If you own beautiful calla lilies with bright flowers and bold green leaves, you’ll naturally want to ensure you water them enough to help them grow. Overwatering them can cause issues, such as root rot, so you have to stick to the correct watering schedule for the best results. How regularly should you water calla lilies?
You should water calla lilies once a week, whether your flowers are in containers or in the ground, to ensure that their soil remains moist. This routine helps the flowers to grow and stay healthy. However, if you live in a particularly hot area, you should water your calla more often.
Calla lilies are a gorgeous addition of color to your home and garden, and they are relatively easy to grow, but under and overwatering your lilies can spell disaster.
In this article, I’ll explore what you need to know about watering calla lilies, such as when to water them and how much to give them. I’ll also look at signs you’re not giving your plants enough water, stunting their growth.
Although calla lilies grow in warm, sunny environments because they’re tropical plants, this doesn’t mean they thrive in dry soil. In fact, their preference for warmth and humidity causes them to dry out, which can lead to growth problems. This preference is why they need regular, deep watering.
Aim to water your calla lilies approximately every seven days, whether they’re kept in partial or full sun conditions. If you live in an area of the U.S. that experiences high temperatures or droughts, such as New Mexico or Arizona, you should regularly give the calla lilies water.
Note that if you’re keeping calla lilies in containers indoors, it’s essential to be extra vigilant of their soil to ensure it doesn’t become too dry. Sometimes indoor plants require water more regularly because they tend to dry out faster than plants in the ground, as The Spruce reports.
Watering your calla lilies once a week might not be enough to ensure they’re getting enough water. They might require soil additions that help them retain more moisture. With this in mind, here are important ways to keep your calla plants’ soil moist, whether you’re growing outdoor or indoor lilies.
If you’re planting calla lilies outside and have a body of water like a pond in your garden, consider planting them close to it. This proximity will benefit the plant because calla lilies are water-hungry and love being close to water.
For potted calla lilies that you’re keeping indoors, potting soil containing peat moss is an excellent way to ensure the lilies remain hydrated. Peat moss helps the soil drain water quickly while keeping it well-aerated.
If you’ve planted your calla lilies in soil that doesn’t have good drainage, organic materials such as compost and coco peat are also beneficial to improve the quality of the soil.
During the hottest summer weeks, ensure you soak the lilies with water every other day. This action will ensure that their soil doesn’t dry out.
When the weather cools down, water your plants every few days until winter approaches. Then, decrease how regularly you water the lilies as they’re about to enter their dormant stage.
Other tips for looking after calla lilies when they go dormant in winter include:
- Let the plant’s foliage become dry, withered, and yellow, then cut them back.
- Leave the rhizomes in a container and store them at a cool temperature of around 40-60°F (4-16°C).
- Water the plants enough to prevent them from drying out.
- Restart the rhizomes in the period from January to March. You should do this by placing them in a pot with fresh soil.
- Put one inch (2.54cm) of soil on top of the rhizomes. Keep the soil moist to prevent the plants from drying out.
It’s not just water that your calla lilies require, as liquid fertilizer benefits them. Apply liquid fertilizer to calla lilies every three to four weeks once their flowering shoots appear.
I’d recommend purchasing Miracle-Gro Liquid Plant Food from Amazon. It’s easy to use, as you simply mix the plant food with water and then apply it to your plants to provide them with nutrients.
It’s ideal for flowers, houseplants, vegetables, and even trees, so it’s a versatile one to own. It has a 12-4-8 (NKP) ratio, giving your lilies a nitrogen boost to encourage growth.
Since calla lilies love having moist soil, it’s essential to keep an eye on the lilies for signs that they’re not getting enough water.
Signs of underwatering include the following:
- They’re not blooming. Healthy calla lilies have beautiful flowers that come in a variety of colors, such as white, orange, yellow, and maroon. If they’ve stopped producing flowers, this is a sign they’re not getting enough water to grow.
- They’re not growing new shoots. Calla lilies usually grow quickly, reaching up to three feet (0.9 meters) in height after just one growing season.
- Their leaves are turning yellow. Usually, calla lilies have bright green leaves when they’re healthy. If their leaves look yellow, it indicates that the plants can’t draw enough nutrients from the soil, which requires them to have enough water.
- The plant is wilting or drooping. These conditions are a common sign in plants that they need more water. On hot days, moisture loss causes collapsing cells in the plant’s leaves and stems so they can’t remain upright, as Britannica reports.
- Inward curling leaves. Your calla lily will start curling its leaves inwards to prevent further water loss through evaporation.
- Your soil will look dry and shrink away from the sides of your container. Indoor pot soil condition is an excellent indication of insufficient watering.
- Your lily flowers show browning on their tips. Your blooms will also show discoloration, much like your eaves, to indicate a lack of sufficient water.
If you overwater your calla lily, you may make your plant susceptible to conditions such as crown rot, root rot, and pythium rot. Lack of adequate draining and overly moist conditions attract pathogens, including powdery mildew and gray mold.
Signs of overwatering include:
- A soft, mushy root system. When your calla lily stands in too much water, the roots deteriorate, making them susceptible to disease and affecting their nutrient absorption capacity.
- Your calla has wilted, yellowing leaves. Leaves are always a great indicator of plant conditions, and one of the first signs of excess moisture is the yellowing and drooping of your call lily’s foliage.
- Powdery mildew. Powdery mildew is often present when a plant is overwatered, and you will notice white spots on your plant foliage which then spreads throughout the plant.
- Brown-tipped, sagging foliage. When roots can no longer transport nutrients to the leaves, you will notice browning on your call lily leaves.
- Your soil is constantly waterlogged, even after not watering for a week. Your soil is an excellent indicator of your watering mistakes. If your soil never seems to dry out completely, you should seek out the drainage issues.
- Stunted growth. Overwatering affects your lily’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, so your plant will show a visible lack of development, such as an absence of new shoots.
- You notice foul odors from your potting mix. Overwatered soil may have a moldy appearance and bad smell due to overwatering.
- Curling leaves with unsightly brown patches. Excess water causes changes in your leaf shape and color due to insufficient absorption of vital nutrients.
After you plant your calla lilies, follow these steps to ensure maximum growth and hydration:
- Place the seeds on a damp paper towel.
- Put the paper towel in a cool, dry place.
- Check the seeds daily for signs of growth.
- When you see the seeds are starting to grow, plant them in the soil.
- Water the seeds. If you’re using a drip tray for the lilies’ pots, fill the tray with an inch (2.54 cm) of water and drain it after about an hour.
- After that initial watering, stick to watering the calla lilies once per week to keep them hydrated.
If you’re growing calla lilies, one of the primary rules is to give them enough water. These tropical plants require regular watering so that their soil remains soft. There are a variety of easy ways that you can keep their soil remains moist, such as:
- Watering them every few days, and more regularly when the weather’s hot.
- Applying mulch around outdoor plants to retain soil moisture.
- Using organic elements, such as peat moss, to encourage soil drainage.
- Give your calla lilies liquid fertilizer to boost their hydration and nutrients.
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Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.