Available in orange, pink, bicolors, salmon, purple or yellow, calla lilies are easy to grow houseplants. White callas are lovely in Christmas-red containers, and stay in bloom a long time. They're tropicals, so wait until all frost has passed if you want to transplant them into your garden. They'll thrive in a sunny spot in slightly moist, organic-rich soil, but will require repotting and bringing indoors before the first fall frost. If you prefer, you can let the bulbs go dormant and store them in a cool, dry, dark place until you're ready to replant next spring.
Beautiful blooms of calla lily (Zantedeschia) are a cut flower favorite that thrives in a boggy environment. Many gardeners tuck calla lily into a spot beside a pond or stream. Plants can grow in up to 1 foot of water. In cold regions, dig bulbs and store dry indoors through winter. Look for varieties that open flowers in many hues, including vibrant yellow, deep red, white and pastel shades. Plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall by 2 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 9-10.
The trick with storing rhizomes over winter is not letting them dry out. To store rhizomes, place them in barely damp peat moss and keep them at 50 degrees F for callas; 60 to 70 degrees F for cannas. Check the rhizomes one to two times over winter to make sure they aren’t rotting (too wet) or shriveling (too dry). In spring, many rhizomes in storage start to sprout, like these calla lily rhizomes. Take care not to break these sprouts prior to or during planting, or you'll diminish the flower show.
A calla lily is another popular plant that grows from a rhizome. Other examples of rhizomes: canna, bearded iris, ginger, bamboo, lily of the valley. When growing rhizomes that aren’t hardy in your zone, dig and store them over winter. Wait for frost to kill (or at least damage) leaves. Dig up rhizomes and cut off leaves. Let a 1- to 2-inch stem stub remain. Cure the rhizomes in a warm, dry place for several days—until cut surfaces are dry.
A mid-century modern table with a pretty calla lily centerpiece sits in this contemporary white living room. A wall of white bookshelves decked out in brightly-colored books and accessories livens up the entire room.
A vase of yellow calla lilies adds a cheery splash of color to this classy master bathroom. The traditional wood vanity includes a makeup nook with an upholstered stool to make primping convenient and comfortable.
Sturdy but beautiful, Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) tolerates just about any growing conditions indoors. Leaves offer a variety of eye-catching patterns, and when there’s bright enough light, these tough plants send up calla lily-look-a-like blooms.
'Give a nod to the season without being too over the top," says planner Resha Zazueta, of Something To Celebrate. "Florals with a hint of holiday coloring, sprigs of mistletoe, and a hot chocolate bar bring a lovely wintry feel without turning a wedding into a Christmas party.” Flowers: White roses, deep red calla lilies, deep red chrysanthemums, white hydrangeas, blush peonies, red amaranthus, white hydrangeas, white larkspur, white wax flowers, dusty miller, white tallow berries, greenery. Floral design: Blooming Gallery.
True bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers all have one thing in common: They each need a dormant or rest period following their time of active growth and bloom. Some bulbs need a summer dormancy (tulip); others rest in winter (canna). You can grow any type of bulb in your garden as long as you provide the right dormant period. That’s why northern zone gardeners dig tender bulbs, such as calla lily or canna—to give them a winter dormancy. Understanding how true bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers grow helps you to give these bulb beauties the TLC they need to thrive and blossom, year after year.