted in the garden from the end of May and will delight with the first flowers from July. These summer flowers need a dormant period from November to January. Tip: Callas work best in the garden when planted in groups. They are suitable for discounts in a sheltered place. In the ideal location, most varieties delight with enchanting flowers well into autumn.

What types of Calla are there?

Zantedeschia aethiopica are mainly cultivated in the room calla culture. These sprout in late summer and bloom from February to summer, depending on when they were potted. The species Zantedeschia elliottiana and Zantedeschia rehmannii grow in summer and withdraw into their bulbous rhizome over the winter.

What pests and diseases can calla get?

Zantedeschia aethiopica are robust plants that are rarely attacked by diseases and pests when cared for properly. The following problems can occur with Zantedeschia:

root rot

It is usually a result of too much moisture or the wrong substrate. Improve conditions and make sure there’s never standing water. In an emergency, repotting can help young roots to form.

spider mites

The affected leaves have silvery dots on the upper side and webs are visible on the underside of the leaves. Spider mites appear on callas, especially in warm, dry weather. It is usually sufficient to spray the plants with water and treat them with plant strengtheners. These bio-active products contain natural plant extracts that contribute to revitalization.

Red Spider

The affected foliage is covered with a fine web. On closer inspection, small bright spots can be seen. When heavily infested with the red spider, the foliage color changes from green to yellow. In the case of initial infestation, rinsing with water and consistent spraying can help, because the pest is particularly common in dry heating air.

Are you looking for more information about pests and diseases or do you have questions about a plant problem? Our plant doctors will be happy to help you – in person and online!

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about Zantedeschia aethiopica

How can calla be propagated?

The simplest method of propagation is division. After the dormant phase, remove the storage organs from the soil and divide large specimens into 2 parts. Then pot the tubers as usual.

Are zantedeschia poisonous?

All plant parts of the genus are slightly poisonous. Skin contact can cause reddening of the skin, so it is important to wear gardening gloves when doing maintenance work. If swallowed, diarrhea, chills and fever may occur.

Are there varieties that are hardy?

The arum family is a perennial herb that, under our climatic conditions, cannot stay outdoors in winter. In South Africa the flower is hardy, in our regions you should be careful with the tuber and dig it out in good time, even with the definition «hardy calla». Freezing temperatures can damage marsh plants.

Can calla lilies be used as cut flowers?

With a shelf life of up to 2 weeks, Zantedeschia are decorative and very durable cut flowers. All members of the family are therefore ideal for arrangements and decoration. The flowers in classic white are often used in funeral flowers.

When can the room calla be planted out?

From the end of May you can plant calla lilies outdoors.

What can be the reason for the calla lily not blooming?

The lack of calla blooms can have various causes. It is important that Calla be kept very dry during the dormant period and evenly moist during the flowering period. Also make sure that there is a sufficient supply of nutrients during the growth and flowering phase. Use a flowering plant fertilizer for calla.

Is there a symbolism for white calla?

If a plant stands for immortality, then it is the calla. The gently rolling white flowers have long been seen as a symbol of eternal life. Increasingly, the white calla is also used for wedding decorations, since the simple elegance is associated with the attributes of beauty and recognition.

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