Asked on May 31, 2012

Callillies: If you cut the flower off (deadhead it) when it starts dying, will it grow a new one, OR ONLY 1 per season?

Jim Ginas
by Jim Ginas
  31 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on May 31, 2012
    There's one way to find out. Unless you want it to go to seed and spread around, deadhead it and see what happens.
  • Beverly P Beverly P on Jun 01, 2012
    You should be fine cutting the dead one off, they will rebloom, they have many blooms throughout the season unlike daylilies. Personally i have never grown them they seem to delicate for me, ( former florist), but I would cut it back. if nothing else they become unsightly with dead blooms on them.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 01, 2012
    I agree. Your calla lily should continue to produce blooms.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 01, 2012
    ok, thank you all. Last year, I THINK after the flower died, I pulled the stem out or cut it to the ground. The plant seems to die completely off, leaves and all after the season, and I prune it to the ground. ** I am really only learning now more about proper care for the plants. (Coached sports for 22 years and now picking up gardening as a hobbie in the past year. Thank you again.
  • Melissa K Melissa K on Jun 01, 2012
    Thanks. Callas are my favorite for 4 years now and are about the only thing that I don't deadhead. I, too thought they were delicate until I see their resilience and massive growth and ability to make many new babies. Just discovering new colors.
  • Beverly P Beverly P on Jun 01, 2012
    Jim, this is an excellent site for to ask questions about gardening, seems there are a lot of knowledgable folks on here. Wow, from coaching to! Both are physically demanding though...have fun with it!
  • Jean M Jean M on Jun 01, 2012
    calilillies in my backyard will put off many "shoots" from the bulbs, so more than one lillie stalk will come from the bulb. I love those plants...your's are very nice looking :)
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 01, 2012
    Very good, thanks everyone! ** So question is this: IF I cut the stems and place them all ini a vase - looks really nice, BUT then teh plant outside is back to just leaves again. so the question is do I cut them for my wife and out them in a vase hoping new ones sprout right back? or just enjoy them outside and when they die, just cut the stem to the ground?
  • Beverly P Beverly P on Jun 01, 2012
    I would enjoy them in a vase, cut 'em back and they should rebloom.
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jun 02, 2012
    I agree. If you change the water regularly, they should last a while in the vase, and that will give the new flowers a chance to grow. Might as well enjoy them inside.
  • Jean M Jean M on Jun 02, 2012
    I think placing them in a vase would be very romantic, Jim, and the plant will keep putting on blooms, even when you cut them back (I cut my plants back to the ground after the first frost), the plants will begin to grow and bloom fro the summer :)
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 02, 2012
    OK, so thank you all! My wife liked the idea and cut 5 of th 7. They look nice
  • Melissa K Melissa K on Jun 02, 2012
    If you cut enough of the stalk when you vase them, they will sprout roots, same with hosta.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 02, 2012
    would be cool!
  • Bernadette M Bernadette M on Jun 03, 2012
    Oh bulbs...they are so fun. I had the same "to cut or not to cut" question, but with my daffodils. I had a bank of them that were SO gorgeous in the yard. I loved coming home around the corner every night and seeing them. Loved them in a vase last year too though. If you don't cut all of the blooming buds/shoots, then the cala's, I would think could still bloom. Not so much rebloom as it is just the same bloom budding out that you didn't actually snip. As for the ones you DO cut, I don't think they will regrow and bloom in the same season. For most bulbs (cala's included I think) they need a dormant, usually cold, season in between blooms. Tempted as I am to cut back thick greenery to put in something more colofrul, we need to leave it be because they are storing energy for the next season's bloom. Once they die back and you cut them back, that's okay and they'll be ready to shoot back up next season. Just my experience though. Sure there is a master gardener or two on here who can give us the real skinny.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 03, 2012
    Bernadette, calla lilies actually grow from an underground rhizome, not a bulb. What most people call the flower is actually a spathe. They are only hardy to zone 8, so they do need a period of cold. But they do go into an annual period of dormancy, when they want drier conditions than they otherwise do. Your advice is spot-on in terms of not cutting back the greenery.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 03, 2012
    so I learn something new today! "rhizome" and more importantly that you can propeate plants by spliting a rhizome!
  • Virginia R Virginia R on Jun 03, 2012
    I was given some rhizomes from a friend in VA but I live in central PA. Do I need to dig up the rhizomes after the first frost or will they be ok to remain in the ground. I am in zone 5.
  • Jean M Jean M on Jun 03, 2012
    I didn't know the callas come from rhizomes...thanks Douglas :)....My callas took a while to start really coming up this year, and I noticed that alot of them still are dormant, so I'm wondering if they will come up again or not. They are putting out beautiful orange blossoms :).
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 03, 2012
    we were just talking minutes ago about my brother-in-law up in LI, NY. (I'm orignally from LI), he digs his Canna rhizomes up, stores them for the winter in his basement, then spilts them before replantinig in spring. I live in Southern VA (believe in ZONE 7) and believe I can leave teh rhizomes in teh ground. (Dig them up, split them, then replant?) Mine are all under mulch, so that helps also. BUT I will dig a couple up, SPLIT them, replant the ones in the ground and take a couple of the split rhizomes and store for ?? / experiment / learning?
  • Bernadette M Bernadette M on Jun 03, 2012
    knew someone smarter would come on and clue us in (smile). So, do all rhizomes vigorously spread or just the crazy sunchokes in my yard? Now THAT is out of control.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 04, 2012
    Virginia, if you're in Zone 5 you definitely need to dig them up. Jim, you will probably sneak by in Zone 7 if they are well-mulched.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 04, 2012
    so Liz cuts 5 flowers low on the stem and now today there are 6 out there! we didn't have 6 all year last year. Granted warm winter, so everything is growing better.... Doug: my mulch is probably 6-7 inches deep!we are actually in Zone 7b, southern most part of Zone 7. (If I read the Zone maps correctly. Just across the NC border.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 05, 2012
    Jim, the maps can be tricky to read. But you don't have to! Just plug your Zip Code in this site, which will give you the latest hardiness zones (they were revised earlier this year): (And don't go crazy with your mulch depth!)
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 05, 2012
    Thanks Doug. Ok, that website says Zone 8a.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Jun 06, 2012
    Many folks "moved up a zone" on the latest map. Looks like you did, too.
  • Jean M Jean M on Jun 06, 2012
    I love canna lillies, plan to get some more if I can and plant them in an area where I have wildflowers growing...I love wildflowers, but they tend to out "grow" any plant that may be near them...they tend to be overbearing in a way...
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Jun 10, 2012
    FYI ONLY! Cutting the flowers at the stems, and now they keep popping up! another new 8 flowers on the clli lillies growing outside! Thank you all!
  • 3po3 3po3 on Jun 10, 2012
    Great news, Jim. Good to know.
  • Beverly P Beverly P on Jun 12, 2012
    Wonderful, enjoy!
  • Gail Daigh Gail Daigh on Aug 30, 2015
    In my experience, one should leave the spent flowers which allows the plant to store energy to bloom the next year. I've always done this with good results.