Do You Deadhead Calla Lily Plants: Removing Spent Blossoms On Calla Lilies

calla lily
Image by CaraMaria

By Anne Baley

Calla lilies don’t drop petals like many other plants when their flowers are done blooming. Once the calla flower begins to die, it rolls up into a tube, often turning green on the outside. These spent blossoms on calla lily plants are done, have no purpose and should be clipped off. Learn how to deadhead calla lily and the benefits of removing spent blossoms instead of leaving them on the stems.

Deadheading Calla Lilies

Unlike many other flowers, calla lily deadheading won’t cause the plant to create more blossoms. Each calla is designed to create a certain number of flowers, sometimes one or two and other times as many as six. Once those blooms have died off, the plant will only show foliage until the following spring.

So if it won’t create more flowers, why do you deadhead calla lily plants? The reasons are twofold:

  • First, it simply looks better to have a neat and tidy green plant than one with dead and drooping flowers hanging down. You plant flowers for their looks, so it makes sense to keep them looking as attractive as possible.
  • Second, calla lily deadheading is important for growing large, healthy rhizomes to plant for next year’s flowers. Spent flowers tend to turn into seed pods, which use up resources better left for other tasks. Having a bloom on the plant takes a lot of energy, and the plant can use this energy better by concentrating on making a large, hardy rhizome. Once you remove the dead flower, the plant can focus on getting ready for next year.

How to Deadhead Calla Lily


The information on deadheading calla lilies is a simple set of instructions. Your aim is to remove the blossom as well as make the plant more attractive.

Use a set of garden shears or a pair of scissors to clip the stem off near the base. Make sure none of the bare stem is sticking up through the leaves, but leave a stub of stem near the base of the plant.

Coincidentally, if you want to clip calla lilies for use in bouquets, this is the best way to remove the flowers while leaving a healthy plant.

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