Why Calla Lilies Don't Bloom: Making Your Calla Lily Bloom

Field Of Calla Lilies
lilies in bloom
(Image credit: yhelfman)

The typical calla lily bloom time is in the summer and fall, but for many calla lily owners this time may come and go without a sign of buds or flowers from their calla lily plant. This is especially true for gardeners who grow their calla lilies in containers. It makes calla lily owners wonder, “Why don't my calla lilies flower?” and, “How can I make calla lilies bloom?” Let's look at why calla lilies don't bloom and how to fix that.

Making Calla Lilies Planted in the Ground Bloom

Calla lilies planted in the ground tend to bloom without too many problems. When they fail to bloom, it is due to one of three reasons. These reasons are:

  • Too much nitrogen
  • Lack of water
  • Lack of sun

If your calla lily is not blooming due to too much nitrogen, the plant will grow rapidly and be lush. You may notice a brown edge on the leaves as well. Too much nitrogen will encourage foliage to grow but will prevent the plant from blooming. Switch your fertilizer to one that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen to make calla lilies bloom. If your calla lilies are not planted in an area that gets plenty of water, this may be causing them not to bloom. The growth of the calla lily plant will be stunted, yellowing and you may occasionally see the plant wilted. If the calla lily is not getting enough water, you may want to transplant it to somewhere where it will get more water or make sure that you are supplementing the amount of water it gets. Calla lilies like full sun. If they are planted somewhere that is too shady, they will not bloom. If calla lilies are getting too little light, they will be stunted. If you think that your calla lilies are not blooming because they are getting too little light, you will need to transplant them to a sunnier location.

Making Calla Lilies Planted in Containers Rebloom

While the same things that affect calla lilies planted in the ground can also affect calla lilies planted in containers, there is a more common reason that container grown calla lilies do not bloom. This reason is that they do not get a dormant period in order to prepare for a blooming season. To make a calla lily plant in a container rebloom, you need to provide them with a dormant period. You can do this very easily. Once the calla lily plant has stopped blooming, stop providing water to it. Allow it to go bone dry. The foliage will die back and the plant will appear to be dead. Place it in a cool (not cold) dark place for two months. After this, bring it back out into the light and resume watering it. The foliage will regrow and you calla lily plant will start to bloom shortly thereafter.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007 and built it up to what it is today.