CALLA

FAMILY: Araceae | GENUS: ZANTEDESCHIA

TYPE
  • Rhizomes
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11

Plant Details

Native to South Africa. Basal clumps of long-stalked, shiny, rich green, arrow- or lance-shaped leaves, sometimes spotted white. Flower bract (spathe) surrounds central spike (spadix) that is tightly covered with tiny true flowers. Deer usually leave callas alone.

common calla

zantedeschia aethiopica

  • To 24 feet tall.
  • Forms a large clump of unspotted deep green leaves that are 112 feet long, 10 inches wide.
  • Pure white or creamy white, 8 inches-long spathes on 3 feet stems appear mostly in spring and early summer.
  • Green Goddess is a robust selection with large spathes that are white at the base, green toward the tip.
  • Hercules is larger than species, with big spathes that open flat and curve backward; leaves are spotted with white.
  • White Giant is aptly named, with flowers that may reach 67 feet tall; leaves are thick, leathery, and spotted with white.
  • Dwarf 'Childsiana' grows just 1 feet tall.
  • Pink Mist grows 12 feet tall, with palest pink flowers with a darker pink eye.

spotted calla

zantedeschia albomaculata

  • Grows to 2 feet high, with bright green, white-spotted leaves 1112 feet long, 10 inches wide.
  • Creamy yellow or white, 4- to 5 inches-long spathes have a purplish crimson blotch at base.
  • Blooms from early spring into summer.

zantedeschia hybrids

  • Plants are usually about the size of Zantedeschia albomaculata and bloom in late spring and summer.
  • Leaves are typically spotted, though some selections have solid green leaves.
  • Spathe colors include cream, buff, orange, pink shades, lavender, purple.
  • Captain Murano' has hot pink spathes with an orange base.
  • Spathes of 'Edge of Night' are darkest purple.
  • Picasso blends yellow and purple.

zantedeschia rehmanii

  • RED or PINK CALLA.
  • To 1122 feet., with narrow, lance-shaped, unspotted green leaves to 1 feet long, 212 inches wide.
  • Pink or rosy pink spathes to 5 inches long in midspring.
  • Alba has white spathes.
  • Superba has dark pink spathes.

Common calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is basically evergreen but goes partly dormant even in the Tropical South. It will thrive in almost any moist, even boggy soil all year. It cannot withstand storage and so should be grown as a container plant where winter temperatures fall below 10F.

The other callas described here die to the ground yearly in fall and reappear in spring. They need slightly acid soil and regular water during growth and bloom, followed by a resting period in which, ideally, water is withheld. In rainy climates, rhizomes will tolerate moisture if soil is well drained. Store potted rhizomes dry in their containers. Beyond their hardiness range, rhizomes of deciduous species can be dug and stored over winter, then replanted in spring.

Where callas are hardy, plant all types in fall, setting rhizomes of Zantedeschia aethiopica 46 inches deep, those of other species 2 inches deep. Space rhizomes 812 inches apart. Leave undisturbed until overcrowding causes a decline in vigor and bloom quality. Elsewhere, plant rhizomes in spring and lift them in fall.

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