Calla lilies are a beautiful species of perennial flowers originating from South Africa. With their wide leaves, hardy stalks, and vibrant petals, these are an obvious choice for any garden or indoor floral arrangement.
And the best part is that there are so many different varieties to choose from! Calla lilies come in all sorts of colors, each with its own features and care requirements.
Remember – calla lilies of all varieties can be extremely toxic to pets or humans when ingested.
It’s helpful to keep them out of reach of anyone who may want to take a bite.
Calla Lily – Zantedeschia aethiopica
The traditional white calla lily that many floral enthusiasts are accustomed to seeing in homes and gardens is called Zantedeschia aethiopica. These lovely herbaceous perennials bloom into large flowers shaped like trumpets with bright yellow spadix. The leaves are generally dark green with long stalks, and the flowers can get up to three feet tall.
The ideal environment to grow Zantedeschia aethiopica is in moisture-retaining soil, in full sun (or partial shade), and within USDA Zone 8. They can also thrive in baskets in up to one foot of water, along the sides of ponds, or within bog gardens. Additionally, they make great additions to plant beds and work excellently in cut arrangements.
The planting and watering times are very similar across most of the calla lily variants and hybrids in addition to Zantedeschia aethiopica. Calla lilies do well when planted after any frost in February through June.
They should be buried a few inches deep in the soil, which should be watered whenever it is dry. Be careful of overwatering, as the colorful lily varieties don’t do well in sodden soil.
Picasso Calla Lily – Zantedeschia Picasso
The Picasso variety of the calla lily boasts dramatic dark purple flowers rimmed in beautiful white along the edges of the petals. These gorgeous blooms make an excellent addition to any flowerbed, vase, or outdoor arrangement.
The Picasso lilies prefer full sun and do best when their soil is kept moist. They also work as a marginal aquatic but shouldn’t be planted in baskets in water more than 12 inches deep. These flowers bloom during summer and fall.
Pink Calla Lily – Zantedeschia rehmanni
One of the most vibrant and exciting calla lily varieties is this lovely flamingo version: the Zantedeschia rehmanni, or pink calla lily. Since these beautiful flowers tend to bloom between midsummer and the start of fall, pink calla lilies are an excellent option for adding some color to your garden or gift bouquets.
Luckily, like most calla lily hybrids, these striking flowers are resistant to both deer and rabbits (and toxic to any other critters– keep away from cats!), so they make hardy garden flora. These lilies prefer moist soil and full sun and can be kept in semi-aquatic planters.
Captain Safari Lily – Zantedeschia Captain Safari
The striking Captain Safari lilies are a bold, multi-color display of amazing orange and yellow petals. The large, green, arrow-shaped leaves also have white spots.
Blooming during the summer and fall, these particular lilies are best when planted in a garden bed or container (no aquatic planters for this one). They grow best in soil that is wet but well-drained, and it’s best to keep them in the full sun or partial shade.
Odessa Calla Lily – Zantedeschia Odessa
If you’re looking for an elegant lily with a darker, more muted color, check out the gorgeously deep violet of the Odessa calla lily. The wide flowers are such a deep purple that they almost look black, with light green and white speckled leaves.
This variety of lily grows well along the edges of ponds and streams, as it prefers moist soil and can thrive in semi-aquatic baskets with loam. Make sure Odessa lilies can get full sun for a beautiful bloom during the summer and fall.
Fire Glow Lily – Zantedeschia Fire Glow
With their petals of bright red fading into a dandelion-yellow, the Fire Glow lilies are some of the most colorful you can find. With dark green leaves for contrast, the flowers of these lilies create bright pops of color wherever they grow.
These lilies take well to either water-based planters (in less than one foot of water) or garden beds– or even indoor containers. This variety grows best in full sun with the soil kept moist, and it is resistant to being eaten by wild animals.
Edge of Night Lily – Zantedeschia Edge of Night
With deep, almost black maroon petals, the Edge of Night lilies are some of the most beautiful on the list. And it’s not just the petals– the wide, deep-green leaves are dotted with white and rimmed with a dark maroon.
These darker lilies do best when kept in evenly moist soil, and can thrive in indoor containers with proper care. Keep these flowers in full sun or partial shade.
Golden Calla Lily – Zantedeschia elliottiana
With its large mustard-yellow flowers and regal appearance, the Golden calla lily certainly lives up to its name. This variety creates sizable golden blooms along with broad white-speckled leaves.
It’s important to keep this lily’s roots wet consistently during its early growth phases. This lily blooms during the summer and grows best when planted in a garden bed or a bog-like environment. Full sun to partial shade is recommended for keeping the flowers happy and healthy. Be sure to keep the soil moist and well-drained.
Crystal Blush Lily – Zantedeschia Crystal Blush
For a subtle and delicate multi-color option, the Crystal Blush lilies offer a beautiful choice. These elegant white flowers contain subtle traces of pink that make for a striking picture.
Crystal Blush lilies prefer full or partial sun and like warmer climates but can be kept successfully indoors during the winter.
California Red Lily – Zantedeschia California Red
These lovely flowers are a gorgeous deep red, sprouting with tones of orange and deepening into dark rust as the petals mature.
These sturdy lilies thrive in warm and humid environments as well as growing in indoor containers. They bloom in mid to late summer and prefer full or partial sun.