Do You Deadhead Calla Lily Plants? How and Why

With their calm, elegant appearance, Calla Lilies tend to make perfect gifts and garden flowers. But just like any other plant, Calla Lilies are prone to withering away once the seasons change. You may start wondering then if you should deadhead Calla Lily plants or remove them entirely. 

Calla Lilies are known to be perennial flowers. This means that even if they wither, they will begin to bloom once again when spring begins. The best thing to do when you see the flowering part of a Calla Lily closing up and dying is to deadhead that part and leave the rest of the stem safely in the soil. 

To help you have a better understanding of this situation, we’ve written in the following sections all the information you need to know about deadheading Calla Lilies, so stick around. 

withered calla lily

When Do Calla Lilies Wither?

Calla Lilies start growing in the spring and usually reach full bloom in summer. After these two seasons pass, you’ll notice the flowering part slowly curling up and turning into a tube. 

The outside color of this tube will start turning green, and with that, you know that your Calla Lily is dying. 

Calla Lilies are tropical flowers, meaning they can only survive in warmer conditions. Once fall begins, the weather gets colder and, naturally, Calla Lilies will start dying. 

By the time winter arrives, the flower will be completely withered. That’s why it’s preferred to raise Calla Lilies in a suitable environment once the temperature drops. If possible, they should be kept indoors. 

If you’re unable to bring the Calla Lilies inside, or if they kept withering anyways, then it might be time to deadhead the flowers. 

Can You Deadhead Calla Lilies? Why Should You Do So?

Yes, you can deadhead Calla Lilies. Just like any other flower, Calla Lilies wither as soon as the seasons change. Deadheading Calla Lilies is actually beneficial to them; it’ll help prevent them from dying!  

Calla Lilies are often associated with the goddess Venus, which makes them a popular gift or wedding bouquets. Either way, they can hold sentimental meaning to many people, and seeing something that holds value to you dying can be quite sad. 

Fortunately, though, Calla Lilies, as we’ve mentioned before, are perennial flowers. This means that even if you found them withered, there’s still a chance of them blooming once again. 

This can be aided by deadheading Calla Lilies, though keep in mind that Calla Lilies bloom only once a year in summer. 

Deadheading Calla Lilies is really important in keeping your flower healthy. That’s because even without the flowering part, the plant can still be alive and last a long time. Deadheading it will also restore its pretty appearance. 

Another reason why you should deadhead Calla Lilies is that the plant can absorb all of the nutrients provided in an attempt to grow more seeds. 

This wouldn’t seem as much of an issue if it weren’t for the flower being dead. This only means that these seeds are not really useful in this situation. Furthermore, the parts that are still alive, such as the stem and rhizome, won’t receive enough energy to grow stronger. 

Once you deadhead the Calla Lily, the rhizome will receive the needed amount of energy to grow stronger. This will allow the Calla Lily to once again live till another season and bloom! 

hand using shears to cut wilted calla lily flower

How to Deadhead Calla Lilies?

Now you might start wondering, how exactly do you deadhead Calla Lilies? 

To help answer this question, we’ve written for you a step-by-step guide to walk you through the entire process. 

  1. The first thing you need to do to deadhead your Calla Lilies is to prepare either a garden shear or a pair of regular scissors. 
  2. Next, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to cut your Calla Lily. When the flower dies, there’s a chance the rest of the stem is standing straight and healthy. In this case, you can pinch the part right under the flower and remove it, or you can bring your garden shear to cut it. 
  3. If the stem is leaning over, then it’s a sign to remove the entire stem. At the lower part of the stem, right under the growing leaves, use your shear to cut the steam right above the soil. 
  4. Avoid leaving any stems above the soil, but don’t remove the lower part either. Leaving the remaining stem safely buried in the soil will enable the Calla Lily to grow again for the next season. 

And that’s it! The process isn’t hard. If you’re raising a large number of flowers, it can be quite tedious to do. But once the weather becomes warm again and you watch them grow to be as healthy as they were before, you’ll find that it was all worth it in the end! 

white calla lily in winter garden
Zantedeschia aethiopica, Calla aethiopica, commonly known as calla lily and arum lily in botanical garden Jardim botanico, Funchal, Madeira.

Overwintering Calla Lilies 

After you’re done with the previous steps, it’s time to protect your growing Calla Lilies from the winter. 

As we’ve mentioned, Calla Lilies are tropical plants, so they can only survive in USDA zones from 8 to 10. Anything lower than that will cause the entire plant to die in winter. 

So, to prevent this from happening and to prolong your Calla Lily’s life, you can start doing a process called overwintering. 

In this process, you’ll be removing your Calla Lilies from their soil and storing them away until next spring. 

It may sound like a confusing process, but just like deadheading, it’s quite simple and easy to follow. Just with a few more extra steps! 

How to Overwinter Calla Lilies

Once you’ve followed all the steps of deadheading Calla Lilies, you’ll be ready to overwinter them. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can do that:

  1. Firstly, you’ll need to dig up the roots of the Calla Lilies from the soil.
  2. Gently remove the soil from around the roots and you should find a small ball or bulb.
  3. Rinse the bulb from the remaining soil with water. 
  4. Once it’s nice and clean, place the bulbs outside in the sun to dry. 
  5. After a few hours, bring a box outside and place the bulbs inside to dry some more for around one week. Don’t close the lid; keep the box open.
  6. Once the week passes, bring out the bulbs and cut off any tall stems if there are any still attached to them.
  7. Attached to the bulb, you’ll notice little roots sticking out like hair. Gently remove these roots until you only have a clean bulb left.
  8. Once you’re done, you can now place these bulbs inside a box or a container to store away for the winter.
  9. Make sure to have a few holes in the container to allow air to circular but keep the container closed.
  10. Store the bulbs in any room at 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher during the winter.
  11. Bring the bulbs out once spring arrives and replant them in the soil. 

And you’re done! By doing this, you’re allowing your Calla Lilies to be safely stored despite the cold winter. Once the seasons change, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful flowers in full bloom again for many years to come! 

Final Words – Do You Deadhead Calla Lily Plants

With the changing seasons, Calla Lilies tend to lose their color and beauty. And the closer winter comes, the faster your Calla Lily will die. 

Fortunately, though, Calla Lilies tend to live for a long time. As long as you follow the proper way of deadheading and protecting them from the cold, you should have a healthy flower that lasts a long time!