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Are Calla Lilies Perennial? – Why It Is Considered Annual(or Both)

If you are curious about “Are calla lilies perennial?” But before answering, let me tell you plants that are called perennial grows every year or continuously growing for decades while annual plants are there for a year or in one session. Calla lilies are beautiful flowering plants which are used in various events, for gifting and also for making the garden more elegant and gorgeous with the presence of calla lily plants.

Are calla lilies perennial

Are calla lilies perennial?

Yes, Calla lilies are perennial plants that grow every year if they are saved by cutting off the wither blooms and taking out all the bulbs of calla lilies. Perennial plants are grown year after year in case of calla they need to be protected from heavy frost, this way they are called perennial. For some people calla lilies are still annual because they don’t take out bulbs and let their calla bulb freeze, this way it won’t grow back next year. Gardeners like me and many used to take out bulbs then it is stored indoors inside the house and wrapped in sphagnum moss which safeguard the rhizomes for next season. 

Once string starts you can plant back all calla lily bulbs again in pots or large containers and water them on a regular basis or whenever they need.  Also make sure don’t put calla bulbs in direct sun or partial light, they just need shade only until it grows the shoots. Once Shoots emerge and create a length you can change the place of the pot to direct sun or partial light source. This way calla lilies will get more sunlight, which means more growth and they will bloom after 3 months or in the summer.

Calla lilies as perennial have green leaves year round but if the climatic conditions are perfect like not too cold temperature and efficient light source. Frost is the number one reason why calla lilies are sometimes called annual but when they are protected from freezing temperature it can grow again next year which basically means it is now perennial. For perennial plants you should give them full sun to partial light and provide proper water which makes the soil moist, don’t make it soggy else root rot is a common problem which can occur.

There are a variety of calla lilies that don’t like winter or frost. That is why those calla lilies didn’t survive in cold climates and they are termed as annuals. If you really want calla lilies to grow every year then make sure to follow what I have explained like digging up the soil and taking out the rhizome or bulb of the calla lily plant and putting it in peat or sphagnum moss. Provide them over 54 degree F temperature it will be ready for the next spring season and you can expect the blooms in the month of early to mid summer.

How to Keep the Calla lily Growing for years if you want to make the plant perennial. So to make sure your calla lily grows every year, place them in a warm temperature and if you have a cold season coming then place the calla lily bulb back indoors and provide a warmer place. This will surely save the plant.

Buy Fresh Calla Lily Bulbs/Rhizome :

White Calla Lily Bulbs, Organic Bulbs

Calla Lily Zantedeschia Yellow 2 Bulbs

Calla Lily Zantedeschia BLACK 2 Bulbs

Calla Lily Zantedeschia Red Fire 2 Bulbs


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Do calla lilies come back every year?

These calla lilies are perennial plants so they come back year after year. They are grown in containers and pots with fertile soil given sufficient water can help them grow healthy and it may bloom well if planted in spring season. Calla lily  bulbs are saved for the next year so we can see new blooms and it will help the plant to grow all year round except winters. 

What to plant with calla lilies?

Calla lilies companion plants are ligularias, Lavenders, Hostas, Creeping jenny, ferns, hostas and much more when planted outdoors as perennial plants. It is also paired with dichondra, miller, petunias, Catmint, Comos, Freesia and others in large container plants. I would recommend going with the plants which are smaller and have perennial can be placed outside while those plant species which are annual growers can be planted indoors in pots or containers.

Best place for calla lilies and its companion plants is full sun but some plants only thrive best in partial light so you have to choose and pair only those plants which work in this environment same as calla lilies. 

Are calla lilies perennials in zone 5?

No, Calla lilies aren’t perennial in zone 5 and they will grow as annual plants because the region is colder and it supports USDA zone 8 to 11. Also Note that I cannot guarantee that those plants that grow in zone 8 or higher may not face any problems in winters or frost it is possible that they need to be stored in the house otherwise calla can be termed as annual if the life of plant get restricted to one year only because of heavy forst.

These calla lilies are charming looking multicolor flowering species that are not true lilies but have gorgeous petals. They are winter hardy meaning it is capable of surviving in winters but mostly they can be grown as annuals until and unless the owner stores it inside till frost end. Once spring starts calla lily bulbs can be replanted and you can enjoy next summer with calla lily flower blooms.

Calla lily perennial or annual?

Call lily is a perennial plant but sometimes with different climate conditions are too harsh that can make the calla lily plant annual in some cases. Perennial calla lilies are grown every year and stored indoors for next season, what happens is they can’t survive too much frost or cold for that reason lily once wither can be cut off and only the bulbs are taken out and placed indoors in moss to protect its rhizomes. 

Once next spring hits, you can plant the rhizomes back in the pot or container or in the garden . It will surely bloom after 3-4th months. Rhizomes rooting is faster than the seed germination that is why every cultivator or gardener prefers bulbs of calla lily to multiply it.

These calla bulbs are stored and they can be planted back every year this way it is called perennial plants. In case of annual plants calla lily, some varieties might have a hard time in winters so they are termed as annual while for main variety if the owner doesn’t store it properly indoors your plant might not survive and can be denoted as annual calla lily plant.

Can calla lilies survive winter?

Calla lilies may not survive winters as the plant is not capable of tolerating low temperature. It will get root rot or may die back if not stored indoors. I would highly recommend to place the plant indoors in a warm area wrapped in peat or sphagnum moss. After the cold season ends you can simply put back calla lily plants outdoors this way it can survive after winters.

Winters are not the best for calla lilies but many people just use this chance to take out all the multiplied bulbs and save it indoors. After winters they plant back all the bulbs this way many people enjoy more calla lily blooms in summers. As You know the calla lilies have grown and produce more bulbs/rhizomes which create more such calla lily babies so we can still plant them next year so for some gardeners winter is the best season for calla lilies which helps them to multiply the plants.

Can calla lily be planted outside?

Yes, Calla lily can be planted outside year round but make sure the winter frost water may not damage the bulbs of calla lily otherwise the plant can stay outside as long as it is not getting too cold. These plants are hardy to zone 8 to 11 and it can also grow indoors but preferred outdoors in spring to summer for best blooms.

Calla lilies planted outside can see much faster growth compared to indoors. In the outdoors they can be planted with other companion plants which makes the garden more beautiful and elegant. 

Final Words

I hope you get the answer on “Are calla lilies perennial” and now you know perennial and annual plants are 2 different climatic conditions which makes one survive for a year and other survive for many years. 

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Amelia Clark

I have over 10 years experience in gardening and here I try to answer every question about plants and how you as a beginner gardener can able to solve various problems. Also If you would like to check our Designed Plant T-Shirts. Please do so.

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