How to Harvest Calla Lily Bulbs

Calla lily flowerMost calla lily flowers have waxy-white flowers that gracefully twist and curl, ending in a delicate point. Other calla lily flower varieties are pink, orange or red, dark green or variegated with white spots. Calla lily plants are native to marshlands of South Africa but have gained popularity in gardens in the United States as marginal pond plants and potted plants. It is a popular flower for weddings and Easter, and cut calla lily flowers last a long time in floral displays.


The calla lily grows to 2 feet tall and can be grown as potted plants in apartment gardens, and there are also miniature calla lily varieties that you can keep. If you keep calla lily flowers in containers in your apartment garden, you will eventually want to harvest the calla lily bulbs. Harvesting bulbs is the easiest way to propagate calla lily flowers (you can also propagate calla lilies by seed), it keeps the plants from overcrowding in the plant container, and harvesting calla lily bulbs is a great way to overwinter these plants. Here’s how to harvest calla lily bulbs.

Grow the calla lily plant from bulbs. In the fall your calla lily’s leaves will begin to turn yellow and die back. Once the container plant has died back, dig the calla lily bulbs up out of the ground. Divide the calla lily bulbs by gently twisting them to get more bulbs. If they don’t easily twist apart, pry them apart with a knife. Discard any calla lily bulbs that have been damaged, or those that are shriveled or don’t have roots at the bottom. Either plant them right away or dry them to store them. Dry the calla lily bulbs in front of the fan for a few hours. Keep them at a warm (70- to 80-degree) temperature for a week, then store them in a cool, dark place for up to 10 months.

Plant dried calla lily bulbs 3 inches deep with the foliage pointing upward. After planting, the calla lily will bloom in about three months. Even after the calla lily blooms have withered, keep watering and fertilizing your calla lily well so the bulbs can store energy for the next growing season.

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