When To Transplant Calla Lily? [And How To!]

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Calla lilies are stunning flowers that can grow year after year. To keep these plants growing and healthy, you’ll need to transplant them. Whether your plant grows indoors or out, this is an essential piece of knowledge to have. Look no further because we’ve done the research and can tell you how and when to replant your calla lily.

The best times to transplant calla lilies are in the spring, late summer, or early fall. Ideally, you’ll want to transplant when the calla lily isn’t in bloom.

Transplanting calla lilies is straightforward. You should follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Loosen soil where you will be moving the calla lily.
  2. Plant rhizomes 3 to 4 inches deep and plant potted calla lilies in a hole as deep as the container it was in.
  3. Water soil deeply after transplanting and use a layer of mulch to retain moisture.

Keep reading to learn more about transplanting and some important care tips on calla lilies.

Beautiful blooming calla lilies photographed outside the garden, When To Transplant Calla Lily? [And How To!]

Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) Description

The calla lily is also known as African Lily, or Lily of the Nile, is a perennial plant native to Africa. The calla lily isn’t a true lily despite its name because it isn’t a part of the Lilium genus. This plant is a part of the Zantedeschia genus, which includes eight total flowering plants.

White beautiful calla lilies photographed on the garden

The calla lily flower will grow up to two and three feet tall. It will also have a spread between one and two feet. This plant has large dark, green arrow-shaped leaves. From spring until autumn, the calla lily will produce large, trumpet-shaped, white flowers.

Calla Lily Care

While there are winter-hardy plants in the Zantedeschia genus, the calla lily is not one of them. This particular plant is rated for USDA Hardiness Zones 8 through 10. These zones won’t see winter temperatures below 10 degrees to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a colder region, you’ll either need to keep your plant indoors year-round or bring it in for the colder months.

When planting your calla lily, make sure to plant it in soil high in organic matter such as clay or loam silt. These plants prefer moist soil. So be sure to water your plant frequently. Just be careful not to make your soil soggy.

Calla lilies make an excellent addition to ponds or water gardens. If you move your plant near a pond, choose a shallow location. While these plants enjoy moist water, you shouldn’t allow the roots to sit in water. Too much water, and you may have to deal with root rot.

Make sure your calla lily is in a location that gets enough sunlight. These plants enjoy full sun to partial shade. A place that gets at least six hours of dappled daylight would be the best area for them to grow.

Transplanting Calla Lilies

Beautiful white blooming calla lilies on the garden

Transplanting is a garden and agricultural technique that involves moving a plant from one place to another. You may need to replant your plants for several reasons. If you start seeds indoors, you’ll need to move them outside once the weather is suitable for them. You can also transplant to protect against diseases, encourage growth, or divide plants.

You should prepare the area you’re moving the calla lilies before you uproot them. Now is the time to make any corrections to your soil. Calla lilies need fertile, moisture-retaining soil. Add some fertilizer to the area you’re transplanting to and mix well.

Once you’re satisfied with your soil quality, dig the holes for your plants. Dig holes at least 12 to 18 inches apart. If you’re transplanting a potted calla lily, your hole will need to be as deep as your pot is. Otherwise, plant the rhizome around four inches deep.

Gently move your calla lily into its new home. You’ll need to be careful not to damage the rhizome—the plant’s main stem—as you move it. Once your plant is moved, cover it with soil. Be careful to fill the hole so it’s even with the surrounding soil.

You should give your calla lily a good watering after it’s been transplanted. Then, spread a layer of mulch around the area to retain moisture. From then on, you should be able to water your calla lilies around once a week. You want to keep the soil moist and not bogged down.

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Potted Calla Lilies

If you’re growing your calla lily in a pot, then choose one that is at least six to eight inches deep. You’ll need to pick a potting soil high in organic matter and has good water retention. When filling your pot, keep around two inches of space at the top. This extra room will allow you to water your plant more deeply.

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You’ll need to take care when watering your potted calla lily. Try to water only after the first two inches of soil is dry. This technique can help you from overwatering your flower.

Too much water will cause root rot. If you’re concerned about overwatering, you can also purchase a water meter. These devices will tell you exactly how much moisture is in your soil.

Check out this 3-in-1 soil tester on Amazon!

Best Time to Transplant

The best times to transplant your calla lily are when it isn’t blooming. If you’re moving your plant outside, a springtime move is best. Pick a time in early spring once the soil is warm and the dangers of frost have passed.

You can also move your plants in autumn after they stop flowering. In general, you should avoid moving any of your plants while they are in bloom. 

Can I transplant calla lilies in summer?

You can technically transplant your calla lily during the summer months. However, this is usually the time these plants bloom. People typically wait until after a plant is done blooming before moving them. It is still possible to move plants during this time, though.

You should transplant your blooming calla lily the same way you would a non-blooming plant. Work quickly and carefully to minimize the amount of time the roots are exposed to the air.

Some have also found success watering throughout the transplanting experience. Give your plant a soak before moving and the new soil location before you move the plant.

How do you divide and transplant calla lilies?

You can divide your calla lilies to get more of the flower in your garden. If you divide your plant too frequently, you’ll stunt its growth. So, try to limit dividing to every three to five years.

To divide your calla lily in the fall, wait until the foliage turns brown and is removed easily from the root. At this point, you should take a shovel and pry the clump up. Remove any leftover foliage and dirt.

Four gorgeous blooming calla lilies photographed on the garden

Then, cut the rhizome into sections. Make sure each section has an eye for future growth. Allow a callus to form before replanting.

If you’re dividing your calla lily in the winter or spring, you’ll need to cut your plant apart. Take a spade and use it to cut next to new growths. From there, you can transplant your calla lily. 

Where is the best place to plant calla lilies?

Calla lilies thrive in moist but well-drained soil. These plants also prefer full sun to partial shade. If you live in an area with harsh summers, make sure your calla lily gets protected from the afternoon sun.

If possible, your calla lily will do best in dappled sunlight. This allows them to get the most sunlight while still protecting it from scorched leaves.

Do calla lilies grow well in pots?

Calla lilies can grow well in pots! When caring for a potted calla lily, it will be essential to monitor your water levels. You don’t want to overwater your plant. Use a water monitor or only water once if the top two inches of soil are dry.

If you have issues with flowering, double-check your pH levels. You should have a soil pH between 6 and 6.5.

Check out this 4-in-1 digital soil tester on Amazon.

How long do potted calla lilies last?

When facing ideal conditions, your calla lily can flower for up to nine weeks indoors. Don’t forget this is a perennial. If you want to keep your calla lily, begin cutting stalks as the blooms fade. Then, you should stop watering your plant and allow the foliage to die. Store your bulb until you’re ready to replant.

Can I plant a potted calla lily outside?

That depends on where you live. Calla lilies are native to Africa, so they prefer warmer weather. Your calla lily should be safe outdoors year-round if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 through 10.

If you live in a colder area, your calla lily should be okay outside during spring and summer. However, it will need to be moved indoors to survive the winter.

In Closing

Calla lilies are beautiful plants that thrive both indoors and outdoors. For best results, you should transplant these flowers either in the spring or in the fall. Remember, you can even break the rhizome into sections to encourage more growth!

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