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How to plant Callas? - The ultimate planting guide for Callas

Callas, also known as Calla Lilies, are a beautiful addition to any garden or indoor space. Known for their striking, trumpet-shaped flowers and vibrant colors, callas are a favorite among gardeners and florists alike. Planting callas is a simple process that requires some basic knowledge and preparation.

In this ultimate planting guide for Callas, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of planting and caring for these stunning flowers. With our guide, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a beautiful display of Calla Lilies in your garden or home.

 

How should Calla bulbs be planted?

Planting calla bulbs is a simple process, but there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure success.

First, it's essential to select a planting site that receives full or partial sunlight and has well-drained soil. Calla lilies thrive in moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. If the soil is too heavy or compact, add some sand or peat moss to improve drainage.

To plant calla bulbs, dig a hole about 4-6 inches deep and place the bulb with its pointed end facing up. Cover the bulb with soil and water thoroughly. Repeat the process for each bulb, spacing them about 12-18 inches apart.

Best time for Calla planting

Calla lilies can be planted in the spring or fall. If planted in the spring, this should ideally be between March and May, when the soil has warmed up and the danger of frost has passed. Callas are frost hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8-10, so if you live within one of these zones, you’ll be able to plant them early in Spring. If your area has a colder climate, then you should wait until the threat of frost has passed. 

If planting in the fall, make sure to plant at least six weeks before the first expected frost. This allows the bulbs to establish their roots before the winter sets in.

 

Pre-planting soaking for Calla bulbs

Soaking calla bulbs before planting is not necessary, but it can be beneficial. Soaking can help to soften the outer layer of the bulb, making it easier for the plant to absorb water and nutrients. Soaking can also help to speed up the germination process, resulting in earlier blooms.

To soak calla bulbs, place them in a container with room temperature water and let them sit for a few hours. Make sure the bulbs are completely submerged in water. After soaking, remove the bulbs from the water and allow them to dry before planting. It's important to note that soaking is not a substitute for proper planting techniques. 

 

Optimal locations for planting Calla Lillies

Callas are popular in gardens, landscapes, and floral arrangements, and they are relatively easy to care for. However, selecting the best planting location for calla lilies is crucial to their growth and success.

The ideal place to plant calla lilies depends on the climate in your living area. Callas do not tolerate direct sunlight in warmer climates and thrive in a slightly cooler environments. In warmer climates, it would be perfect to have full sun and partial shade. In areas with a colder climate, full sun is perfect. Additionally, calla lilies prefer soil that is rich in organic matter and slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Planting depth for Calla bulbs

If you're planning to grow calla lilies, knowing how deep and wide to plant their bulbs is crucial to their success. Calla bulbs should be planted approximately 1-2 inches deep. It is important to not plant them too deep and also not too shallow. 

If you’re planning on planting more Calla bulbs, then make sure to space them approximately 12 inches apart from each other. This helps to prevent overcrowding and makes sure each Calla bulbs gets enough moisture and energy. 

 

Soil preparation tips for Callas

To ensure that they grow healthy and strong, it is important to prepare the soil properly. The first step in preparing the soil for calla lilies is to choose the right soil type. Calla lilies prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. They do not do well in heavy clay soil or soil that retains too much water. Therefore, it is recommended to mix equal parts of peat moss, compost, and sand to create a light, well-draining soil mix.

Next, you should remove any weeds or debris from the planting area. Calla lilies do not compete well with weeds, so it is important to ensure that the area is clear before planting. After clearing the area, add a layer of the prepared soil mix to the planting site.

 

Determining the number of Calla bulbs to plant

Planting calla lilies is an excellent way to add a touch of elegance to any garden. However, knowing how many bulbs to plant together is essential to ensure their success.

When planting calla bulbs, it's recommended to plant them in groups of three to five bulbs. This allows for a beautiful and full display of blooms when they start to flower. Planting too few bulbs can result in sparse or uneven growth while planting too many bulbs in a single area can cause overcrowding and stunted growth.

Receiving and handling Calla bulbs: essential steps

We know you can’t wait to plant your Calla bulbs immediately, but please read this first. We’ll tell you what to do when you just receive your Calla bulbs.

  1. First, inspect the bulbs carefully for any signs of damage or disease. If any bulbs look damaged, discard them immediately to prevent the spread of disease to healthy bulbs.
  2. Is it still too cold in your area? Then store the Calla bulbs in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area until you're ready to plant them. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or excessive heat, which can damage the bulbs.
  3. Are you ready to plant? Select a location that receives full or partial sunlight and has well-drained soil. Calla lilies prefer moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.

Please keep in mind that Calla bulbs are frost-hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8-10. In climates zones 7 and below you should wait with planting until the threat of frost has passed. This is usually mid-May. If you do live in an area with a warmer climate, such as climate zones 8-10, you can immediately start planting.

 

Indoor planting of Calla Bulbs

While calla lilies are typically grown outdoors, planting them indoors can be a great way to enjoy their beauty all year round. Planting calla bulbs indoors is relatively simple. 

  • The first step is to choose a suitable container. Make sure the container has drainage holes to prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged. Fill the container with well-draining soil, leaving enough room for the bulbs.
  • Next, plant the calla bulbs about 1-2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Water the bulbs thoroughly but make sure not to overwater them. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Calla lilies require plenty of sunlight to grow, so place the container in a sunny spot or use grow lights to provide adequate light. It's also essential to keep the temperature between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Once the calla lilies start to bloom, they'll need regular watering and fertilization. Use a high-phosphorus fertilizer to encourage healthy growth and vibrant blooms.

 

Planting dried-out Calla bulbs

Dried-out Calla bulbs may still be viable, but their chances of sprouting are significantly reduced. It's essential to inspect the bulbs carefully for any signs of damage or disease before planting them. Bulbs that are soft, moldy, or shriveled should be discarded.

To plant dried-out Calla bulbs, soak them in lukewarm water for a few hours before planting. This will help to rehydrate the bulbs and improve their chances of sprouting. When planting, ensure that the bulbs are placed with their pointed end facing upwards, about 4-6 inches deep in the soil. Cover the bulbs with soil and water thoroughly.

It's important to note that we mostly ship dormant bulbs, to de-stress the bulbs. Do not confuse dormant with dried-out bulbs.

Growing Callas in pots and containers

Growing Callas in pots and containers is an excellent option for those with limited garden space or for those who want to add a pop of color to their outdoor living area.

Callas require well-draining soil, so choose a pot with drainage holes to ensure that the soil doesn't become waterlogged. Fill the container with a mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and sand to create a light, airy growing medium that allows for proper drainage. The container should be deep enough to accommodate the bulb and allow for at least an inch of soil on top.

Plant the calla bulb with the pointed end facing up and cover it with soil. Water the soil thoroughly, but be careful not to overwater as this can cause the bulb to rot. Place the pot in an area that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Callas prefer temperatures between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

During the growing season, fertilize the Callas every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer. As the flowers begin to fade, remove them to encourage the plant to produce more blooms. When the foliage begins to yellow and die back, reduce watering and allow the plant to go dormant. Store the pot in a cool, dry area until the next growing season.

 

Ground vs. pots: where do Callas thrive better?

Are you doubting if you want to plant your calla bulbs in pots or the ground? We’ll discuss the pros and cons of both planting situations. 

Pots

One of the significant advantages of planting calla lilies in pots is that you can move them around, giving you more control over their growing conditions. They are also ideal for small gardens or balconies, where space is limited. However, pots can also have some downsides. They need frequent watering, and the soil may become compacted, leading to poor drainage and reduced growth.

Ground

Planting calla lilies in the ground is a great option if you have enough space and the right soil conditions. They can grow larger and produce more flowers, and you won't need to worry about watering them as frequently. However, you will need to ensure that the soil is well-draining and rich in nutrients. You will also need to protect them from pests and diseases, and they may be more susceptible to weather conditions.

 

Quantity of Callas for container planting

The number of calla lilies you can plant in a container depends on the size of the container and the size of the bulbs. Generally, it's recommended to plant one bulb per 6-inch container, two bulbs per 8-inch container, and three bulbs per 10-inch container. However, it's important to ensure that the bulbs have enough space to grow and that the container has adequate drainage.

When planting calla lilies in a container, it's important to use a well-draining potting mix and to water the plants regularly. Calla lilies require moist soil but can be prone to root rot if overwatered. It's also important to place the container in a location that receives partial shade, as too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves and flowers.

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