Calla - Zantedeschia aethiopica


The Zantedeschia aethiopica or calla comes from South Africa; It is widespread in Italian gardens due to the ease of cultivation and the beauty of flowers, it is also widely used as a cut flower. The flowers consist of a single spade, which surrounds a long rigid or arched stem, slightly fleshy. In nature the calla exist only in white color, the gardeners have produced numerous hybrids, of various colors.
It is a plant belonging to the Araceae family.
Name: Zantedeschia aethiopica
Common Name: Calla
Family: Araceae
Bulb type: rhizome
Bulb size: from 10 / 12cm up to 20 cm

Characteristics of the flower

The flower of the Zantedeschia aethiopica has the shape of a funnel, is white in color and is delicately scented. It can also be 15 cm long and is the element that most characterizes this tree species. Depending on the variety, they can take on different colors ranging from pink to yellow to red and orange.

Plant characteristics

The height of the plant varies between 65 and 145 cm. The leaves are deep green. The shape of the leaves may be more lanceolate or heart-shaped, again depending on the type of variety. Usually it forms a large head of leaves, between which then the flowers sprout.

Cultivation methods

Soil: It must be well drained and contain a good percentage of organic substance.
Planting period: Autumn or spring
Depth of planting: The bulb must be covered with a layer of 5/10 cm of earth. It is good to maintain a distance of about 30 cm between one bulb and another.
Light: They prefer full light.

Land and exposure

The Zantedeschia aethiopica, to have a vigorous growth must be planted in a soil that is not very compact and guarantees an excellent drainage, to avoid the formation of stagnant water, harmful for this plant. As regards exposure, it is good to place specimens of this type in positions where they can receive direct sunlight only during the less hot hours of the day, to prevent them from being spoiled by excessive exposure. They are plants that do not tolerate too harsh climates and, for this reason, it is good to foresee a correct protection during the winter season or to cultivate the plant in case, so as to be able to shelter it in a protected place in case the temperatures are particularly rigid.

Watering and multiplication

For the maintenance of these plants, during the hot season it is good to intervene with regularity with watering, checking that the soil always maintains a certain degree of humidity but does not allow water stagnation. In the vegetative period, to increase the flowering it is possible to add liquid fertilizer to the water of the watering.
To obtain new specimens of this genus we usually proceed with the division of the rhizomes at different times of the year, based on the variety chosen.

Calla - Zantedeschia aethiopica: Pests and diseases

The plant is rather resistant to the attack of parasites, but it can be affected by mites and red spider mites which, if not promptly counteracted, can cause health problems in this tree species. In the market there are numerous specific products that can be successfully used to counteract the root problem.