How To Plant Calla Lily Seeds

Calla lilies are distinctive flowers that are relatively easy to grow and can class up any garden or home as a houseplant. They come in many colors, including white, yellow, orange, pink, lavender, and maroon, so you can pick one that suits your preference and taste.

Here are the steps for successfully planting calla lily seeds:

  1. Live in a USDA plant hardiness zone 8 through 10.
  2. Acquire the seeds from an existing plant or a gardening store.
  3. Soften the seeds.
  4. Prepare your pots.
  5. Moisten the soil and allow the seed to germinate.
  6. Allow the plant to get lots of sunlight and water if needed.
  7. Transplant the seedling when necessary.

In the rest of this article, I’ll explain how to plant calla lily seeds for the best chances of success. If you’re interested in growing these beautiful flowers, keep reading! I’ll tell you all you need to know.

1. Live in a USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8 Through 10

You may not have a lot of control over this step, but it is an important one. Understanding which United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone you live in is important to successfully growing plants.

Calla lilies grow best in zones 8-10, although you could probably succeed in zone seven if you’re attentive and mindful of your plant. The following table outlines these zones and the major cities they encompass:

ZoneMajor Cities
7Little Rock, Arkansas Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Charlotte, North Carolina Boston, Massachusetts Nashville, Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee Baltimore, Maryland Albuquerque, New Mexico
8Virginia Beach, Virginia San Diego, California San Antonio, Texas Dallas, TexasAustin, TexasFort Worth, TexasEl Paso, TexasPortland, Oregon Atlanta, Georgia
9Los Angeles, CaliforniaSan Jose, California  Las Vegas, Nevada Houston, TexasJacksonville, Florida Seattle, Washington Tucson, Arizona New Orleans, Louisiana
10Phoenix, Arizona San Francisco, California Miami, Florida Tampa, Florida

If you live in or near one of the above cities, you’re likely to experience success growing calla lilies. 

2. Acquire the Seeds From an Existing Plant or a Gardening Store

To plant calla lily seeds, you need first to acquire the seeds! If you or someone you know already has a calla lily plant, you can get the seeds from the plant. Be sure to leave the seeds attached to the plant for a few months until the seed pod is completely mature.

You can purchase seed pods from a plant nursery or a gardening store if you don’t have access to an existing calla lily plant. Another option is to buy your seeds online.

I like this Defonia Calla Lily Mix from because the seeds sprout quickly if planted properly, and the mix comes with all different colors of the plant, so it’s a surprise when the lily blooms! 

3. Soften the Seeds

After you get your seeds, you’ll need to soften them first. To do this, fill a bowl with warm tap water. Then, submerge your seeds in the water and let them soak for about eight hours. This softens the seed coat, which helps with a quick germination process.

After you’ve let the seeds soak, remove them from the water and place them on a damp paper towel. Transport the towel to a cool and dry place, and let the seeds sit there.

After a few days, check the seeds for signs of growth. If any seeds don’t have any growth, you can throw them away. If the seed isn’t pre-growing in this environment, it won’t grow in a pot either. The seeds that are showing signs of life can be planted.

4. Prepare Your Seedling Pots

You’ll need to plant the seeds in seedling pots first. I like these Cosweet Peat Pots, which are available on These pots are made of biodegradable material but are still sturdy enough to support roots and extended watering. You get fifty pieces with this purchase, which means you’ll certainly have enough to start your calla lily growth.

Fill the seedling pots with potting mixture and put them in a drip tray. Press the seeds into the soil so the top of it is barely exposed.

5. Moisten the Soil and Allow the Seed To Germinate

Pour an inch of water into the drip tray so the soil can soak up the water through the bottom. After this, the soil surface should feel moist but not sopping.    

Cover the seedling pots with a clear plastic bag when the soil is moist. This will empower the soil to retain moisture from the soil and air, creating an ideal environment for seed germination. Germination is the process of a seed beginning to sprout after dormancy.

6. Allow the Plant To Get Lots of Sunlight and Water if Needed

Move the pots and the drip tray to an area where they will receive indirect sunlight. If the seeds don’t get any sunlight, they won’t germinate. The temperature at this location should consistently be between seventy and seventy-five degrees.

Check the soil regularly. If it feels dry to the touch, water lightly so the soil feels moist again. Once the seeds begin to sprout, remove the plastic bag. This process should take one to three months, so don’t get discouraged if it’s taking longer than you anticipated.

7. Transplant the Seedling When Necessary

Once the plant produces its second set of leaves, it’s time to transplant it into a new pot. You’ll need a pot that is at least six inches instead of the three-inch seedling pot. Try to plant the lily at the same depth it grew at previously.

You should use an acidic potting mix, like this Jessi Mae Air Cleaning Plant Soil from Amazon. I like this soil because the blend balances drainage needs with moisture retention, so your calla lilies won’t become dehydrated or overwatered.

Additionally, the soil is mixed in small batches, which helps prevent root rot. Finally, I like that this mix is completely organic and chemical-free. This leads to better plant nutrition and strength.  

If you’re planting outside in a garden, at this point, you can transplant them there. Typically, calla lilies are planted in the spring for the best results. Just ensure that there is no threat of frost and that the soil is warm enough for your lilies.

Plant your calla lilies about four inches deep for the best results, and space them a foot apart to give them room to grow and expand. Keep the area well watered.

Caring for Calla Lilies

Getting your calla lilies planted and growing is just part of the process! Like all plants, calla lilies require regular attention and care to thrive. Here are some care tips:

  • Plant the lilies in loose, well-drained soil. Calla lilies can suffer if they receive too much water, so ensure that you use soil that drains well and won’t get waterlogged.
  • Keep mulch around the plants to prevent weeds. Mulch prevents weed seeds from reaching the soil and blocks sunlight from the seeds that get past this barrier, so unless you want to spend a lot of your time weeding, keep the area around your calla lilies covered with a layer of mulch. 
  • Use a high-phosphorus fertilizer to enhance health and promote bigger blooms. Calla lilies require lots of nutrients for the best flowering and growth, so they benefit from fertilizer. The best fertilizer for calla lilies will include rotted compost, cow manure, and bone meal. 
  • Allow a dormancy period after flowering. After the calla lilies stop flowering, they need a dormant period. Stop watering them and allow the plant to die back. Then, resume watering in two or three months.
  • Prepare for the winter. If you grow your lilies outside, dig up the rhizomes after the leaves have died, and trim the foliage on the plants. Let the rhizomes cure for several days. Then, place them in a box with damp peat moss and store the box in a dark place. You can then replant in the spring. 

Compared to some other plants, calla lilies are low-maintenance. However, they still require attention to be successful.

Common Calla Lily Problems and Solutions

Calla lilies are susceptible to various diseases, so it isn’t unusual to experience a problem during your calla lily journey. Luckily, you can control and occasionally fix these diseases.

Calla Lillies Rotting

One potential issue is rot. Crown rot, root rot, and pythium rot are all potential threats to calla lilies. Rot is detrimental to plant health and can result in poor growth, wilt, and possible death.

The most common reason for rot is poorly-draining soil and overheating. Crown rot causes the yellowing of leaves, pythium rot causes lesions on leaves, and soft rot affects the rhizomes.

To prevent rot, ensure that your soil is draining and that you aren’t overwatering your plant. Additionally, try to prevent overheating. Calla lilies need sunlight but rot thrives in hot and moist conditions, so if the soil feels hot to the touch instead of just warm, you might have to shield the plant somehow.

Calla Lily Viruses

Calla lilies are susceptible to some viruses, such as spotted wilt and dasheen mosaic. Spotted wilt, spread through an insect pest called a trip, causes yellow or white spots on stalks and leaves. This causes a loss of strength and eventual death.

If you notice these symptoms on your calla lilies, remove the infected plants immediately and burn them, so the virus doesn’t spread. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to save a calla lily once it has been infected with spotted wilt.

To keep your plant healthy, remove any decaying debris around your plants, as this debris is a good hiding place for virus-carrying pests. You should frequently remove weeds or use mulch to prevent weed growth.

You can use a fungicide to prevent some of these problems, although you should dilute the solution with water before you apply it to your calla lilies because they are sensitive plants. I recommend BioAdvanced 3-in-1 Insect, Disease & Mite Control from Amazon because the 3-in-1 formula controls disease, insects, and mites. The formula is also rainproof, so protection lasts up to thirty days after application.  

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Calla lilies are beautiful flowers, as they produce large green leaves with light spots and a range of colorful flowers when they are healthy. Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to grow calla lilies from seeds.

You’ll need to live in the right USDA plant hardiness zone, allow the seeds to pre-grow, give them plenty of water and sunlight, and transplant them when they’re ready.

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