By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener
Calla lilies, imported to American from South Africa, are an exotic addition to any garden and are easy to grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 10. These old world flowers also make excellent houseplants and bring interest and color to any room. In addition to division, one may ask, “Can I grow calla seed pods and, if so, where can I find info on how to grow a calla lily from seed?” Keep reading to find out.
Calla Lily Seed Info
Calla lilies are elegant flowers that have been around a very long time. These beautiful flowers grow from a rhizome and produce huge green leaves that are usually covered with lighter spots. Colorful flowers ranging from pale pink to deep purple and yellow appear atop trumpet-shaped stems. Eventually, the blooms wither, leaving a pod-like capsule filled with calla lily flower seeds.
One question that many gardeners have is “Can I grow calla seed pods?” Although calla lilies are usually propagated by separating the bulbs, they can also be grown from seeds. Seeds can be purchased from catalogues or garden centers or acquired from mature seedpods on your existing plants. It is necessary to wait until the seedpods are thoroughly dry before removing them from the parent plant.
How to Grow a Calla Lily from Seed
Seed growing calla lilies requires a little work and some patience. It can take up to three years for a calla lily planted from seed to bloom. Calla lily seeds must be pre-grown in order to be successful.
Spread seeds out on a damp paper towel and cover them. Place the paper towel in a cool location, such as a basement or cellar. Check the seeds in a few days for growth. Discard any that do not show any signs of life.
Put a high-quality soilless medium in a well-draining pot and place the seeds that have started in the pots. It is best to plant two seeds per pot right underneath the soil. Keep the soil moist and watch for growth. After a week, you can remove any of the seeds that have not grown.
Watch the plants for another couple of weeks and remove the weakest shoot from each pot. This will give energy to the stronger sprout. Once the calla lily has grown a while, it can be transplanted into a larger pot or transplanted outside. Before transplanting, wash the plant roots to remove bacteria. Water the newly transplanted calla lily regularly until it becomes established.