How Calla Lilies Can Hold Their Pink Color

Calla Lily by janruss
Calla Lily by janruss

TheGardenLady received this question from Deb.

How do I keep the flowers pink on my calla lily plants?  They are turning white.

As much as TheGardenLady loves calla lilies, because she does not live in a zone where calla lilies are happy and can be left in the ground all year long she does not grow them. Therefore she does not consider herself an authority on Calla lilies. For that reason TheGardenLady contacted MidCity Nursery, Inc in California to ask this question.

Their response was what TheGardenLady suspected, which is to say that when flowers age many of them will fade to a different, lighter shade – for example, pinks can become paler or white. Calla lilies can fade in the sun after a few days. If the Calla lilies were planted in a shadier area and not in full sun, it would hold its pink shade longer. There are nurseries that sell garden umbrellas for this very reason.  See e.g. the Cricket Hill Nursery.

However sometimes, if you plant pink calla lily bulbs in the same vicinity as you planted white calla lily bulbs, the following year the white calla lily bulbs will be dominant and you won’t find any pink calla lilies blooming. Or since the color white is the dominant calla lily gene color, that might take over to give you white calla lilies where you had pink.

There is nothing you can do but enjoy the white calla lilies. TheGardenLady feels certain that calla lily breeders must be working on this problem.