May 7, 2010
My husband surprised me with a Calla Lily on the weekend. Calla lilies are not actual lilies but rather are comprise of 28 herbaceous flowing plant species in the Zantedschia genus originating in the marshlands of South Africa. They are actually considered weeds there! They grow from bulbs (rhizomes) that spread by producing more bulbs. The new bulbs can be dug up an replanted in another location. Calla lilies are quite hardy and will grow in most soil conditions as long as the climate is humid enough. They can reach a height of 1 to 2.5 m tall with large leaves. The inflorescence ranges in colours including white, yellow or pink funnel shaped spathe with a central yellow spa. My calla lily have a yellow with reddish streaked spathe. Calla lilies should be kept out of reach of children and pets as all parts of the plant contain calcium oxalate that will cause irritaion and swelling of the mouth and throat, acute vomiting and diarrhea.
The Calla lily is rather a low maintenance plant requiring little care. The soil should be kept damp at all times but not too wet to cause the bulb to rot. The nursery suggested repotting this calla lily into a larger pot. It can spend the nicer weather outdoors if desired. While the calla lily will survive a minor frost I will be bringing mine indoors before the threat of any frost in the fall.