Calla lilies (Zantedeschia species) belong to the same family as caladium or jack-in-the-pulpit, rather than being true lilies. They are mildly poisonous. When grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 7 or cooler, calla lily bulbs must be dug up and stored in well-aerated peat moss while they are dormant. But in warmer areas, such as USDA zones 8 to 10, indoor calla lilies maintain their leaves all year.
Calla lilies require a lot of moisture, so choose a potting mix that contains a lot of peat moss. The ideal pH for calla lilies is 6.5 and they do well when offered a 5-10-10 fertilizer when the first shoots start to appear. If you’re planting the lilies from bulbs, cover them with 4 to 5 inches of rich soil to allow room for stem roots to grow. That means you need a fairly deep basket.
Calla lilies should be watered frequently, except when they are dormant in cooler climates. Keeping the soil moist without drowning the roots can be difficult in a hanging basket, so you need to provide an inner pot with drainage and a second one to catch runoff. This second one needs to be emptied frequently, which may make a hanging basket more trouble than it is worth.
Calla lilies do best in full sun, and because of their long stalks, they need to be protected from the wind. Turn your hanging basket once every week or so if your callas are only getting full sun on one side. This not only helps the plants grow evenly but also helps keep the basket from fading more on one side.
Tips and Hints
Rather than a traditional round or oval hanging basket, consider a long, narrow, cylindrical or cone-shaped basket to help support the calla lilies' long stalks. If you prefer a more traditional basket shape, choose shorter varieties of calla lilies or provide support for taller stalks with plant stakes or a miniature trellis.
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