Learn how to split a calla lily plant with these easy steps

- Editorial Staff

Sunday, 25 June 2023 - 09:26

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Source : www.gardeningknowhow.com

Welcome to our guide on learning how to split a calla lily plant! If you’ve ever admired the beauty of calla lilies and wanted to propagate them in your own garden, you’re in luck. Splitting a calla lily is a simple and effective way to multiply your plants, ensuring that you can enjoy their elegant blooms in various locations. In this article, we will share easy step-by-step instructions that will enable you to successfully divide your calla lily plant and expand your garden. So, whether you have experience with gardening or are just starting out, let’s dive into this exciting process and start propagating calla lilies!


Welcome to our guide on how to split a calla lily plant! In this article, we will discuss the process of splitting a calla lily plant, its benefits, and the importance of proper splitting for successful growth.

What is Calla Lily?

Calla lilies are beautiful flowering plants native to South Africa. They are known for their elegant trumpet-shaped flowers and glossy, dark green leaves. These plants belong to the Zantedeschia genus and are often cultivated for their stunning appearance.

Overview of Calla Lily Plants and their Characteristics

Calla lilies typically grow to a height of 18 to 24 inches and have a spread of 12 to 18 inches. They prefer to grow in well-draining soil and thrive in locations with partial shade or full sun exposure. These plants bloom during the spring and summer months, showcasing a variety of vibrant colors such as white, yellow, pink, and purple.

Calla lilies are not only visually appealing but also known for their pleasant fragrance. Their unique structure and enchanting aesthetics make them a popular choice for gardens, floral arrangements, and even wedding bouquets.

Why Split Calla Lily?

The act of splitting a calla lily plant involves dividing its rhizomes into separate sections, each capable of growing into a new plant. There are two primary reasons why gardeners choose to split calla lilies:

Benefits of splitting a Calla Lily plant for propagation

One of the main advantages of splitting calla lilies is to propagate new plants. This method allows you to carefully divide the rhizomes and create multiple plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant. By doing so, you can expand your garden without the need to purchase additional calla lilies.

Propagation through splitting also ensures that the new plants retain the desirable traits and characteristics of the parent plant, such as color, size, and flower shape. This can be particularly useful if you have a calla lily with exceptional qualities that you want to reproduce.

Benefits of splitting a Calla Lily plant for space management

Another reason to split calla lilies is to manage their space and prevent overcrowding. Over time, calla lilies can multiply and form dense clumps, leading to competition for nutrients, water, and sunlight. By splitting the plant, you can provide each division with enough space to grow and thrive, ensuring healthy development and abundant blooms.

Furthermore, splitting allows you to strategically arrange your calla lilies in different areas of your garden, creating a more aesthetically pleasing landscape. You can also share the divided plants with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts, spreading the beauty of calla lilies.

Importance of Proper Splitting

To ensure successful growth and the longevity of your calla lilies, it is crucial to correctly split them. Here’s why proper splitting is significant:

Explaining the significance of correctly splitting Calla Lily plants for successful growth

By following the correct splitting techniques, you minimize the risk of damaging the rhizomes or introducing infections that may hinder the growth of the divided plants. Additionally, proper splitting allows each section to have enough resources to establish a strong root system, promoting healthy and vigorous growth.

It is important to note that calla lilies should be split during the dormant season, which is typically in late fall or early spring. This ensures that the plants have enough time to recover and establish themselves before the growing season begins.

Remember, calla lilies are resilient plants, and with proper care and attention, they can thrive and bring joy to your garden for years to come.

When to Split a Calla Lily Plant

Identifying the Ideal Time

Splitting a Calla Lily plant can be a daunting task, but with the right timing, it can be a rewarding experience. To ensure successful splitting, it is important to identify the ideal time to perform this delicate procedure. There are several factors to consider before deciding when to split your Calla Lily plant.

Firstly, take into account the current season. The best time to split a Calla Lily is during its dormant period, which typically occurs during the late fall or early winter months. This is when the plant is not actively growing, and its energy is focused on root development. Splitting during the dormant period allows the plant to recover more easily and promotes healthy growth in the future.

Furthermore, pay careful attention to the weather conditions. It is important to choose a time when the ground is not frozen or waterlogged. Splitting a Calla Lily plant in these unfavorable conditions can result in damage to the plant and hinder its ability to thrive. Additionally, avoid splitting during periods of extreme heat, as this can also cause stress to the plant.

Signs that Indicate Splitting is Needed

Recognizing the signs that indicate the need to split your Calla Lily plant is crucial for the overall health and vitality of the plant. Here are some common indications that splitting is necessary:

1. Overcrowding: If you notice that the Calla Lily plant has become overcrowded and there is limited space for the roots to grow, it is a clear sign that splitting is required. Overcrowding can lead to stunted growth and reduced flower production.

2. Declining plant health: If your Calla Lily plant is displaying signs of poor health, such as yellowing leaves, lack of vigor, or decreased flowering, it may be an indication that the plant needs to be split. Splitting allows for the renewal of the plant’s energy and promotes better nutrient absorption.

3. Limited flowering: If your Calla Lily plant used to produce abundant flowers but has recently shown a decline in flower production, it may be time to consider splitting. This allows for rejuvenation and encourages the plant to produce more blooms.

Understanding the Growing Cycle

Understanding the growing cycle of a Calla Lily is essential for knowing when it is the most effective time to split the plant. The growth stages of a Calla Lily are as follows:

1. Dormant Stage: This stage occurs during the late fall or early winter when the plant is not actively growing. The energy is focused on root development, making it an ideal time for splitting.

2. Sprouting Stage: As the weather starts to warm up in early spring, the Calla Lily plant begins to sprout new shoots from the underground rhizomes. This stage signals the start of active growth.

3. Flowering Stage: During the late spring or summer months, the Calla Lily plant reaches its peak flowering stage. This is when the plant produces its beautiful and vibrant blooms.

4. Dormancy Revisit: Towards the end of the summer or early fall, the Calla Lily plant enters a dormant state once again, preparing for the upcoming winter months.

Based on the growth stages mentioned above, the ideal time to split a Calla Lily plant is during its dormant stage or just before it starts to sprout new shoots. This allows the plant to recover quickly and establish themselves before the flowering stage.

In conclusion, splitting a Calla Lily plant requires careful consideration of various factors such as the season, weather conditions, and the plant’s overall health. By identifying the ideal time and recognizing the signs that indicate the need to split, you can ensure the successful division of your Calla Lily plant and promote its healthy growth and abundant flowering in the future.

Step-by-Step Guide to Splitting a Calla Lily Plant

Preparing the Tools and Workspace

Before you begin splitting a Calla Lily plant, it is important to gather the necessary tools and create a suitable workspace. Here’s what you will need:

  1. Gardening gloves
  2. Gardening shears or a sharp knife
  3. Small pots or containers
  4. Well-draining potting soil
  5. Watering can or spray bottle
  6. Fertilizer

Once you have gathered all the tools, find a location with enough space and ample lighting for the splitting process. It is recommended to work outdoors or in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling excessive dust or fumes.

Separating the Bulbs

Dividing the bulbs of the Calla Lily plant is a crucial step in the splitting process. Follow these detailed instructions to ensure a successful division:

  1. Start by gently removing the Calla Lily plant from its current pot or ground. Be careful not to damage the roots.
  2. Shake off any excess soil and carefully inspect the bulbs. Look for healthy, firm bulbs with visible shoots or stems.
  3. Using your gardening shears or a sharp knife, carefully divide the bulbs into smaller sections. Each section should have at least one healthy shoot or stem attached to it.
  4. If any bulbs appear diseased, damaged, or rotten, discard them to prevent the spread of infection.

It is important to handle the bulbs with care during the splitting process to avoid causing unnecessary damage. Remember to wear your gardening gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges.

Replanting and Care After Splitting

Once you have successfully split the Calla Lily plant bulbs, it is time to replant them and provide proper care to ensure their successful growth. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Fill the small pots or containers with well-draining potting soil. Make sure the pots have drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Place each divided bulb in its individual pot, ensuring that the shoot or stem is above the soil surface. Gently press the soil around the bulb to secure it in place.
  3. Water the newly planted bulbs thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain out of the pots.
  4. Find a suitable location for the pots, preferably where they can receive indirect sunlight or partial shade.
  5. Continue watering the pots regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist but not overly saturated.
  6. After a few weeks, you can begin fertilizing the Calla Lily plants with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the correct dosage and frequency.

As the Calla Lily plants grow, it is important to provide them with proper care, including regular watering, sufficient sunlight, and occasional fertilization. Monitor the plants for any signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.

By following these step-by-step instructions and providing appropriate care, you can successfully split a Calla Lily plant and promote its healthy growth.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overcrowding the Bulbs

One common mistake when splitting a calla lily plant is overcrowding the bulbs. When dividing the plant, it’s important to give each bulb enough space to grow and thrive. Overcrowding can lead to stunted growth and poor overall health of the plants.

To avoid this mistake, make sure you separate the bulbs properly, leaving enough space between them. It’s recommended to keep at least a few inches of distance between each divided bulb. This will allow them to develop a strong root system and promote healthy growth.

Not Providing Adequate Watering

Proper watering is essential for the success of a calla lily plant, especially after splitting. When dividing the bulbs, it’s crucial to establish a proper watering routine to ensure their survival.

After splitting, gently water the newly divided bulbs to settle them into their new locations. It’s important to keep the soil moist but not overly saturated. Aim for consistent but not excessive watering to prevent the bulbs from rotting.

Monitor the moisture levels regularly and adjust your watering routine accordingly. As the plants establish their roots and begin to grow, you can gradually reduce the frequency of watering.

Forgetting to Monitor for Pests or Diseases

Keeping a watchful eye for pests and diseases is vital when caring for calla lilies, especially after dividing the plant. Divided bulbs are more vulnerable to infestations and infections, so it’s important to monitor them regularly.

Inspect the plants regularly for any signs of pest activity, such as holes in the leaves or tiny insects. If you notice any pests, take immediate action to prevent further damage. This can include using organic pest control methods or seeking advice from a gardening expert.

In addition to pests, it’s also important to watch out for common diseases that can affect calla lilies. Look for signs of discoloration, wilting, or unusual growth patterns. If you suspect a disease, consult a plant specialist or horticulturist for the best course of action.

By staying vigilant and addressing pest or disease issues promptly, you can ensure the health and vitality of your divided calla lily plants.

Troubleshooting Split Calla Lily Plants

Sparse or No Growth

If you have recently split a Calla Lily plant and notice that it is not showing adequate growth, there may be a few possible causes. One common reason is that the plant has not had enough time to establish new roots after being divided. It typically takes a few weeks for the roots to regenerate and for the plant to start growing again. Therefore, it is important to be patient and wait for the growth to resume naturally.

Another reason for sparse or no growth could be inadequate lighting or improper environmental conditions. Calla Lilies thrive in bright, indirect light and require a consistent temperature of around 70-75°F (21-24°C). If the plant is not receiving enough light or is exposed to extreme temperatures, it may struggle to grow. Consider moving the plant to a more suitable location with proper lighting and temperature levels.

Additionally, sparse growth can be a result of nutrient deficiencies in the soil. Calla Lilies require a well-balanced fertilizer that is specifically formulated for flowering plants. If the soil lacks essential nutrients, the plant may struggle to grow and produce new foliage. To rectify this issue, consider applying a balanced fertilizer according to the package instructions to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Yellowing or Wilting Leaves

Yellowing or wilting leaves can be an indication of various issues in a split Calla Lily plant. One common reason is overwatering. Calla Lilies prefer moist soil, but they are susceptible to root rot if the soil becomes waterlogged. Ensure that the soil is well-draining and only water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Adjusting the watering frequency and allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings can help prevent yellowing or wilting leaves caused by overwatering.

Another potential reason for leaf discoloration or wilting is nutrient deficiency. A lack of essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, iron, or magnesium, can cause the leaves to turn yellow or start wilting. It is advisable to apply a balanced fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients and promote healthy leaf growth. Additionally, consider amending the soil with organic matter or compost to improve its nutrient content.

Pests can also cause yellowing or wilting leaves in Calla Lilies. Common pests that affect these plants include aphids, spider mites, and thrips. Inspect the plant carefully for any signs of pests, such as visible insects or webbing. If pests are detected, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticidal soap or pesticide, following the instructions on the product label.

Root Rot or Mold Issues

Root rot and mold are common problems that can affect split Calla Lily plants. These issues often occur due to overwatering or poor drainage. Excess moisture in the soil causes the roots to rot and creates a favorable environment for mold growth. To address root rot and mold problems, it is crucial to improve the plant’s drainage by ensuring that the pot has proper drainage holes and using well-draining soil.

If root rot is detected, it is important to gently remove the affected portions of the root system and treat the remaining healthy roots with a fungicide. Allow the plant to dry out for a few days before replanting it in fresh, well-draining soil. Avoid overwatering during this time and gradually resume normal watering once the plant shows signs of recovery.

Mold issues can also be mitigated by ensuring good air circulation around the plant. Place the Calla Lily in a well-ventilated area and avoid overcrowding it with other plants. Additionally, remove any decaying leaves or plant debris from the pot to prevent the growth of mold.

By addressing these common issues and providing the appropriate remedies, you can help salvage the health of your split Calla Lily plant and ensure its successful growth and blooming.

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