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Calla overwinter, but how? Only with proper care flower in a pot or in the garden can survive the winter

Calla is a beautiful exotic, which with its noble filigree flowers decorate the garden and balcony in the summer. In this country, it is mainly cultivated as a potted flower, because it can not survive the harsh winter outside. So in the fall you need to overwinter the calla. How to do this, as well as what you should take into account, we explain in the article.

Overwintering hardy calla: How the flower survives the winter in the garden

Calla overwinter in the garden useful tips

Almost all varieties of calla are not hardy and are very sensitive to sub-zero temperatures. A special case is the variety “Crowsborough”, which can survive up to -20 ° Celsius. It is wintered in the garden, in the bed .

Cut back the hardy calla in the fall.

The hardy exotic is cut back in the fall, just before the permafrost sets in. The above ground parts of the plant will die anyway. You can cut these back in the fall to help the tubers save nutrients and energy reserves for the winter. Cut off all above-ground plant parts close to the ground. It’s best to do this in September while the weather is still warm. Otherwise, you risk frost damage. Pruning should be done on a dry, sunny day. If you have missed the right time, then it is better to let the shoots die along with the leaves.

Overwintering the tuber in the bed: this is what you should consider

Calla tubers overwinter dig up and then in the basket

You do not need to dig up the tuber and overwinter warm. Leave the hardy variety in the bed. A layer of mulch can provide additional protection and water retention for the plant. The calla requires very little water during the dormant winter months. Therefore, watering the garden flower can be completely eliminated. However, the good drainage is necessary, because the exotic can not tolerate waterlogging. To improve this, you can work coarse-grained sand into the soil.

Special case: non-hardy garden calla varieties.

Callas overwinter what to consider

If you have planted a non-hardy garden calla variety in the bed, then proceed with overwintering as follows:

  • In September, cut off the above-ground plant parts close to the ground.
  • In late September, dig up the tubers, carefully loosen the soil from the tubers.
  • Then let the tubers dry for several days.
  • Store the tubers in a dark, cool and dry place.
  • Temperatures in the winter quarters should be around 10° Celsius.
  • Layer the tubers with newspaper in boxes and leave them there during the winter.
  • Then in the spring you can take them out of the boxes and plant them out again.

Danger of confusion: swamp calla is not the same as calla.

Marsh calla common mistakes useful tips


Confusion often occurs and the non-hardy calla varieties are visually confused with the swamp calla. Calla palustris – that is, the swamp calla, still known as dragonwort, forms large white flowers and reaches a growth height of up to 100 cm. It is a hardy pond plant that can easily survive the cold season outside.

Overwintering calla: Useful information about the care of the potted flower.

The other, non-hardy varieties are brought into the winter quarters at the end of September – to the beginning of October. If outdoor temperatures fall below 15 degrees Celsius, then it is usually too late – the flower can quickly freeze. Proper preparation for the cold season and the appropriate location play an important role.

Do I need to cut off the leaves and withered?

Calla cut off withered how when

For many amateur gardeners the question arises whether the calla must be cut back in the fall. Logically, but, unfortunately, incorrectly, it is often said that the leaves of the calla need to be cut off. In fact, the fact is that the exotic does not require heavy pruning. It is completely enough if before wintering (preferably still in the fall, when it is warm):

  • cut off dead leaves
  • remove withered leaves
  • remove any shoots affected by fungus

Before overwintering, check calla for signs of infestation, similar to other potted plants.

Overwintering calla in a pot: What is the right location?

The calla flower needs plenty of light even in the winter months. At the same time, avoid direct sunlight, which could quickly burn the delicate leaves and shoots. A glazed terrace or a winter garden are therefore unsuitable. Calla will feel comfortable in an unheated room with west or east orientation. Place the pot near the window, but not directly on the windowsill.


As for room temperature, the flower thrives best at temperatures around 10° Celsius. From January, the room temperature can go up to 13 degrees Celsius.

By the way, temperature fluctuations calla can not tolerate well. So, if you occasionally use the room where it is wintered, and then heat it up to 20 degrees Celsius, then the flower may die.

How often and how much to water the potted flower?

Once you put the calla in the winter quarters, then you can almost completely stop watering. In its native country, the plant is accustomed to a cycle, where first there is a rainy period (that’s why in our country the flower is watered vigorously in spring and summer), and then comes a dry period. This dry period comes with us in the fall and summer, when the experienced amateur gardeners allow the soil in the pot to dry out completely. Only then the calla is watered.

Calla overwinter in pot useful tips

Like all plants that are dormant, the calla is not fertilized in the fall and winter. Only shortly before wintering out, you can provide it with nutrients.