Zantedeschia is a lovely but demanding indoor calla-care

The majestic inflorescences of Zantedeskia calla lilies have long become classics. Their beauty is emphasized by large leaves resembling silk shields. Blooming zantedeschia seem to be luxurious living bouquets in pots. But their dense and bright blankets around the cobs of the inflorescences are easily misleading. After all, such a “strong” zantedeschia only seems. As one of the more capricious indoor plants, zantedeschia does not like any deviations from the ideal environment. And it makes a lot of requirements even for the simplest watering.

Zantedeschia is a lovely but demanding indoor calla lily

Description of the plant

Heat-loving and moisture-loving, zantedeschia is not quite an ordinary representative of the Aroids. This is one of the most famous indoor flowering tuber species. Until now, the name Zantedeque causes a lot of confusion. The plant used to be so often transferred from genus to genus that the former names – calla, calla and even arum – are still popular.

Indoor zantedeschia reach a height of 40 to 80 cm. Their basal leaves are very beautiful. Large, up to 45 cm in length with half the width, surprisingly numerous for a tuberous plant, ideal heart-shaped or arrow-shaped, with large waves and solid edges. Leaves bloom on elegant petioles up to 40 cm long. The color of greenery is always rich, intense, it seems very bright. During the dormant period, zantedeschia leaves are lost.

The flowering of Zantedeskiy has become symbolic for a reason. Strong, up to 80 cm tall, straight, thick, usually green peduncles end with a yellow ear of inflorescence. Around it, it is as if a cover-sheet-coverlet is wrapped in a funnel – an elegant heart-shaped “sail” with an absolutely flawless shape and a pulled-twisted tip.

Zantedesky is almost always characterized by a very long flowering, although the timing always changes depending on conditions and care. In an ideal environment, zantedeschia can bloom from January to May.

Plants are poisonous, they should be grown with caution in a house where there are small children and pets. But only contact of juice with mucous membranes and getting it inside is dangerous.

Types and varieties of indoor zantedesky

Zantedeschia Ethiopian (Zantedeschia aethiopica) Is the most famous Zantedean species. A beautiful plant without massive tubers, with wavy-heart-shaped leaves and large snow-white bedspreads.

Zantedeschia Elliott (Zantedeschia elliottiana) – a species with narrower, wider open bedspreads and only yellow colors.

Zantedeschia Remanni (Zantedeschia rehmannii) – one of the most “colorful” species of Zantedesky, a compact plant with wavy narrowed bedspreads, almost rolled into a tube at the bottom. The inflorescences are colored in a pink-purple palette.

In many varieties, the leaves can also boast of an original color, on which small strokes and specks of white or yellow often sparkle. For example, graceful touches are characteristic of the hybrid variety. Green Goddess.

Ethiopian Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia aethiopica)
Ethiopian Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia aethiopica). Farmer Andres Bertens
Zantedeschia rehmannii
Зантедеския Реманни (Zantedeschia rehmannii). Farmer Earth

Growing conditions for zantedesky

Warm and light-loving, indoor calla lilies require a special approach to wintering. They can be dug up for a dormant period and stored outside the soil. Or it can be left in pots, providing a dry dormant period with a simple maintenance correction. But it is better to choose the conditions more carefully.

Lighting and placement

For Zantedesky outside the flowering period, any sufficiently bright place is suitable. She feels good on sunny areas, in diffused lighting and even partial shade, but she will not stand strong shading.

During the growth of the peduncles, the formation of buds and the opening of flowers, calla requires good, bright lighting without direct sunlight. This plant prefers 12-hour daylight hours. In autumn, winter and in cloudy weather in spring, it is better for Zantedeschia to install supplementary lighting.

Important! Direct sun is “contraindicated” for Zantedeans even in winter.

Temperature control and ventilation

For a dormant period (usually from October to the end of December), Zantedeschia are transferred to rooms with a temperature of about 10-12 degrees, completely stopping watering. But many modern hybrid varieties are able to “rest” even at temperatures around 16 degrees. After transplanting, it is better to keep the plants in intermediate conditions, with a temperature of about 15-16 degrees, after the start of growth, returning them to room heat.

In spring and summer, calla lilies prefer cool places, a stable temperature of 20 to 22 degrees. Zantedeschia Eliot requires a cold dormant period of 2 months, which is best organized in summer without disturbing the natural cycle of the plant.

Zantedeskia must be protected from any temperature extremes and sudden changes, lowering the temperature gradually. The plant does not tolerate drafts.

Зантедеския эфиопская 'Green Goddess
Zantedeskia Ethiopian ‘Green Goddess’. Farmer WPC Prins

Caring for indoor calla lilies

It is no coincidence that Zantedeschia are considered difficult to grow plants. They are very demanding on moisture, feeding during the period of active growth and need constant attention.

Watering and air humidity

The fall or excess of the usual moisture content of the substrate for Zantedesky is unacceptable. The soil should be constantly moist with only the top of the substrate drying out. In the period after flowering, watering is reduced to the minimum moisture (1 watering every 7-10 days). For a dormant period, watering is stopped completely.

For the transition to the active stage of growth, indoor calla lilies are first watered with a minimum amount of water approximately once a week. They are guided by the beginning of the growth of new leaves and shoots, as a signal to increase watering to abundant watering.

Water the zantedeschia carefully, without soaking the tuber. For the plant, you can use bottom watering and all auto-watering methods. Water the zantedeschia with warm soft water.

Zantedeschia bloom the more beautifully, the higher the air humidity. For them, it is better to install humidifiers (devices or containers with water and pebbles); in summer, the leaves of the plant can be regularly sprayed with warm water.

Top dressing and composition of fertilizers

Fertilizers for the plant are applied only in liquid form. During the dormant period, Zantedeschia are not fed. During the period of growth and flowering, they need enhanced feeding, allowing huge leaves and inflorescences to develop normally.

For Zantede, weekly feeding with a half-reduced concentration of fertilizers or standard procedures once every 1 weeks are preferable. Fertilizers for Aroid or flowering plants are suitable for them. But it is possible to apply complex fertilizers at the beginning of growth, and from the moment of development of peduncles – potassium-phosphorus fertilizers.

Zantedeschia elliottiana
Zantedeschia elliottiana

Trimming and shaping zantedesky

Dry, damaged, and during the period of active growth and flowering, yellowing leaves of calla lilies must be carefully trimmed.

In indoor calla lilies, offspring are often cut off for more abundant flowering of the main plant.

Transplant, containers and substrate

A Zantedesky transplant can be carried out both after flowering and after the end of the dormant period. Calla lilies are grown in a slightly acidic, peat-containing, nutritious substrate. Preferred are special substrates for Aroid or peat-compost soil mixtures.

For Zantedeskies, it is important to choose stable containers, because when overgrowing, large leaves and shoots often outweigh the container. If the varieties are high, you can additionally install a support for the inflorescences.

Zantedeschia are transplanted carefully, removing from the substrate, examining and cleaning old and dried roots. A high drainage layer is laid at the bottom of the tanks. When planting Zantedeskii, it is important to ensure that the growth points remain on the surface and the tubers are not too deeply buried.

Read also our article The best indoor plants with bright bracts.

Diseases, pests and growing problems

Zantedeschia almost do not suffer from indoor pests (with the exception of spider mites in dry air), but they are extremely prone to rot. Damp soil, lack of drainage, inaccurate watering, during which water gets on the tuber or leaves are the main risk factors. Fighting should include pruning, replanting, and fungicide treatments.

Zantedeschia almost do not suffer from indoor pests
Zantedeschia almost do not suffer from indoor pests. Farmer Decorum Company

Reproduction of zantedesky

It is easy to get new healthy calla lilies with the help of daughter plants, which the adult plant forms quite actively. Children are separated during transplantation, carefully planting in small, shallow containers with good drainage according to the same rules as the mother plant.

If the zantedeschia does not release babies, the tuber is cut into pieces with several points of growth. Calla seeds are rarely propagated. This only makes sense for industrial purposes.


Zantedeschia is a lovely but demanding indoor calla-care
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Anna Evans

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