Calla Lily Watering: How Much Water Do Calla Lilies Need

(Image credit: SweetpeaAnna)

Calla lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is a distinctive, long-blooming plant with impressive trumpet-shaped flowers atop sturdy green stems. This South African native, which can reach mature heights of 3 feet (1 m.), is considered a marginal aquatic plant, which means it grows in moist soil along riverbanks, ponds or streams, or around the edge of a water garden or rain garden. While calla lily is a relatively low-maintenance plant, it won’t tolerate excessively dry conditions or soggy, poorly drained soil. Read on to learn about calla lily water requirements.

When to Water Calla Lilies

Your calla lily's watering needs depend on whether they are grown in the garden or in containers. Your current growing conditions, like the amount of light or soil type, should be factored in as well. How much water do calla lilies need in the garden? Water outdoor calla lilies regularly, providing sufficient water to keep the soil evenly moist. If the soil doesn’t drain well, improve it by adding compost or other organic materials. How to water calla lilies in pots? Potted calla lilies should also be watered frequently to keep the potting mix evenly moist but not soggy. Use a well-draining potting mix; although calla lilies like moisture, they don’t do well in saturated, poorly drained soil. A soilless mix containing coarse materials, such as pine bark, mulch, or sand, can provide proper drainage. Remember that calla lilies in pots will dry out much more quickly than lilies planted in the ground.

Tips on Calla Lily Watering

Whether your calla lilies are planted in the ground or in pots, it’s important to avoid extremes in moisture. Keep the soil or potting mix evenly moist, as alternating between too dry and very wet may cause the tuber and roots to rot. Reduce watering in late fall, when blooming stops and the leaves begin to turn yellow, to allow the plant to safely enter dormancy. Resume regular watering after a two- or three-month dormant period. If the leaf tips of your calla lily are turning brown, you may be watering too much. Brown leaf tips may signal excessive fertilizer.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.