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Present in every continent in the world except Antarctica, the calla lily is an ornamental plant bearing colorful flowers and leaves.
It is a genus of eight species and is native to southern Africa.
The calla lily plant even though criticized as an untrue lily, is grown indoor and outdoor for its aesthetic appeal and inviting colors.
You could stare at a calla lily all day if you just saw it for the first time. Calla lilies have broad dark-green leaves that have white flecks on them.
In full bloom, calla lilies produce flowers with pink, red, orange, and yellow colors which are dependent on the species of the plant.
The leaves of the calla lily plant can be cooked and eaten as food but are poisonous when ingested in their raw state.
After the first bloom, calla lilies oftentimes begin to wilt and probably die off due to improper gardening practices.
You should note that after the first bloom, calla lilies become really fragile and needs to be taken proper care of, to survive the next bloom.
In this article, you will learn the various ways to care for your calla lily plant every time it blooms and the right conditions to put in place for your calla lilies to get it to bloom.
How to Care For Calla Lilies after Blooming
Calla lilies usually bloom and produce flowers by late summer. After blooming, they typically enter a state of dormancy where their leaves wilt and droop.
In this state, the following should be done to care for the calla lily to help it stay alive and be able to bloom again:
1. Discontinue watering the plant
2. Change the location of the plant pot
3. Perform “curing” on outdoor calla lilies
The following ways of caring for a calla lily plant after blooming are explained below.
Treat the information as guidelines and be willing to carefully observe your calla lily from time to time to ensure the time is right for bloom, dormancy, and bloom care.
1. Discontinue Watering the Plant
After bloom, the plant naturally goes into dormancy and the leaves fade and wilt.
The plant at this state looks dead and withered and you would probably think that the next best thing to do is to dispose of the plant and get a healthier one.
You might also think that the plant is suffering some nutrient and water deficiencies, hence the browning, curling, and shriveling of the leaves.
But this is not the case for a calla lily.
Browning and wilting of leaves of the calla lily just after bloom, is only sign that the plant has gone dormant and awaits the next season to grow and bloom again.
At dormancy, the plant does not use up water or nutrients. It stops growing and has no need to use any of the necessities needed for growth.
It is necessary to discontinue watering the calla lily at this point, unless you want to have the plant stay perpetually dormant- death, due to overwatering.
Protect the plant from natural and artificial water supplies when it is at the dormant levels.
Dormancy usually lasts for about two months, after which you can resume the usual watering routine.
2. Change The Location Of The Plant
Sunlight isn’t necessary any longer after the first two months of blooming. This, as explained earlier is a result of dormancy in the plant.
Therefore, after the blooming of your calla lily plant, you should change the location of your plant pot to somewhere dark and cold, somewhere that the rays of sunlight cannot penetrate.
Sunlight at this point does not foster photosynthesis in the plant and might only lead to sunburns on the plant, making it difficult for the plant to bloom again.
3. Perform “Curing” On Outdoor Calla Lilies
Curing is a term used to explain the processes involved in fine-tuning a plant to ensure that the plant contains just the right moisture content and chemical composition.
Curing as a process in calla lilies involves uprooting the root stalks or rhizomes and letting them dry up for about a week.
After drying the rhizomes, you are to enclose them in a paper bag and store them in a temperature condition not less than ten degrees Celsius.
“Curing” helps the calla lily plant shed off old root conditions and strengthens it for a new blooming season.
What Do You Do With Calla Lilies after They Bloom
From observations, the blooming of the calla lily plants uses up a lot of the plant energy.
It is like childbirth and womanhood. Hence, the plant always looks like death after every bloom.
When your calla lilies turn brown and their leaves curl up after a bloom, do not look at them as dead or wilting.
Yes, they are dead and wilting, but it’s a temporal process that will naturally pass just as night replaces day.
After they bloom, ensure to prune away some of the leaves, especially the ones that are already drooping.
This gives your calla lily an artistic look and prepares extra space for the growth of more leaves from the calla lily the next time it grows.
Do Calla Lilies Bloom More Than Once?
Yes calla lilies do? Every single species in the calla lily genus are perennial. This means that they can survive for more than three years. T
hey are annual bloomers and usually bloom at the fall or midsummer.
Calla lilies can bloom every year until the time of their death if adequate care is given to it and the right conditions for survival are put in place.
Why Didn’t My Calla Lilies Bloom
Certain factors prevent the blooming of the calla lily plants. They range from improper gardening practices to the presence of fungal infections.
The following are reasons why your calla lilies aren’t blooming and might not bloom.
1. Excessive nitrogen in fertilizer
2. Inadequate watering
3. Inadequate sunlight and heat
4. Infertile soil
1.Excessive nitrogen in fertilizer
The function of nitrogen to plants is the stimulation of leaf growth.
Generally, plants need fertilizers that have the nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous combo.
The nutrients amount in the fertilizer can be tweaked from time to time depending on the need of the plant at the moment.
When fertilizers with more nitrogen components are applied to the soil of a growing calla lily plant, it stimulates the growth of lots of leaves on the plant and inhibits the blooming of flowers.
2. Inadequate Watering
This causes stress to the calla lily plant and inhibits the plant’s ability to develop flowers. Water is essential for the proper growth and functioning of the calla lily plant. the absence of water in the plant makes the plant unable to carry out effectively all of its functions, one of which is blooming
3. Inadequate Sunlight and heat
The calla lily plant needs sunlight for photosynthesis and the production of food which is used up as energy to bloom.
When the amount of sunlight the plant gets is inadequate, the leaves tend to wilt.
A calla lily with wilting leaves cannot bloom.
4. Infertile soil
Your choice of soil for growing the calla lily is an important determinant of the blooming capacity of your calla lilies.
An infertile soil does not have enough nutrients to support the life of a calla lily as well as foster blooming.
The reverse is the case for an adequately fertile soil with good draining capacities.
How to Make Calla Lilies Bloom
To make a calla lily bloom demands that the right conditions for proper growth and development be made available to the plant.
This means that the plant should get good watering either by consistent soaking or misting.
The calla lily plant should also be exposed to bright indirect sunlight capable of fostering photosynthesis.
The soil on which the calla lily is planted should be one that is rich in nutrients and have a good draining capacity.
Lastly, if fertilizers have to be applied, they must be applied moderately, such that no nutrient is greater than the other in composition.
When Should You Deadhead Calla Lilies?
Deadheading of calla lilies is also known as pruning. Deadheading is best done immediately after the blooming of the calla lily plant.
This is because; it is the stage in the life of the plant when it looks like it is dead.
The benefit of deadheading is the fact that it keeps the plant neat and ready to produce in the next season.
Can Calla Lilies Grow Indoors?
Yes, they can. Calla lilies can grow into healthy plants and bloom seasonally indoors as much as they do outdoors.
But, certain criterias have to be put in place indoors for better growth of the calla plant.
1. Maintaining a moist soil
2. Provision of bright indirect light
3. Constant application of fertilizers
4. Constant/ annual re-potting
5. Punctual pruning/deadheading
In this article, you have learned all there is to learn about a calla lily, how to make it grow after its first bloom and how to foster an initial bloom.
The calla lily is not expensive to maintain as long as you understand all of its uniqueness.