Calla Lilies Did Not Bloom

Asked September 17, 2018, 7:54 PM EDT

We purchased 3 potted calla lilies last season. They were blooming beautifully. I stored them per recommendations in a loose-fitting box, with sphagnum moss in my basement cellar. I planted them 1st week of June, a bit of a late start. Our home is in Wyandotte, full sun, west exposure. The callas have grown beautifully, with 2 - 2 1/2 ft leaves. But no blooms? Why? What did I not do, or do incorrectly? I've attached a photo. Please advise. Thanks!

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response


Trouble with re-bloom can be from too little moisture, overcrowding, fertilizer, or the rhizome is storing energy for a season before re-blooming.

Here is the basic growing information—Set rhizomes one to two feet apart. Fertilize in spring after planting them, using a 5-10-5 or 5-10-10 fertilizer. You want a fertilizer for flowering plants, one with a higher middle number (phosphorus). Every few years, the rhizomes may be divided. When dividing, each piece must have an eye, or growing point, on it. Let the cut-up rhizomes dry for a few days before planting them.

This is advice from a horticulturalist in Florida —-

“Since calla originate in marshy places in Africa, providing them with abundant water is an important key to their success. But the other key is sunlight - full sunlight.

It is, however, difficult in the typical Florida landscape or flower bed to provide full sunlight and amply moist soil at the same time. Our sandy soil dries out quickly under the blistering heat of the sun. The solution to this dilemma is obvious - grow them in pots set into containers of standing water out in the sun. Even with this treatment, I had to wait until the second season before my calla bloomed”

From your picture these look very lush, and perhaps crowded. Over-winter them again and replant next season, spacing them 1-2 feet apart, apply flowering plant type fertilizer, and keep evenly moist. You can start them early indoors in pots, transplanting later or leave them in their own containers all season. You may get a spectacular result in your second growing season.

Thanks for using Ask-an-Expert.