how to divide calla lilies

Dividing calla lilies is a great way to propagate and rejuvenate these beautiful plants. It’s best to divide them during their dormant period, which is typically in late winter or early spring. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to divide calla lilies:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Mature calla lily plant
  • Garden fork or shovel
  • Pruning shears or a sharp knife
  • Potting mix
  • Pots or containers
  • Watering can


  1. Choose the Right Time:
    • Plan to divide your calla lilies during their dormant period, ideally in late winter or early spring before new growth starts.
  2. Prepare the New Planting Site:
    • Select a suitable location for the divided calla lilies with well-draining soil, partial to full sunlight, and good air circulation.
  3. Water the Plant:
    • A day or two before dividing, water the calla lily thoroughly to make the soil easier to work with.
  4. Dig Up the Calla Lily:
    • Carefully dig up the entire calla lily plant using a garden fork or shovel. Dig around the plant’s perimeter, keeping a safe distance from the base to avoid damaging the rhizomes (the underground storage structures).
  5. Gently Shake Off Soil:
    • Gently shake off excess soil from the calla lily plant to expose the rhizomes.
  6. Divide the Rhizomes:
    • Use pruning shears or a sharp knife to divide the calla lily rhizomes. Each division should have at least one healthy rhizome and some attached foliage or buds. Aim for divisions that are approximately 1-2 inches in diameter.
  7. Inspect for Damage and Disease:
    • Examine the rhizomes for any signs of damage, rot, or disease. Remove and discard any damaged or unhealthy parts.
  8. Allow Cut Surfaces to Dry:
    • Let the cut surfaces of the rhizomes air dry for an hour or so. This helps reduce the risk of fungal infections when planting.
  9. Plant the Divisions:
    • Plant each division in its new location at a depth of about 2 inches and space them at least 12-18 inches apart. Ensure the rhizome is facing upward and covered with soil. Water thoroughly after planting.
  10. Mulch and Water:
    • Apply a layer of mulch around the newly planted calla lilies to help retain moisture and suppress weeds. Water them regularly to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  11. Monitor Growth:
    • As the new calla lilies grow, continue to care for them by providing adequate water, sunlight, and fertilization as needed.

Dividing calla lilies not only allows you to propagate new plants but also rejuvenates the existing ones, promoting healthier growth and more abundant blooms. With proper care, your divided calla lilies should thrive and provide beautiful flowers in the growing season.

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