How to Balance pH for Calla Lily: A Step-by-Step Guide

Calla Lilies are stunning flowers that require specific growing conditions to thrive, including a balanced soil pH. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of testing and adjusting the pH level of your soil to ensure your Calla Lilies grow healthy and produce beautiful blooms.

What is the Ideal pH Range for Calla Lily?

Calla Lilies prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil, with an ideal pH range between 6.0 and 7.0. Maintaining the soil pH within this range is crucial for the plant’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

How to Test Soil pH for Calla Lily

Calla Lily

Before making any adjustments, you must determine the current pH level of your soil. Here’s how to test your soil pH:

  1. Purchase a home testing kit or send a soil sample to a local extension service for analysis.
  2. If using a home testing kit, follow the instructions provided to collect a soil sample and mix it with the testing solution.
  3. Compare the color of the testing solution to the provided chart to determine the pH level.

How to Adjust Soil pH for Calla Lily

If your soil pH is outside the desired range, you can use the following methods to adjust it:

Increasing Soil pH (Making Soil Less Acidic)

To increase soil pH, add limestone, wood ash, or crushed oyster shells to the soil. The amount needed depends on the current pH level and the desired increase.

  • For every 100 square feet of garden area, apply 5 to 10 pounds of limestone to raise the pH by one point.
  • Incorporate the limestone, wood ash, or crushed oyster shells into the top 6 inches of soil.
  • Water the soil thoroughly after application.
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Decreasing Soil pH (Making Soil More Acidic)

To decrease soil pH, add elemental sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or powdered sulfur to the soil. The amount required depends on the current pH level and the desired decrease.

  • For every 100 square feet of garden area, apply 1 to 2 pounds of elemental sulfur to lower the pH by one point.
  • Mix the sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or powdered sulfur into the top 6 inches of soil.
  • Water the soil thoroughly after application.

How to Amend Soil with Organic Materials for Calla Lily

Calla Lily 2

Organic materials can improve soil structure, enhance drainage, and provide a steady supply of nutrients. Here’s how to incorporate organic materials into your Calla Lily beds:

  • Add 2 to 4 inches of well-rotted compost to the soil and mix it into the top 6 to 8 inches.
  • Apply 1 to 2 cups of bone meal per plant to encourage blooming and enhance overall plant health.
  • Mix 1 to 2 cups of cow manure per plant into the soil to support leaf and stem development.

How Long Does it Take to Balance pH for Calla Lily?

Balancing soil pH is a gradual process that may take several weeks to several months, depending on the initial pH level and the desired change. It’s essential to retest the soil pH every 4 to 6 weeks and make additional adjustments as needed.

What Temperature and Watering Conditions are Best for Calla Lily?

Calla Lilies prefer temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C) and consistently moist soil. Water your Calla Lilies when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, and avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.

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By following this step-by-step guide and maintaining the ideal pH range, temperature, and watering conditions, you can ensure your Calla Lilies grow healthy and produce stunning blooms year after year.

References:
1. https://extension.umn.edu/soils/testing-soil-ph
2. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/bulbs/calla-lily/feeding-calla-lily-plants.htm
3. https://gpnmag.com/article/callafornia-calla-lilies/
4. https://www.zaboplant.nl/files/ZaboPlant-CultivationGuide-Callas-POT.pdf