Calla Lily Season in California Valley: Important Details on Bloom Time And Conditions

Calla Lilies are in many Californians’ hearts. The beautiful plant gathers many people every year to one place—Calla Lily Valley—to enjoy its entrancing bloom. When exactly is Calla Lily season in California, though?

Most Californians associate the Calla Lily season with when the plant blooms in Calla Lily Valley, in between January and April. This is correct for the most part. To be more specific, though, the Calla Lily season in California starts in the early spring, between mid-February to mid-March. 

If you like visiting Calla Lily Valley to witness the beauty of Calla Lilies, we’re glad to tell you that you can actually grow these stunning flowers in your garden. Stick around to learn more. 

Wild Calla Lilly during sunset

Calla Lily Season In California

Many people think that the Calla Lily season in California is when the plant blooms in Calla Lily Valley. This typically happens from late January to the entirety of April. 

However, if you’re growing Calla Lilies in your garden, then Calla Lily season is when you get to plant it, which is in the early spring. You can also plant Calla Lilies earlier than that after the last frost date

The temperature of the soil should be at least 65°F (18°C). If it’s colder than that, it’s better to delay the planting date until the soil warms up. 

Calla Lilies bloom in the summertime if planted in the spring. You can also start them indoors in late winter so you can have them bloom in the early summer days. 

Note that when the fall comes, the foliage starts withering and then eventually dies. 

Can I Plant Calla Lilies Outdoors in California?

Yes, you can plant Calla Lilies outdoors in California, but the process will be different depending on where you live in California. 

Calla Lily thrives in USDA zones 8 through 10, and California lies within zones 1 to 4. The type of soil and the weather will be different from one area to another. 

In zones from 8 to 11, the Calla Lily plant is perennial. In areas below that, the plant is treated as an annual. In other words, you can grow Calla Lily outdoors only if you have suitable soil and enough exposure to sunlight. 

You can always plant them in containers indoors if you live in colder areas or if the soil is far from being suitable. 

calla lilies in the wild

How to Find a Suitable Location in My Garden Calla Lilies?

When planting Calla Lilies outdoors, you need to find a suitable location in your garden. This will boil down to sun exposure and the quality of the soil. 

Sun Exposure 

Calla Lilies need about six to eight hours of direct sunlight to grow healthy. So, you need to find a location in your garden that gets plenty of sunlight.

However, Calla Lilies need plenty of moisture as well. Too much sun exposure can dry out the soil depending on the type of your soil. This is especially the case for sandy soil. In this case, partial sunlight exposure will do it for your plant. 

If you can’t provide your Calla Lilies with enough sunlight outdoors, then it’s best to grow them in containers. You can use artificial light to help it grow healthy. 

Soil

Calla Lilies need organic, moist, well-draining soil. This might be hard to find in some areas in California. However, you can always amend your soil to be suitable for growing Calla Lilies. 

Before doing anything, it’s important to figure out first what type of soil you have in your garden. There are four types of soil in California:

  • Sandy soil
  • Loamy soil
  • Silty soil
  • Heavy clay soil 

If you live near or around the coast, you probably have sandy soil. While in Southern California, the soil is mostly clay-like. In fact, heavy clay soil is the most common soil type in California. 

Loamy soil is found in flat areas and valleys around the rivers and streams. Silty soil is found in areas scattered all over the state. 

Silty and loamy soils are suitable for growing Calla Lilies without any trouble. On the other hand, clay and sandy soil need organic amendments to be suitable for your Calla Lilies. 

If you’re not sure what type of soil you have in your garden, it’s best to use a soil test kit or send a sample to a lab. After finding out the type of your soil, you need to get it ready for planting. 

white calla lilies

How to Plant Calla Lily in California Outdoors?

Planting Calla Lilies isn’t hard at all if you’re planting it from rhizomes or bulbs. However, if you’re using seeds, the process will take some effort and time to get full blooms. 

In this guide, we’ll give you the details about growing Calla Lilies from bulbs. If you need info about growing Calla Lilies from seeds, we have a full article dedicated to this. 

You only need two steps to plant your Calla Lily from rhizomes. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Amending the Soil 

To prepare your soil for planting Calla Lilies, you need to amend it with organic matter. This is only necessary if your soil is of type clay or sandy. 

Sandy soil doesn’t retain moisture and is low in organic content. So, you need to add sphagnum peat, well-rotted manure, ground bark, or compost to your soil. 

These amendments will add the necessary nutrients that your Calla Lilies need to grow healthy. They will also help your soil to retain moisture, which is key for the health of Calla Lilies. 

However, if you have heavy clay soil, it means that it drains slowly and prevents the air from reaching the roots. So, you need to add amendments that will loosen the soil. 

Peat moss, shredded wood, or wood chips will help loosen the soil. When amending your soil it’s recommended to add about four to six inches of the amendment matter and work it into the soil to about six inches deep. 

Step 2: Planting the Bulbs

Now that you have your soil ready, follow these steps to plant your Calla Lilies successfully:

  1. Take one of the bulbs with the eyes or the growth points facing upwards and plant it in the ground at about four inches deep. 
  2. Leave a gap of about one foot and plant your next bulb the same way. 
  3. Cover the bulb with soil and pack it down with your hands. 
  4. Water your plant with enough water reaching the bulbs. 

Now, your Calla Lily bulbs are ready to grow into beautiful plants. 

How to Care For Calla Lilies in California?

Here’s all the information you need with regard to caring for Calla Lilies to help you create your own care routine for your plants based on where you are in California. 

Water 

Calla Lilies need about two inches of water weekly. However, this might not be the case in all areas in California. 

In areas with hot summers, the soil might dry out fast. So, you need to have an idea of when to water your plant. 

It’s best to monitor the soil for a while and see when the first inch of the soil dries. This will let you know when to water your Calla Lilies. 

Also, water it thoroughly so the water can reach the roots, but keep in mind that overwatering causes serious damage to your plant, such as rotten roots. 

When the plant goes into dormancy, only water it once every three weeks. When it dies completely stop watering your Calla Lilies. 

Applying fertilizers to plant

Fertilizers 

You should start fertilizing your plant after the first germination. Use a 12-4-8 water-soluble fertilizer for best results. 

We recommend using Miracle-GRO 12-4-8 liquid fertilizer following the package instructions. Only fertilize your Calla Lilies once a month to avoid burning them. 

When your plant goes dormant, stop using fertilizers completely until it goes back to sprouting again in the spring. 

Winter Storage 

Calla Lilies can overwinter in areas within zones 9 to 11 in California. However, in zones below 9, the plant is treated as an annual. 

In this case, you need to dig up the rhizomes or the bulbs after the plant dies. Make sure you do that before the first frost because it’ll kill your rhizomes. 

After digging them up, clean them from any dirt or debris with your hands or with a paper towel. Then, store them in a cool, dry area until you plant them again in the next spring. 

If you don’t want to go through the whole process of winter storage, then plant your Calla Lilies in pots. This way, when it’s winter, you can just move the pots inside and place them in a dark location until the next spring. 

Wrapping Up

Calla Lily season in California is associated with when the plant blooms in Calla Lily Valley, in between January and April. More specifically, Calla Lily season in California starts in the early spring, from mid-February to mid-March. 

Planting and growing healthy and beautiful Calla Lilies is possible in California. However, the process might be different from one area to another according to the factors discussed above.