Calla lilies are elegant flowers with distinctive funnel-shaped blossoms and long, slender stems. Calla lilies are dramatic additions to outdoor gardens, but they are also well-suited for indoor container gardens and formal bouquets. The best companion plants for calla lilies depend on the type of planting or arrangement, but all companion plants should have shallow, noninvasive root systems and a high tolerance for ample sun and moist soil.
When choosing companion plants for your calla lilies, first consider the type of planting or arrangement for your flowers. Outdoor gardens have different needs than container plantings or bouquet arrangements. Other considerations include your climate, soil type and hardiness zone. If you are growing calla lilies in a climate with harsh winters, you'll need to dig up the calla lily tubers to protect them through the season. As a result, plants with extensive root systems that may be damaged by digging are not suitable as calla lily companions.
Calla lilies are native to the hot, humid climates of southern Africa, and they are prized as outdoor flowers in gardens and along borders. If your calla lilies are part of a garden bed, horticulturalist author Tom Fischer recommends the low-growing New Guinea impatiens to provide filling foliage that covers the bare areas left by the long, thin stems of your callas. Impatiens thrive in full sun and high moisture, but their roots are shallow and won't compete with your calla lilies. If your calla lilies serve as border flowers along a walkway, iris flowers are equally showy flowers that average the same height as most calla lily species.
When calla lilies are planted in containers, they are typically planted on their own. Four to six calla lilies in a single container are a striking arrangement for indoor plants or outdoor balcony gardens, but companion plants fill on border soil and add depth and height variation. Melinda Myers, author and garden expert, recommends arum as a container companion for calla lilies. Arums, like calla lilies, are tubers that have a dormant period in the winter, but during their summer blooming period they require ample and frequent watering. Opt for dwarf species of black arums, as white arums tend to be more aggressive and invasive growers.
Arrangements and Bouquets
Calla lilies are slender flowers, so companion flowers in arrangements should provide fullness without distracting from the calla lilies' distinctive shape. Classic roses or full hydrangea stems are the top recommendations from floral bouquet designer Kimberly Aurora Kapur. Both roses and hydrangea complement the timeless elegance of calla lily stems, and fresh cuts hold up well without water to last through the duration of the event. Monochromatic white bouquets are the most romantic choice while more playful multicolored bouquets are suitable for table arrangements.
- "Perennial Companions: 100 Dazzling Plant Combinations for Every Season"; Tom Fischer; 2009
- "Minnesota Gardener's Guide"; Melinda Myers; 2004
- "Bouquet Chic: Wedding Flowers for More Than 160 Romantic Looks"; Kimberly Aurora Kapur; 2008
- Photo Credit calla lilies image by Mike & Valerie Miller from Fotolia.com
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