Calla lilies are one of the most popular house plants. They’re easy to grow and add a nice pop of color to any space they’re in. You can start your Calla lily garden a few different ways. A good way to grow Calla lilies is from seeds.
If you’re planting Calla lilies indoors, you can plant them any time of the year. All you need is a warm space. But, if you’re planting them outdoors, you should wait until spring.
Background on Calla Lilies
People have been using Calla lilies for centuries as gifts. Calla lilies are beautiful, elegant flowers that come in many colors. They can be pink, yellow, orange, lilac, or dark maroon. But, by far, the most popular are white Calla lilies. We use them at weddings often to add a classy touch.
Weirdly enough, Calla lilies are not actually lilies. They’re flowering plants native to southern Africa. We call them lilies because of the shape of their flower. Calla lilies have single petal flowers that wrap around them. This gives them the classic trumpet shape indicative of a lily.
Planting Calla lilies is a great way to add a little color to your place. They’re also really great for beginner gardeners. Calla lilies are easy to grow and don’t need much attention.
Can You Plant Calla Lily Seeds?
The short answer is yes. But, it can be very hit or miss.
When you plant seeds, it’s usually a shot in the dark. The seeds are too small for you to be able to tell them apart. You can’t really see which ones are mature and ready to go in the soil.
You also don’t know what the end product will look like. There is no real way to control how big your plant will be or how many flowers it can grow.
Most gardeners grow Calla lilies from rhizomes. Rhizomes are the bulbous part of the stem that grows underground. This is because rhizomes are easier to plant and have a higher rate of sprouting.
Another great thing about rhizomes is that you collect them after the plant sprouts. That means that the plant is fully mature and you can see what it looks like. This gives you the opportunity to choose how big the plant is and what it looks like.
People usually only grow Calla lilies from seed when they can’t get rhizomes. So, if you don’t have rhizomes, it’s not a big deal. Seeds can grow just as well, it might just take a little extra time.
Sourcing the Right Calla Lily Seeds
Now, where you source your seed is crucial. You can get Calla lily seed pods from a few different places:
If you have a pre-existing Calla lily flower, you can harvest the seed pods yourself. Every Calla lily produces a tan seed pod after it flowers. Each pod has one or two seeds.
When a Calla lily blooms, it’ll wilt in a few weeks, leaving a seed pod behind. After the petal has completely dried up, you can gently collect the pod.
The pod then needs to dry out and mature for about three months. You can collect the seeds in late fall and store them in an air-tight container until next spring. We call this the dormancy period and without it, the seed won’t sprout.
Without a Calla lily plant of your own, you’ll need to get the seeds from someone else. The other three options on the list are great ways of getting Calla lily seed pods.
They all work in a similar way. They have a list of available Calla lily varieties that you can choose from. Catalogs and nurseries will usually have the largest selection. But, depending on where you are, the varieties can change a little.
They show you all the different colors and you get to choose what your Calla lily will look like. You can choose the size, color, and sometimes even scent.
Another great thing about catalogs and nurseries is that they know what they’re doing. They test the seeds they collect in many ways before they’re shipped out. So, you can be sure you’re getting healthy mature seeds every time.
Still, the biggest issue with these sources is they can be quite pricey. Depending on the facility you use and the cost of shipping, Calla lily seed pods can be expensive.
When to Plant Calla Lily Seeds?
The biggest factor to consider when planting Calla lilies is temperature. If you plan on growing the seeds indoors, then you can pretty much start growing them at any time. All you need is a warm space that gets plenty of sunlight.
For outdoor flower beds or pots, you have to be aware of the season. To get the best chance of sprouting, you should plant Calla lilies in early spring. This gives the lily plenty of time to grow in time for the summer bloom.
Another factor that affects when you can grow seeds is where you got them.
As we’ve mentioned, Calla lily seeds have a dormancy period. So, if you harvest the seeds yourself, you need to wait about three to four months before you can plant them. But, if you bought the seed, you can plant them straight away.
How to Grow Calla Lily Seeds
Growing Calla lilies from seeds is a game of patience. It can take a couple of weeks for a viable seed to sprout. And, on top of that, it can take two or three years for the plant to flower.
Starting the Seeds
The first thing you want to do is start the seeds. Starting a seed means you sprout it before it’s planted into the soil.
To do this, all you need is a small container, paper towels, and a little water. Place the paper towel in the container and spread the seed out in an even layer. It’s best not to crowd the seeds so that they’ll have a better chance of sprouting.
Providing the Best Environment for the Seeds
Once you have all the seeds laid out, add a little water. All you need is enough water so that the paper towel is damp. Don’t flood the seed, too much water can break them down.
Then what you want to do is place the container in a cool, dark place. You should check up on the seeds every couple of days, adding water when it dries.
Transferring the Seeds
The seeds should begin to grow shoots and roots. After a couple of weeks, if the seed hasn’t grown, it’s probably not viable. Be sure to remove any seeds that didn’t grow. Once the seeds begin to sprout, you can plant them.
The seeds should start growing as soon as they’re planted. You should start seeing little green sprouts poking out of the soil in a few weeks.
Growing Calla lilies is a great way to start your gardening journey. They don’t need much attention and come in many bright colors.
You can get Calla lily seeds from a few different places if you don’t have an existing flower. They might be a bit pricey, but they’re worth it.
One thing you should know when planting Calla lilies from seeds is that it’s going to take a while. It can take a few years before you see your first bloom.