Arum or Calla: advice on planting and caring -

Ethiopian arum, exotic immaculate calyces ...

Arum is a very noble plant in the garden. Large green leaves, slender and pointed like spears, the flowers in the form of white calyxes (spathes) emerge and radiate. They can be almost a meter in height. Arum blossoms wrap around a central, bright yellow "spike" and are up to 8 inches in length.
Arums are not totally fragile. Indeed, arum is hardy down to -10 ° C - apart from cultivars which are not hardy, but it is still necessary to cultivate them, in a place in the garden, where they will be at home. shelter from gusts of wind. Under the right planting conditions, Ethiopian arum will spread very quickly in the garden, to your delight. It seems that among our Anglo-Saxon friends, arum or Calla is more specifically called Calla Lily. It is arguably a question of region or climate, as it is described almost more easily as a houseplant, but make no mistake about it: arum is indeed one of the most beautiful perennials in gardens.
I discovered one, during a nature walk, whose stems were much more than a meter long and twice as wide and deep… It was in a large and magnificent flowered private garden… The arum exhibited all its aromas and I dare: its finery!

Botanical name:

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Type of plant

Family : Aracea
• Cycle: Perennial
• Hardiness: Hardy (-10 ° C)
Foliage : Obsolete
Exposure : Sun and partial shade
Ground : Fresh, well-drained soil
• Harbor : tuft and flowers erected at the end of a long stem
• Rooting: Bulbose (rhizomes)
• Origin: South Africa, (Asia possible)

Special features of arum or Calla

• Cold resistance: from -10 ° C for white Arum, to non-hardy for colored cultivars.
Flowering : March to July
Interview : easy.
Height: from 0.50 to 0.90 m
• Toxicity: no
• Edible plant: No

What type of soil to cultivate arums?

• Arums appreciate deep, cool, humus-rich and well-drained soil.

Plant in the ground or pot for calla?

You can grow arums in pots or in the ground without distinction!

Pot :
• Arum grows well in fairly large pots, 30-35 cm.
• Provide a very rich soil.
• Plant about 3 to 4 bulbs / pot.

In the ground:
• The plant accepts a certain drought
• On the other hand, it does not tolerate stagnant water.
• A very cool soil and sun to partial shade.

When to plant arums?

• Install the bulbs (rhizomes) or the containers in spring, from April.

How to plant Ethiopian arums?

Prepare the ground:
• Loosen the earth to the depth of a spade. About 20-25 cm.
• Depending on the nature of the soil, amend it with compost to ensure good plant development.
• And add sand to make it more draining - if necessary.
• Prepare the places for the bulbs at 40 cm of space in all directions.
• Place containers or bulbs.
• For growing rhizomes, place them at a depth of about 10 cm.
• Tamp, water, it's planted!

Flowering period of calla or arum:

• Arum blooms all spring until early summer: from March to July.

Interview :

• Watering: regular.
Delete wilted flowers to aid flowering.
In autumn, The leaves of the arum or calla should be allowed to turn yellow. It was at this point that the bulb recovered.
• In November, during the first frosts, cut the leaves "short".
Protect the feet of arum with a mulch when you have cut the leaves.

A word from the amateur gardener, arum, mild winter, recovery of vegetation:
• In mild winters and foliage recovery: protect the arum or calla with a wintering veil, one at the base of the plant and the other to protect the foliage. In the event of mild weather, protect it with 2 tiles placed in a marquee above the foliage.

Ethiopian arum, calla and drought?

Ethiopia's arum does not tolerate long periods of drought, as you read above, on the contrary, it appreciates cool soils, it is even sometimes cultivated in the flower of a pond, immersed in 30 cm of water, or more often at the edge of a pond.

So be very careful to produce regular watering, more or less generous depending on the period, indeed in times of drought prolonged, the soil will dry out, first on the surface and then deep down. Very local watering and too little watering is not enough. It should be watered generously which allows the water to penetrate the soil deeply, allowing the roots of the arum, deep and up to the surface, to eat by drawing the necessary nutrients to its development.

Can we divide the arum or calla?

• Yes, it is even recommended when it comes to plants that have been in place for a long time in the garden.

How to divide the arum?

• In fact, it is very simple. Usually every spring, arum or calla produces new shoots.
• To make a division, it is enough to take these young shoots.
• Carefully dig up the stump, then take a few shoots, to put back in the ground immediately, it is not necessary to go through the "pot" box.

A word from the amateur gardener:

In the case of division, this is true for the calla and for all plants, the important thing in this operation is that the cutting knife is perfectly disinfected. This prevents the transmission of diseases from another plant.

Some varieties

• Zantedeschia aethiopica “Green Goddess”: The flowers are white and green.

Do you know the arum of palestine?

• Arum palaestinum: It’s a very nice black arum, an arum with black flowers. It has a very pleasant smell, which is said to resemble that of a fruit. He is originally from Syria, Lebanon and Palestine from which he took his name. It grows on dry hillsides and the edges of cultivated fields. This arum is very "happy" in a well-drained garden and takes on significant proportions when provided with good watering and sunlight. 50 cm x 50 cm. Its leaves are less well drawn, less graphic than Zantedeschia aethiopica… Another aesthetic, another charm!

Photo by Avishai Teicher on Wikipedia under Creative commons

Agrees with

• Plant arums with: fuchsias, hydrangeas!

With or without a garden ...

In the garden : in beds of perennial plants, on the edge ...
Without garden: In a large pot, with a good humus soil.

We recap

• Cycle: Perennial
• Hardiness: -10 ° C.
• Foliage: lapsed
• Exhibition: Sun in partial shade and protected from the wind
• Flowering: March to July.
• Flower color: white for the most popular variety.
• Type of soil: Deep, rich in humus, cool, well drained.
• Plantation: Spring - March.
• Interview : Watering during growth, dry during dormancy.
• Use : In massif, in border, in undergrowth.

Quick sheet:


Item name

Growing Arum in the garden


Arum is a plant of great nobility in the garden, large leaves, green, slender and pointed like spears, large flowers of 20 cm in the shape of a white calyx (spathe) with a fleshy, upright, yellow, almost erotic heart. extricate themselves and radiate ...


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Arum is an exceptional plant that thrives in houses and gardens. She can live a long time with a few easy care and forms lovely pots and beds. Our practical advice will help beginners and experienced gardeners get the best results from their arum plantation.

Planting arum

Arum appears in the form of a large bulb. White arum is planted in the fall before the end of the year and outside the frost period. Color arum can be planted until spring, always outside the frost period. In the garden, choose a sunny spot, with soil that stays cool in summer. Arum can also be planted at the edge of a pond or stream. Prepare the soil well by digging it up and adding manure and compost. The land must be very rich to allow the arum bulb to develop properly. Bury the bulbs at least 15 cm deep, and 30 cm from each other. Cover them with enriched soil and water well without compacting the soil. Protect the soil with dead leaves or mulch during the winter, especially if you are in a cold region.

Arum in a pot, care tips

Arum can be grown in a pot or pot, indoors or on a balcony. Arrange arum bulbs in a tall and wide pot to allow arum to develop properly. Place a bed of clay balls at the bottom of the pot then fill it two-thirds with a mixture of potting soil and compost before installing the arum bulb.

Arum pruning and maintenance

Arum is a humid ground plant. In the garden, water arum avoiding to wet the flowers especially in summer when the weather is dry. Arum do not prune. Cut the wilted flowers as necessary to avoid the rise of seeds. In winter, cover the ground well to protect the arum from freezing. Do the same for the pots installed outdoors. You can also move the deflowered pots to a bright room protected from frost, such as a veranda, until the following spring. After a few years, separate arum bulbs into several pieces and replant them to form new arums.

Watering and fertilizing arum

Arum must be watered weekly between spring and fall. More often in summer if the weather is dry. When the arum is installed indoors, bathe the pot of arum in one bucket of water a few minutes each week. Arum is a greedy plant. Add a liquid fertilizer watering once a month for arum in the garden, and twice a month for arum in a pot.

Diseases and parasites that affect arum

Arumdoes not suffer from diseases and does not attract pests. Its real enemy is frost, which can rot the bulbs.

To know about arum

The bulb of the arum is very greedy and needs the frequent supply of fertilizer. Planted in pots, the arum bulb maybe dug up after flowering and stored in the dry during the winter, before being reinstalled the following spring.

Arum varieties to choose from

Apart from white arum, very common, choose black forest arum, with very dark reflections, which will look lovely with white delphiniums or yellow daylilies. If you like bright colors, Mango orange arum franc will be ideal in a cluster of colorful perennials, accompanied by red and ocher dahlias.

Gardener's tip on arum

Flowering arumis about 3 months. Cut the flowers well to make lavish bouquets before they wither and sow their seeds.

Planting Zantedeschia

Zantedeschia bulbs are planted as early as early spring at 4-5 cm deep, from March to May.

  • Respect a distance of about 30 to 40 cm between each bulb because Calla lilies have large leaves and need space.
  • Choose a sunny place but not hot.
  • Beware of soils that are too dry because calla lilies need a cool moist soil.

Cultivation and maintenance of arum

The maintenance of the arum is relatively simple:

  • Water the arums copiously, because they love water. In case of dry earth arum does not bloom.
  • Cut the arum short from the first frost. However, do not cut until the leaves turn yellow, because it is at this time that the arum prepares its reserves for the coming flowering.
  • Provide special bulb fertilizer to obtain abundant flowering.
  • Mulch stumps of Ethiopian arum to protect it from cold. Store rhizomes of other species over the winter in a cool, dry place.

  • Cut off the yellowed leaves and stems, remove it from its container and clean it well.
  • Store it in a cool, dry, dark place for the winter.
  • Take the rhizome out in the spring and replant it in new potting soil.

Planting Calla palustris, the marsh arum

Planting Calla palustris must take place as soon as possible after the purchase. Most often the plant is sold in a pot, but sometimes with bare roots. Bare rooted plants can be planted in cold weather or whenever the ground is not frozen.

The pots are generally available in the spring, from early May to June, and those in the fall, from late August to September.

  • Plant the contents of the pot in acidic, humus-rich, muddy (moist) soils in partial shade.
  • Plants are almost completely shade tolerant, but can become weak and lean.
  • Plants can grow in shallow water (up to 2 inches above the crown) with leaves out of the water.
  • Do not push the rhizome deeper than 10 cm.
  • Space each plant at least 20 cm apart.

The preferred planting area is a peat bog, marshes, pond outskirts, slow stream edges.

Calla palustris

Calla palustris (Credit: dogtooth77 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Flickr)

Calla palustris, the swamp calla or water arum, is a very decorative natural garden pond or pond edge plant, which is also very handy for camouflaging the pump water pipe. of the pelvis.

Guides, letter models, practical sheets. We leave the card to you. Make your choice !

Calla palustris, the swamp calla or water arum, is a very decorative natural garden pond or pond edge plant, which is also very handy for camouflaging the pump water pipe. of the pelvis.

Calla palustris (Credit: dogtooth77 / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 / Flickr)

Calla palustris in summary

Swamp calla, Water arum, Swamp arum, Swamp arum

Ornamental plant в – ¶ Decorative foliage plant

Pond plant в – ¶ Helophytes (waterfront) | Amphiphytes (bank plant)

Vegetation Perennial : Plant that lives more than two years.
Annual : Plant that lives less than a year.
Biennial : Plant whose life cycle lasts two years. In the first year, the plant grows in the second year, it gives flowers and fruits, then it dies.
To know more

Foliage Persistent : The foliage lasts all year.
Semi-persistent or semi-deciduous : The plant retains part of its foliage all year round.
Lapsed : The plant loses its leaves in the fall.
To know more

Height at maturity Mature height is the height to which the plant naturally rises when it is in the most favorable conditions.
It may take time for the plant to reach this height, depending on the speed of its growth.
The plant may also never reach its height at maturity, if it is pruned regularly, or if it is not cultivated in the optimal conditions for its growth.
To know more

Interview Easy : The plant does not require special care, or very simple care.
Moderate : The plant requires regular care or a little gardening practice.
Difficult : The plant requires important care and gardening skills.
To know more

Water requirement The water requirement of a plant can be supplied by rain, natural soil moisture or watering. To estimate the necessary watering, it is also necessary to take into account the ambient temperature, because of the evaporation, and the capacity of the soil to retain water.
Low : For a houseplant, water monthly. For an outdoor plant, it tolerates drought well.
Way : For a houseplant, water weekly or every two weeks. For an outdoor plant, it will need water supplies before the soil dries up.
Important : For a houseplant, water several times a week. For an outdoor plant, it needs abundant and regular water supplies.
To know more

Growth Slow : The plant reaches maturity in several decades.
Normal : The plant reaches maturity in a few years.
Fast : The plant reaches maturity in a few months.
To know more

Multiplication Propagation involves creating a new plant yourself.
Sowing : The plant reproduces by planting seeds.
To know more
Division : Part of the root (rhizome, tuber) is used to create new shoots.
To know more
Cuttings : A branch is planted in the ground, where it produces new roots.
To know more
Layering : The branch is not cut from the plant, but it is partly buried in the earth, where it develops its own roots.
To know more
Graft : A plant fragment is implanted on another plant.
To know more
Impossible : It is not possible, for an individual, to multiply his plant. If he wants another, he must buy it from a professional.

Cold resistance Resistant (rustic) : Frost resistant plant.
To protect (semi-rustic) : Plant which supports the freshness but which requires a protection against the frost.
To return (fragile) : Plant which fears the cold and which must be sheltered during the cold season.
To know more

Soil type Clay soil : Heavy and sticky soil when wet, which hardens and cracks when drying.
Limestone soil : Clear and chalky earth, dry in summer and muddy in winter.
Sandy soil : Light soil, easy to work with and which retains water poorly.
Stony ground : Soil loaded with pebbles and poor in organic matter.
Humidor : Black and easy to work, it looks like forest earth.
Heather land : Acidic soil (pHВ 4 Г 5), sandy and rich in humus.
Potting soil : It's easy, this land can be bought in stores!
To know more

Soil pH The pH measures acidity of the soil.
Alkaline soil : The pH is above 7. These are mainly calcareous soils.
Neutral soil : The pH is between 6.5 and 7.2. Most plants grow well there.
Acidic soil : The pH is below 7. This is mainly heather land.
To know more

Soil moisture Soil moisture does not depend on rain, but on how the soil retains water or not.
Drained soil : Fresh soil but where water does not stagnate.
Wet soil : Soil where water stagnates.
Dry soil : Soil that does not retain water.
Fresh soil : Soil which remains constantly moist (but not soaked). To know more

Exposure Sun : The plant should have direct sun all day. Inside, it is directly (less than 1m) in front of a window facing south or west.
Part shade : The plant should have sun only part of the day. Indoors, it is in front of a window to the east or further away from a window facing south or west.
Shadow : The plant should be in the shade of other plants. Indoors, this is the case for rooms in winter, windows to the north or partially obscured and when the plant is far from the window (+ 2 m).
To know more

Planting Full earth : The plant can be planted directly in the earth.
Bin, pot or planter : The plant can be planted in a container. (The volume of the container must be adapted to the size of the plant.)
To know more

OCT. NOV. From C.

OCT. NOV. From C.

Historical geographical origin of a bog calla or water arum (Calla palustris) is North America †“it occurs in Canada, Alaska and northeastern United States –, but currently, all temperate zones of it northern misphere, in shallow waters, are colonized. So, Calla palustris is a panboreal species, occurring from northern France to Scandinavia and east across Siberia to Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island, then from Turkey to there east of China, Japan and the Korean peninsula. Unfortunately, everywherewater arum is increasingly rare.

Calla palustris occurs with beautiful round leaves or, erect and forming a cone. Shiny green above, they are lighter below and are petiolate for a long time. Flowering which appears from the second year, proceeds from May-June to August. The flower, produced in the spring, in the form of a trumpet, is formed on a court surrounded by a large white spathe (but slightly green-yellow), sometimes concealed by foliage. In female subjects, flowering is followed by fruiting, but the fruits, small berries produced in autumn, of an intense red or orange color, are very poisonous! The plant is relatively small, reaching a height of 15 to 40В cm (usually 30В cm) and extending to about 30В cm.

AttentionВ : the whole plant is poisonous, in particular the red fruits which induce vomiting if swallowed.

The water arum shows a green fleshy. In massif, in sunny location, this plant grows very quickly over several meters, forming a beautiful dense whole which lines the surface of the water. This species prefers acidic, non-calcareous waters, and above all, does not support the current of waterВ: pond, marsh and calm garden pond are privileged habitats.

Planting ideaВ: create a gradation of plants of different heights, for example by associating Calla palustris with Carex elata (the variety 'Aurea', for example) and Iris versicolor.

This Araceae owes its generic name, Calla, To beauty of an inflorescence and a specific epithet, palustris, refers to the natural implantation biotope, bogs.


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