My Calla Lilies have gone nuts this year. Even though they’re supposed to like sun, mine are enjoying the rain and cool weather. Its a huge difference from three years ago when I planted it and it withered. At the time, I thought “Oh well. That’s a failed experiment”. Imagine my surprise the following Spring when they poked through the dirt. I hadn’t realized that they were perennials! And I thought that plant was done!
Last summer, its second summer, my Calla Lily plant thrived, but this summer it has shot to a whole new level, spreading and growing high with huge leaves. The only downside is that there have only been two blooms this year. Hopefully, I’ll get a few more in years to come.
As you can see, mine are purple, but Calla Lilies also come in the traditional white, as well as pink, yellow, purple, and orange. There are a also number of varieties, with the traditional white being the best known.
Originally from South Africa, the scientific name is Zantedeschia Aethiopica. They’re also known as Pig Lily, White Arum, Trumpet Lily, Arum Lily, and Garden Calla. “Calla” is derived from Greek, meaning “beautiful”, which is a fitting description; however, the bloom doesn’t really look like a lily, which can be confusing. In fact, its petal is actually a funnel-shaped leaf. This shape has given this lily some notoriety as a symbol of lust and sexuality. I always thought they were popular at weddings because of their elegance and simplicity, but what do I know? 🙂
I love this clip below from the 1937 movie Stage Door with Katherine Hepburn in which she carries a beautiful bouquet of Calla Lilies and laments, “The Calla Lily is in bloom again. Such a strange flower. Suitable for any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died.” ~ Katherine Hepburn, Stage Door, 1937
I’m really enjoying this new addition to my garden because they add a lot of greenery and the blooms last most of the season. When I see them beginning to fade, I’ll pick them and enjoy them inside for a week or so.
You can also grow Calla Lilies indoors. Apparently, they’ll bloom all year in the right conditions, either inside or out. Outdoors, where I live in New Jersey, they’ll start to lose their luster in September, and when the leaves begin to yellow in the fall, they’re done. It’s time to cut them down just above the ground. And, as I’ve recently discovered, await their return next Spring!
Right now, in early August, they’re still flourishing. I’m going to enjoy them outside for awhile still. Then, when the time comes, I’ll enjoy my two cut stems inside for awhile longer.
Warning! Calla Lilies are poisonous for humans and for cats and dogs!