Planting Calla Lily Seeds – Helpful Tips

The common knowledge is that Calla Lilies are grown from bulbs, but did you know that Calla Lilies produce seeds? This begs the question, how do you go about planting Calla Lily seeds?

The process of planting Calla Lily seeds isn’t complicated. All you have to do is start the seeds then plant them in containers. From there, you can transplant your seeds if you’re looking to transfer them to larger pots or transfer them outdoors. 

If you’re new to planting Calla Lily seeds, we’ve created a detailed guide to help you through the entire process. Whether you want to grow them in containers or outdoors, this article is for you. 

white calla lily in foliage

Overview of Calla Lily Seeds

When you plant Calla Lilies, you use rhizomes or bulbs from a mature Calla Lily. However, you can grow Calla Lilies from seeds as well. 

The seeds grow in pods found in trumpet-like flowers. Each mature Calla Lily produces tan seed pods, and each pod contains from one to five seeds. 

When the flowers die at the start of winter, they leave behind the seed pods. You should leave these pods on the plant until they turn yellow or tan. That’s when the seeds become viable. 

Harvesting Calla Lily Seeds

If you live in an area with mild winter and no frost, leave the pods on the plant until they turn yellow or tan. It should take a couple of months for the pods to mature. 

However, if you think there’s a near danger of frost, it’s best to cut them off and dry them in a cool, dry area. 

If the pods are green, wait until they turn a bit yellow or become soft. That’s when you can be sure that the seeds are viable. 

The drying process is important for all pods. Calla Lily pods produce a sticky substance that can make it difficult for you to remove the seeds. When they’re dried up, the stickiness becomes less and the seeds pop right off the pod easily. 

Some seeds might have a filmy coating on them, which is a protective layer. You need to rub that off with your fingers. You can also use a strainer and water to make sure that all the protective layers are removed. 

The next step is drying out the seeds themselves. The best way to do it is to spread them on cardboard. This helps to take some of the moisture out of the seeds. 

Wait for about a week or two and check if the seeds are hard enough. Take a knife and try slicing through one or two of the seeds. 

If you can slice through them, then they’re not hard enough yet. Also, their color becomes darker when they’re hard. 

The seeds themselves need a dormancy period of about three months. So, you won’t be able to plant the seeds right away. 

calla lily seeds pod

Where to Get Calla Lily Seeds?

If you don’t already have Calla Lilies grown in your garden, then you’ll need to purchase some Calla Lily seeds from a reputable nursery or gardening store. 

There’s also the option of buying the seeds online. If you know a neighbor or a friend that grows Calla Lilies, you can ask them for some seeds.

When to Plant Calla Lily From Seeds?

Before deciding on planting Calla Lilies from seeds, you need to know that the process takes time and patience. 

Your first blooming can take about three years. So, if you have the chance to plant them from bulbs, it’s definitely better.

However, some of us can’t get our hands on some bulbs, so planting Calla Lilies from seeds is our next available option. 

You might already have some Calla Lilies growing in your garden and you don’t want to waste the seeds, or you could be someone who likes the challenge. 

Whatever the reason why you’re growing your Calla Lilies from seeds, you should know that it’s worth the wait. 

Process of Planting Calla Lily Seeds 

Planting Calla Lilies from seeds happens in a few steps, as indicated below. 

Step 1: Starting the Seeds 

This first step tells you if your seeds are viable or not. It gives you a chance to discard the seeds that won’t germinate. 

Here’s how to start your Calla Lily seeds:

  1. Soak the seeds in a bowl with warm tap water for about eight hours to soften and prep them for the germination process. 
  2. Strain the seeds and spread them on a damp paper towel and cover them lightly.
  3. Leave them in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight. 
  4. After a few days, check the seeds for growth. 
  5. Discard the seeds that show no sign of growth. 

Step 2: Planting Calla Lily Seeds in Containers 

Now that you know which seeds are viable, you can start planting your beautiful Calla Lily seeds:

  1. Fill several pots that have drainage holes at the bottom with a well-draining potting mix. 
  2. Plant two seeds in each pot, but keep the seeds barely exposed. 
  3. Water your plant thoroughly until the water comes out of the bottom. 
  4. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to retain moisture and air during the germination process. Moisture is key during this time so don’t skip on this step.
  5. Place the pots in a place that gets indirect sunlight and of 70 to 75°F temperature. 
  6. Keep an eye on the soil moisture and water lightly if needed. 
  7. When the seeds start to sprout, remove the plastic bag.
  8. Then, move the seedling pots to a location that gets six to eight hours of direct sunlight. 
  9. Water your Calla Lily seedlings only when the surface of the soil is dry. 
  10. Monitor your seedlings for a couple of weeks until they grow a little more, then remove the weaker shoots to encourage stronger growth for the healthy ones. 

Step 3: Transplanting Your Calla Lily Seedlings 

The transplanting process is the last step to planting Calla Lily from seeds. This isn’t necessary unless you want to transfer it to a larger pot or outdoors. 

Keep in mind that you can’t do this step unless the seedlings grow a second set of true leaves. The first few leaves that the seedlings produce aren’t true leaves. They’re called seed leaves. 

Seed leaves cannot perform photosynthesis. So, you must wait until the seedlings grow big enough to do the transplanting process. 

Here’s how to transplant your Calla Lily seedlings:

  1. Once the leaves are big enough, take out your seedling from the original pots. 
  2. Prepare 6-inch deep pots that have drainage holes and fill them with a well-draining potting mix. 
  3. Now, transfer your plants to their new pots at the same depth they were growing in their original pots. 
A closeup shot of a white calla lily

 How to Care for Calla Lily Seedlings Grown in Containers?

Caring for Calla Lilies grown in containers needs more attention than those grown outdoors. 

You need to check the soil moisture regularly. The best way to do that is by sticking your finger in the soil. 

If the first inch is a bit dry, then it’s watering time. Water your plant thoroughly until water comes out of the bottom drainage holes. 

Keep in mind that although Calla Lilies like moisture, soggy soil can cause major problems to your plant. So, avoid overwatering. 

Sunlight is important as well for the health of your Calla Lily plant. The plant needs to receive from six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. 

Planting Calla Lily Seeds Outdoors

If you want to grow your Calla Lilies seeds outdoors, it’s still recommended to start and plant them indoors first. This way you can transplant them to your garden in the spring. 

When planting Calla Lilies outdoors it’s important to look for the perfect location. Calla Lilies require direct sunlight and enough moisture. 

If you live in an area with cooler summers, then you can plant them anywhere where the soil is suitable. However, if you live in an area with hotter summers, it’s best to find a place with partial sun exposure so the soil won’t dry out easily. 

Once you have your location ready, follow these steps for transplanting Calla Lily seedlings:

  1. Amend the soil first with four to six inches of compost or sphagnum peat to help with moisture and drainage. This will also help add organic matter to the soil.  
  2. Remove the seedlings from their containers and plant them in the ground at the same depth they were growing in their containers. 
  3. Now, pack them down with your hands and water your plants thoroughly. 
  4. Make sure your new Calla Lily gets about one to two inches of water per week. 

Final Thoughts

Planting your Calla Lily seeds is only one part of the equation. You need to understand how to care for your Calla Lilies whether they’re grown in containers or outdoors. 

Growing Calla Lilies from seeds might be time-consuming and challenging, but it works and it produces beautifully shaped Calla Lilies.