YouTube
Pinterest
Twitter
Facebook
Search

Overwintering Calla Lilies

By: Jessie Keith

“I am hoping to overwinter my calla lilies in the cool of my basement! Will this work and any advice?” Question from Robin Van Vleet of Warner, New Hampshire

Answer: Excellent question, Robin! Calla lilies (Zantedeschia spp.) originate from southern Africa and naturally tend to bloom from late spring to midsummer, though they can be forced to bloom at other times of the year. Wintertime is their dry period, so storing them in a cool dark place through the cold months is the right idea. Here are three overwintering options, depending on how your callas are growing.

Container-Grown Callas

If your callas are container grown, simply place them in a cool, dark place, such as your basement, through much of the early winter months. During this time, refrain from watering them. In mid to late winter, bring them back upstairs to a full to partial sun location in your home, and begin watering them once again. They should start putting forth new foliage fairly quickly. When new foliage appears, begin to feed them every two weeks with liquid fertilizer formulated for flowers.

Garden-Grown Callas

If your callas were growing in your garden, dig their rhizomes (roots) when fall frosts start to threaten. Place them in a container of potting mix or compost, and store them in a cool, dark place, such as your basement, through winter. If you want to plant them outdoors in spring as lush plants, pot them up in late winter and give them indoor care as specified above. After the threat of frost has passed, you can plant them outdoors. Another option is to place them in well-amended soil outdoors after the threat of frost has passed, which will results in later-flowering plants.

Greenhouse-Grown Callas

A third option is to maintain your callas in a cool greenhouse or conservatory through winter, if you have one. If growing callas in a winter greenhouse, water them very little through the heart of the winter months.

I hope that this calla-storing information is helpful!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.

While we have made every effort to ensure the information on this website is reliable, Sun Gro Horticulture is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is”, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information.

Use of this site is subject to express terms of use. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use

View Our Privacy Policy