Growing Callas

Calla sunflower geum floral arrangement in bronze compote with lady's mantle and pansies

I’m taking part in a sponsored calla trial this year! Last year I experimented with growing callas in my high tunnels. I’m working to grow as wide a range of flowers as possible to diversify my arrangements, so I dove into callas last year, and results were great.

Callas growing in high tunnel for cut flowers

There is a tall traditional Ethiopian calla that Northwest gardeners have been able to grow successfully for a long time, and then there’s florist callas, hybrids that come in a bunch of colors and are just the right size for floral work. Florist callas like it a bit warmer and less bright than our Northwest summers, so I set up a fancy “calla compound” in one of the high tunnels – a raised bed with a 30% shade cloth cover to encourage the flowers to grow taller, mulch to hold in moisture, and netting to keep the taller flower stems from falling over.

Picasso callas blooming in tunnel

I was pretty pleased with results! Callas wiggled their way into a lot of Woodbine vases last year.

purple calla lisianthus floral arrangement in vase for delivery

This year, I’m one of a handful of growers selected by wholesale supplier Express Seeds to trial a sample of five calla varieties; I’ve agreed to keep detailed production and yield notes.  The calla compound results were great, so I’ll be following what I learned carefully. Watch your bouquets and arrangements for white, blush, dark pink, yellow and dark red callas, and let me know what you think.

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1 Comment


    I am so happy for you. You are living your dream. BTW there is an event venue in my little town called Woodbine Mansion. I think of you every time I drive by it.

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