How to Plant Calla Lily in a Pot: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Plant Calla Lily in a Pot
14 min reading time

Calla lilies are beautiful and elegant flowers that can brighten up any indoor or outdoor space. Growing calla lilies in containers is a great way to add color and texture to your patio, balcony, or even windowsill. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener, planting calla lilies in a pot is easy and fun!

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the planting calla lily tips and tricks you need to know to successfully grow and care for these stunning flowers in containers. From selecting the right pot to providing adequate sunlight, watering and fertilizing, pruning, and deadheading, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s get started on how to plant calla lily in a pot, and create a beautiful and vibrant addition to your home or garden.

Choosing the Right Pot for Calla Lilies

Calla lilies are a beautiful addition to any garden, and growing them in pots can be a great way to enjoy their elegant blooms indoors or outdoors. However, choosing the right pot is crucial for their healthy growth and blooming. Here are some best practices for growing calla lilies in pots and caring for them:

Pot Size

The size of the pot you choose for your calla lilies will depend on the number of bulbs you want to plant. Generally, a pot that is at least 1 foot deep and wide enough to accommodate the bulbs with 2-3 inches of space on all sides is ideal for proper growth. A larger pot will allow for more bulbs and more growth, but make sure not to overcrowd the pot as it can lead to poor drainage and stunted growth.

Pot Material

The material of the pot also matters. While plastic and ceramic pots are popular choices, clay pots are highly recommended for calla lilies as they provide better drainage, aeration, and insulation. Also, make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging, which can cause root rot and other diseases.

Pot Location

When growing calla lilies in pots, it’s crucial to place them in a location that receives adequate sunlight, preferably 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Avoid placing them in areas that are too hot or too cold, as this can affect their growth and blooming. Also, make sure to protect the pots from strong winds, which can topple them over and damage the plants.

Potting Mix

Finally, the quality of the potting mix is crucial for the healthy growth of calla lilies. Use a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix that is specifically designed for bulbs or tropical plants. You can also add perlite or sand to improve drainage and aeration. Avoid using garden soil or compost, as it can be too heavy and dense for potted plants and may contain pests and diseases.

Preparing the Potting Mix

Preparing a well-draining potting mix is integral to growing calla lilies in pots. Here are some techniques to make the perfect potting mix:

Peat moss1 Part
Compost or well-rotted manure1 Part
Perlite or sand1 Part

You can create the potting mix by combining peat moss, compost or well-rotted manure, and perlite or sand in equal parts.

Alternatively, you can purchase a pre-made potting mix from your local garden center or nursery. Just ensure that it is appropriate for growing bulbs and has good drainage properties.

Before planting calla lilies in pots, it is essential to moisten the potting mix. You can do this by adding water and mixing it well until it feels like a damp sponge. This will ensure that your calla lily bulbs have enough moisture to start growing roots.

Tip: You can add slow-release fertilizer to the potting mix to provide additional nutrients to the plants.

Planting Calla Lily Bulbs in the Pot

Now that you have chosen the right pot and prepared the ideal potting mix, it’s time to plant your calla lily bulbs in the pot. Follow these simple steps for successful pot planting:

  1. Fill the pot with the prepared potting mix, leaving about 1-2 inches of space at the top to allow for watering.
  2. Create a small hole in the potting mix for each calla lily bulb, ensuring a planting depth of 2-3 inches.
  3. Place each bulb into the hole, making sure the pointed end faces up.
  4. Space the bulbs about 6-8 inches apart, giving them enough room to grow and prevent overcrowding.
  5. Cover the bulbs with the remaining potting mix, gently pressing down to secure them in place.
  6. Water the pot thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out through the bottom.

For best results, it’s recommended to plant multiple calla lily bulbs in the same pot. This will create a fuller, more visually appealing display and help improve the chances of pollination for seed production.

Tips for Successful Calla Lily Pot Planting

Here are a few tips to keep in mind for successful calla lily pot planting:

  • Choose bulbs that are firm and plump, avoiding any that have soft spots or signs of damage.
  • Don’t plant calla lily bulbs too deep – they may not bloom if planted too deeply.
  • Water the pot regularly, making sure the potting mix remains evenly moist. Calla lilies prefer moist, but not waterlogged, soil.
  • Never let the potting mix completely dry out, as this can result in stunted growth and reduced blooming.
  • Provide adequate drainage, as calla lilies do not like standing in water. Consider adding a layer of gravel or stones to the bottom of the pot to improve drainage.

By following these simple steps and tips, you can successfully plant calla lilies in a pot and enjoy their elegant blooms in your indoor or outdoor space.

How to Plant Calla Lily in a Pot: Watering and Fertilizing Calla Lilies

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the healthy growth of calla lilies in pots. In this section, we will discuss best practices for watering and fertilizing your potted calla lilies, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Watering Calla Lilies in Pots

Calla lilies require consistent moisture to grow and bloom successfully. However, too much water can lead to root rot, while too little water can cause the plants to wilt and die. Here are some tips for watering your potted calla lilies:

  • Water your calla lilies when the soil feels dry to the touch, but do not let the soil become completely dry.
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves and flowers, as this can cause them to rot.
  • Drain excess water from the pot after watering to prevent waterlogging.
  • During hot and dry weather, water your calla lilies more frequently to prevent drought stress.

Fertilizing Calla Lilies in Pots

Calla lilies require regular feeding to support their growth and blooming. Here are some tips for fertilizing your potted calla lilies:

  • Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or 20-20-20.
  • Fertilize your calla lilies once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).
  • Do not fertilize your calla lilies during the dormancy period (fall and winter).
  • Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for application rates and methods.

By following these watering and fertilizing tips, you can ensure your potted calla lilies receive the right amount of moisture and nutrients for healthy growth and blooming.

Providing Adequate Sunlight for Calla Lilies in Pots

Calla lilies thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. When planting them in pots, it’s important to consider their specific lighting needs. Here are some best practices for providing adequate sunlight for calla lilies in pots:

  1. Place the pot in a spot that receives bright, filtered sunlight for at least 6 hours a day.
  2. If the calla lily is kept indoors, place it near a bright window that faces east or west.
  3. If the calla lily is kept outdoors, protect it from direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day, as this can damage the leaves and flowers. Partial shade is ideal for outdoor calla lilies in pots.

It’s important to check the soil moisture regularly to ensure that the calla lilies are not under or over-watered. Over-watering can lead to root rot, while under-watering can cause the plant to dry out and die.

Note: When moving the pot outdoors, acclimate the plants to the new environment by gradually increasing the amount of sunlight they receive each day.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your potted calla lilies receive the right amount of sunlight for healthy growth and blooming.

Managing Pests and Diseases in Calla Lilies

Calla lilies are known for their beauty and elegance, but like any plant, they can fall victim to pests and diseases. As a responsible gardener, it is essential to understand the common pests and diseases that can affect calla lilies and how to manage them.

Common Pests

One of the most common pests that can attack calla lilies is the aphid. Aphids are tiny insects that suck the sap from the leaves and stems of the plant, causing them to wilt and deform. To get rid of aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or neem oil, both of which are safe and organic options.

Another common pest that can affect calla lilies is the spider mite. These tiny mites can be difficult to spot but can cause significant damage to the plant by sucking the sap from the leaves. To get rid of spider mites, you can use a solution of water and dish soap, or insecticidal soap.

Common Diseases

One of the most common diseases that can affect calla lilies is root rot. This disease occurs when the soil is too wet or poorly drained, causing the roots to rot and the plant to wilt. To prevent root rot, make sure your potted calla lilies are not sitting in water, and the soil is well-draining.

Another common disease that can affect calla lilies is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that appears as a white powdery coating on the leaves and stems of the plant, causing them to turn yellow and wilt. To prevent powdery mildew, make sure your calla lilies are not overcrowded and have good air circulation.

Prevention and Management Tips

The best way to prevent pests and diseases from affecting your calla lilies is to provide them with proper care and maintenance. Here are some tips:

  • Water your calla lilies only when the soil is dry to the touch, and make sure the pot has proper drainage
  • Fertilize your calla lilies with a balanced fertilizer once a month during the growing season
  • Provide your calla lilies with adequate sunlight or artificial light if growing indoors
  • Clean and sterilize your gardening tools before and after use

If you do notice pests or diseases affecting your calla lilies, take action immediately. Remove any infected or damaged leaves and treat the plant with the appropriate organic remedy.

Pruning and Deadheading Calla Lilies

How to Plant Calla Lily in a Pot

Pruning and deadheading are essential maintenance practices for calla lilies in pots. Proper pruning helps to maintain the plant’s shape and size and promotes healthy growth and continuous blooming. Deadheading, on the other hand, involves removing spent flowers to encourage the plant to produce new blooms.

The ideal time to prune calla lilies is in the early spring before new growth appears. Use a pair of clean, sharp shears to trim back any dead or damaged leaves and stems. Cut back the entire stem to just above the soil level, leaving only healthy foliage and roots to grow.

Deadheading, on the other hand, should be done throughout the growing season as soon as the flowers begin to fade. Simply snip off the spent flowers just below the bloom, using clean, sharp shears. This will encourage the plant to produce new blooms, extending its blooming period and keeping it looking neat and tidy.

Remember to dispose of any pruned or deadheaded plant material properly to prevent the spread of diseases and pests.

“Proper pruning helps to maintain the plant’s shape and size and promotes healthy growth and continuous blooming.”

While pruning and deadheading calla lilies may seem intimidating, it is a simple process that anyone can do with the proper tools and techniques. By following these best practices for calla lily care in pots, you can ensure your potted calla lilies thrive and produce beautiful blooms year after year.

Overwintering Calla Lilies in Pots

Calla lilies are not frost-tolerant, and their bulbs can be damaged or killed if left outside during the winter. If you live in a cold climate, it is important to overwinter your potted calla lilies indoors.

The first step in overwintering calla lilies is to stop watering them once the leaves start to yellow and die back. This signals the plant’s natural dormancy period, and it is crucial to let the plant dry out before storing it.

Once the plant has died back, carefully remove the bulbs from the soil and gently brush off any excess dirt. Inspect the bulbs for any signs of damage or disease, and discard any that are soft or mushy.

Next, prepare a container with dry peat moss or vermiculite and place the bulbs inside. Make sure they are not touching or overcrowded. Store the container in a cool, dark place with a temperature of around 45-50°F (7-10°C), such as a basement or garage. Check on the bulbs periodically to make sure they are not rotting or shriveling.

In the spring, when the danger of frost has passed, you can take the bulbs out of storage and begin the process of planting them again. Follow the steps outlined in this guide for successful pot planting, and watch your calla lilies bloom once more!


Planting calla lilies in pots is a wonderful way to enjoy their beauty and elegance in your indoor or outdoor space. With the proper care and attention, your potted calla lilies can thrive and bloom continuously. Remember to choose the right pot, prepare the ideal potting mix, plant the bulbs correctly, and provide adequate sunlight, water, and nutrients.

Follow these tips and tricks, and you will have a successful calla lily pot planting experience. Happy gardening!


How often should I water calla lilies in pots?

Calla lilies in pots should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry. It is important not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Ensure good drainage and water thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out of the pot.

Can I grow calla lilies in pots indoors?

Yes, calla lilies can be grown in pots indoors. They require bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. Keep them in a warm and humid environment, and be sure to rotate the pot periodically to ensure even growth.

How do I prevent pests and diseases in potted calla lilies?

To prevent pests and diseases, it is important to provide proper care and maintenance for your potted calla lilies. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Regularly inspect the plants for any signs of pests, and promptly take action if any are found.

When should I fertilize my potted calla lilies?

Start fertilizing calla lilies in pots when new growth appears. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two to three weeks during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct dosage and application methods.

Can I plant multiple calla lily bulbs in the same pot?

Yes, you can plant multiple calla lily bulbs in the same pot. Ensure that the pot is large enough to accommodate the bulbs with some space in between. Plant them at the recommended depth and spacing, and provide adequate care and maintenance for each plant.

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