How To Plant Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies)


If you’re new to gardening, or would like to learn how to plant Zantedeschia, you’ve come to the right place! This handy guide includes everything you need to know about these striking summer blooms.

Zantedeschia, often known as Calla lilies, are popular exotic looking plants that are native to South Africa. Calla lilies are a florists dream, and will produce the most beautiful, colourful blooms throughout the season.

Notable Varieties

There are many distinctions between the different varieties of Zantedeschia. The most noteworthy is that they are either considered as ‘hardy’ or ‘tender’. In theory, with our climate in the UK, all varieties would survive a mild-normal winter as even the ‘tender’ varieties are hardy to -12 degrees celsius.

If you are worried about frost or live in a very exposed location, you can always add some winter protection like mulch or lift the tubers and store them through winter in a dry, cool and dark environment.  They can then be replanted in spring.

The more tender Zantedeschia can be grown as a conservatory or house plant, as well as a patio plant. These tubers should be protected from frost with a deep winter mulch.

Some of our Favourites

Zantedeschia Cantor (Calla Lily)

A very popular variety for contemporary flower arrangements, exotic Zantedeschia Cantor boasts deep purple blooms. Gorgeous waxy spathes in deep aubergine-burgundy surround a matching spadix, giving a mysterious, unusual look.

Zantedeschia Lipstick (Calla Lily)

The Calla Lipstick presents gentle cream spadices, surrounded by contrasting vivid pink spathes which fade to spring green at the floral chamber; where the magnificent flower head is held up by succulent tube-like stems. Broad, wavy foliage in a spring green adorn the base.

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily)

Zantedeschia aethiopica is a wonderful, well known outdoor flowering Calla Lily, also known as the White Arum Lily. This premium variety looks superb grown in groups within the flower bed and border, or equally as effective planted and grown on the patio in pots or containers.

How to Plant Zantedeschia

Learning how to plant Zantedeschia is as easy as pie! They like moist, well-drained soil and prefer to be planted closer to the surface. Where possible, plant them in a sunnier location. As a native to Africa, they will appreciate it!

Plant the tubers shallow, so the top of the tubers are slightly exposed. Water freely and apply a balanced fertiliser every two weeks until the flowers have faded. Keep slightly moist in winter.

One of the many bonuses of Zantadeschia is their wow factor as cut flowers! Each tuber will produce several stems, perfect for cutting. Brighten up any room with a delightful bouquet or surprise your friends and family with a bunch of these stunning flowers.

Getting the most from your tubers


Calla Lilys can be lifted after flowering and stored throughout winter, allowing you to plant them again in spring. Simply dig them up once they have died back. The best time for this is usually in autumn, around the time the first frosts are beginning to set in.

Dust off the soil and place them somewhere cool and dry on some old newspaper for several days to allow them to dry off. They can then be stored in a dark, dry area and a cool spot in some peat moss over the winter.

Once spring arrives again and the temperatures turn mild, you can replant your Calla Lilys for a gorgeous show throughout the season!

Read more from J Parker’s

Our Complete Guide To Planting Dahlia Tubers

Dahlias are an ever-popular choice for many a summer garden. Their easy-to-grow tubers produce phenomenal displays of colour and texture in a range of styles throughout the season. However, if you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering how to plant these beauties.

Planting dahlia tubers is a straight forward process, perfect for those with less experience. With their beauty and effortless maintenance, it’s easy to see why they’re a horticultural favourite.

Why Choose Dahlias?

  1. Dahlias are easy to grow and suitable for gardeners of all skill levels. These blooms are fast-growing by nature and will flower in the first year and for many years to come (keep them stored and frost-free over the winter).
  2. Dahlia tubers are versatile and will tolerate most types of well-drained, fertile soil or compost. They can be grown successfully in pots, tubs, window boxes and in borders.
  3. They are a firm favourite due to the many different types, sizes, and colours available on the market.
  4. New varieties are created each year. Once you’re hooked on Dahlias, you will always be able to find something new.
  5. They flower continuously through the summer, right up until the first frost of the autumn.
  6. They look fantastic as cut flowers, making any display a memorable one.

Varieties

Before we move onto planting dahlia tubers, here are the main types of Dahlias. Each variety can be classified into several different categories, representing the main characteristics of the flower blooms themselves.

Anemone Flowering – Also known as Powder Puff Dahlias, these beauties produce unique flowers with double feathered central petals resembling a fluffy ball.

Cactus – A favourite for many years, Cactus Dahlias produce fully double pointed petals which turn backwards to create a tubular petal effect. Are sometimes referred to as Spiky Dahlias.

Dark Leaf – As the name suggests, the foliage on this variety is not the usual bright green that you see on your average Dahlia. They create an abundance of flowers through the summer, with each bloom appearing on darker (usually purple/black) foliage.

Decorative – Produces large, fully double flowers with rounded petals through the summer right up until the first frosts. A perfect choice for cut flower displays.

Dwarf – A range of smaller, more petite Dahlias which are perfect for the front of the border. They are prolific flowering varieties, look also great planted mixed in pots on the patio.

Dinner Plate – As the name suggests these are the largest flowers within the range, often up to as much as 25cm in diameter (see illustration below). Another popular choice as cut flowers.

Pompom – Love the unusual? Pompom Dahlias produce ball-shaped blooms that appear through the summer. Each petal has rounded tips and are curved upwards at the edges, and are available in plenty of colours.

Planting Dahlia Tubers

All our Dahlias are supplied as top quality dormant tubers which can be planted as soon as you receive them. The success rate from these dahlia tubers is extremely high. They are also an inexpensive way to create a large number of flowers from one plant.

Dahlia tubers should be planted 10cm deep in fertile well-drained soil, outdoors in spring when the frost has disappeared. They prefer to be in a sunny location and spaced at approximately 45cm apart. In areas where there is extreme cold, dig up dahlias and store in a cool peat over the winter. Apply a high potash fertiliser every few weeks in the summer to help growth and they can be dead headed when necessary.

Planting Dahlia tubers in Pots & Containers

Planting Dahlias in pots and containers is a fantastic way of brightening up your patios. Their unique colours and shapes will brighten any space, a perfect choice for gardens with less space to play with.

  1. Once your tubers arrive safely in the post, they can be soaked overnight in a bucket of water to soak up as much moisture as possible.
  2. When all signs of frost have passed they are ready to pot up, leaving plenty of time to grow a well-established root before the summer.
  3. It is recommended to place some pebbles at the bottom of the pots before adding the compost to help with drainage, by ensuring the compost doesn’t block the drainage holes.
  4. Fill in some compost and then add the tuber with the growing tip facing upwards.
  5. Continue to fill in the rest of the compost to firmly hold the tuber, making sure the growing tip at the top is peeping out and is not completely covered. This is now ready to be moved to the patio or garden area, with access to as much sun as possible.
  6. Water well after potting, keeping the compost moist but not waterlogged, as the tubers will rot. Add a liquid feed weekly during the growing season and provide some protection from slugs as they have a strong love for Dahlias.
  7. If growing tall varieties, insert a cane to help with growth and to keep secure.
  8. Very little pruning is needed with Dahlias. However, you can deadhead as flowers begin to fade.

More Dahlia Tutorials

Dinner Plate Dahlias

Dwarf Gallery Dahlias

Cactus Dahlias

Bishop Dahlias

How to Grow Indoor Amaryllis

indoor amaryllis christmas gift

Loved by beginners and experts alike due to their superb flowering potential and minimal effort, it’s the well-loved Amaryllis bulb. Hippeastrum or Amaryllis bulbs are very easy to plant and will flower indoors during the winter months, producing spectacular showy flowers in a huge range of colours and shapes.

Indoor Amaryllis makes an excellent potted plant and are available in two different bulb sizes – the standard 26cm+ bulbs which will produce two stems per bulb, or our giant 34cm+ Amaryllis bulbs which are the largest on the market and will produce three stems per bulb.

We have a wide range of popular Amaryllis bulbs to choose from, which you can find here.

How to Plant Your Bulbs

To plant your indoor amaryllis, all you need are rocks for drainage, multi-purpose compost, a medium to large sized pot, and the bulb itself. Place your rocks at the bottom of your pot. All you need is a shallow layer which helps with drainage. Next, fill your pot with soil halfway and pop your bulb into your pot.

Put compost around the bulb so that it’s anchored in place, but don’t fully cover the bulb. Leave the tip poking out the top so that it grows properly.

Aftercare

Once you’ve planted your bulb, try not to over water it. This will cause the bulb to rot.
After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, it can be made to flower again.  Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.

Follow our simple step by step guide here or click on the link below to watch our garden expert Jeff Turner in our video tutorial on planting these winter flowering beauties!

How to Prune Your Roses

pruning roses

Roses are a hardy plant and are often happy to grow undisturbed, so it can be difficult to tell when to prune your roses. However, light pruning at the right time of year helps to promote healthy growth and flowering as well as helping to maintain a sensible size for your rose plant.
To see your beautiful roses effortlessly bloom year after year, it’s best to prune them at the start of each year. But when? and how?

Keep reading this rose pruning guide to find out how and when you should be pruning your roses.

When Should You Prune Your Roses?

single yellow rose after pruning

Your pruning window may be slightly different depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the south, you can get away with pruning in mid-February. If you live further north, you should probably wait until March when the weather is warmer. Pruning can also depend on the type of rose plant.

Rose Shrubs should be well pruned in mid-March in Southern England, or in the second week of April when you get further north.

Climbing Roses shouldn’t be pruned for two years after planting and then only sparsely, removing unnecessary growing tips. It’s best to prune this rose type in autumn.

How to Prune Roses – Best Methods

pruning roses in the garden

For most roses, you can prune in late winter. Take care to remove dead/diseased wood and deadhead faded blooms which can be done with your annual pruning. Cut no more than 5mm above a bud with a clean, sloping cut away from the bud so water cannot gather. Keep your secateurs sharp for a clean cut.

Pruning Tip 💡 – Use fertilizer on your roses once you’ve pruned them to encourage healthy growth throughout the year!

Shop Our Entire Rose Range

April in the Garden

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”

–  William Shakespeare 

April is a magical month in the garden; Tulips are showing their cheery faces in a rainbow of colours, the weather gets warmer and it’s the peak month for planting all your summer-flowering favourites.

To keep yourself busy in the garden this month, here’s a list of our essential gardening jobs to do this April.

Add Instant Colour

Enjoy instant colour in the spring garden by planting Primulas and Polyanthus. These pretty plants are perfect for brightening up pots and the front of border during the spring months.

Keep on top of Deadheading

With early spring flowers beginning to fade, keep on top of deadheading garden Daffodils, Crocus and Pansy flowers; this will help the plants conserve their energy for next year’s blooms.

Water as the Weather Warms Up

When it comes to watering, there are no hard or fast rules. It’s a judgement call that depends on the type of plant, the soil and the weather. Ideally, it is best to increase watering during the plant’s growth, and water in the morning to avoid evaporation loss during the day.

Mulch Shrubs and Trees

Mulch Rose and shrub beds with a 3 inch layer of organic matter. This will help retain moisture during dry spells, reduce weed build-up and over time improve soil structure. Take extra care around Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Camellias, as their flowering will be impaired if they are allowed to dry out during their growth in the Spring.

Plant out Dahlia Tubers

Prep for beautiful summer blooms by starting off your Dahlia tubers in the Spring. From early April, start your dahlias off in pots. If you are using tubers that have been stored over winter, give them a thorough inspection and cut off any diseased or soggy pieces with a clean knife. Pot them up, keep them well watered, and after all risk of frost has passed, plant them out in the garden.

HAVE FUN GARDENING THIS APRIL!

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Garden

Starting a garden is one of the most rewarding things one can do and anyone do it. From creating a cut flower garden, growing your own sustainable veg patch or planting an amazing border display, getting your hands dirty in the garden has so many benefits, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here are our 7 easy steps to guide you through the process of starting your own garden!

1. Make a Plan

First things first, what do you want to grow? A vegetable garden? An herb garden? A flower garden? All of the above? All are great choices but have different maintenance requirements. I’d recommend for all beginners to start small until you know what you’re getting into.

2. Pick the Perfect Spot

Your garden location, soil type, amount of sun exposure and access to water will play a big part in what plants you’ll be able to grow. Most plants, vegetables and fruit thrive in sunny spots but if you garden is shaded for most of the day, there are still plenty of plants (Hostas, Heucheras, Grasses) that can thrive in the shade. Go outside and study your outdoor space, learn about your soil type, and then research which plants would be the best fit.

3. Start the Ground Work

Get rid of the top layer covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results (e.g., it’s already spring and you want veggies this summer), cut it out. With a spade, cut the ground into sections to make it easier to remove, then put it on your compost pile to decompose. Now, you have your planting area ready to go!

4. Choose Your Plants

Choose your shopping style. Some gardeners like studying plant catalogues to create their shopping list, others head to the garden centre to select their plants, or you can simply shop online. The key planting seasons are Spring and Autumn, so choose your plants according to their planting times. Summer-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Spring (Dahlias, Begonias, Roses) and Spring-flowering bulbs/plants should be planted in the Autumn (Tulips, Daffodils, Crocus).

5. Hydration is Key

Close care and attention is essential for young plants. Once plants establish a strong root system in the ground (usually a few weeks after planting), they tend to be less needy. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall; although once a week is a good place to start.

6. Mulch for Protection

Mulching is life-saving for gardeners. Mulching your plants helps them retain moisture and keep weeds at bay. Cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch after planting and you won’t have to water as often. Also, by preventing sunlight from hitting the soil, you’ll prevent weeds from forming in your soil.

  • For annuals: Choose a mulch that decomposes in a few months.
  • For perennials: Use a longer-lasting mulch such as bark chips.

7. Care, Grow and Enjoy!

Now that all the planting is done, now is the time to care for your garden and watch it grow.

Don’t forget to keep up with common garden jobs such as:

  • Watering plants regularly. 
  • Pull out any weeds.
  • Prune dead blooms, or leggy growth on plants/shrubs.
  • Remove garden pests (e.g. Aphids) by picking them off the plant, hosing them off with water, or spraying on an insecticidal soap.
  • Support tall plants (e.g., tomatoes) with a trellis, stake or pergola.

5 Simple Steps for Growing Clematis

Available in an assortment of stunning shapes, colours and sizes, it’s no wonder why Clematis plants are so popular! Whether you prefer wall trailers or pretty potted plants, there’s a perfect Clematis out there for every garden and they even flower almost all year round.

With spring planting season upon us, it’s the perfect time to get your Clematis plants in the ground. If you’re in need of some gardening tips, follow our essential Clematis planting steps below:

1. Choose the Perfect Spot

Whether you prefer pots on the patio or planting in the border, Clematis plants can do both. Ideal for planting in the springtime, don’t forget that Clematis plants need plenty of space for adequate air flow as well as a rich, well-draining planting area. Dig the hole large enough to accommodate the plant – at least a two foot depth of soil amended with compost prior to planting.

2. Provide Proper Support

As with other climbing plants, the growing end of the vine is on a mission, always searching for something new to grab onto. When a vine can’t find anything to grab, the end stops growing and will die back. Providing the right type of support from the start helps the plant look good and grow well.

Clematis vines can break very easily. Older stems look woody but will crack if they’re bent. Young stems appear to be supple but are actually brittle. So to avoid the heartbreak of your plant flopping, make time in late spring and early summer to correct wandering stems and tie-in top-heavy growth.

3. Pruning is Key

It is tempting to plant your lovely, leggy Clematis and let it get on with it. In fact, all newly planted clematis benefit from being cut back to just above a leaf node no more than 12″ off the ground. 6″ is even better.

This first prune encourages the plant to sprout from the base and gives you a much bushier healthier plant. If you really must, let it flower, but sometime between planting and the following November, cut all clematis back hard.

4. Water well

Until they establish, Clematis are thirsty plants. They should be watered about an inch or so weekly, and more deeply during dry spells.

5. Keep an Eye on Pests

Be on the lookout for common problems that affect Clematis plant health. Clematis wilt can cause vines to suddenly collapse and die after their foliage and stems have blackened. Powdery mildew often affects plants with poor air circulation. Aphids and spider mites can be a problem as well.

Rose Guide: 8 Simple Steps to Pruning Roses

Wondering when to prune your Roses? The moment you choose to prune your Roses can be the difference between a beautiful, healthy plant that produces an abundance of blooms, to one that might not make it through the winter. Late winter is the ideal time to prune Rose bushes, and the right care can ensure healthy growth in the spring time.

Pruning Tips

Here are our 8 simple steps for pruning Roses:

1. Remove the foliage

Add a Burst of Colour with Calla Lilies

Calla Lilies, also known as Zantedeschia, are beautiful flowers which offer an attractive colour range, are easy to cultivate and are suitable to be grown outdoors or as houseplants inside. These irresistible flowers produce blooms from May all the way through to October, and make excellent cut flowers as they have a long vase life of up to 2 weeks.

Calla Lily Top Picks

Lavender Gem

A stunning lavender-violet Zantedeschia which produces funnel shaped flower heads and glossy foliage.

Morning Sun

Morning Sun is stunning Calla Lily with gradient petals blooming in yellow to pink shades.

Prado

A beautiful deep burgundy red Zantedeschia with sturdy green stems and large glossy speckled leaves.

Elliottiana

This Calla Lily has glorious golden yellow trumpet-shaped flowers which blend into green flecked foliage.

Rehmannii

Rehmannii has creamy blush pink flowers contrasting with lovely green stems for a beautiful floral display.

Flame

These sizzling flowers become less yellow and more orange-red as they age, living up to their Flame name.

Lipstick

This vivid pink Zantedeschia stands out and will be a lovely bright addition to your summer garden.

Black Magic

Contrary to the name, this bright Calla Lily is actually an eye-catching yellow! The zesty flower sits on dark green foliage.

Planting Guide

Zantedeschia grow best in full sun or partial shade and in organically rich, moist, well-drained soil. They are well suited for bog or marsh gardens, for planting near ponds and streams, or as border plants or for containers. When to plant: any time between Feb and June, but only after any danger of frost has passed.

IN THE GROUND

  • Choose a sheltered position and add some well-rotted organic matter before planting.
  • Plant the Zantedeschia tubers 10cm deep and about 30cm apart.
  • Set the tubers with the growing tips facing up. Cover them with soil and water as needed. Mulch to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture.
  • Provide consistent moisture during the growing season and do not allow the soil to dry out.

IN POTS

  • Calla Lilies can grow as tall as 2 to 4 feet, so a tall, narrow pot is better container than a wide, shallow one.
  • Place the tuber so it is lying horizontally, with the eyes facing upwards.
  • Cover the bulb loosely and give it enough water just to dampen the soil.
  • Set your tall pots in a sunny spot where they will get a bit of shade in the afternoon and fill the saucer under the pot with water.

AFTER CARE

  • Feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser once a month until the flowers have faded.
  • Mulch annually in autumn with well rotted garden compost or manure.
  • Snip off blossoms as they start to fade, using clean and sterilised gardening shears.

A Guide to our Pre-Planted Hanging Baskets

Adding colour to your summer garden could not be easier with our exciting range of 10 premium UK-grown hanging baskets. These summer flower baskets have been pre-planted to save you time and effort, meaning they’re ready-to-hang for an immediate display.

On arrival simply unpack our pre-filled hanging baskets, hang them up securely in their chosen location and then after watering they are ready to go. A simple, easy and carefree approach that is quickly becoming all the rage. Buy online now for £19.99 each or order two of one mixture for only £29.98, saving £10.00 off RRP.

Our Pre-Planted Hanging Basket Range

FUCHSIA

Fuchsia Trailing Mixed

An enticing mixture of of trailing Fuchsias in pale pink, deep pink, and striking purple.

GERANIUM

Geranium Ivy Leaf Mixed

Our combination of red, pink and white double Geranium flowers will reach a trailing habit of 30-60cm.

PETUNIA

Petunia Tumbelina Mixed

A selection of beautiful Petunias ranging in shades of purples, pinks and reds.

SURFINIA

Surfinia Trailing Mixed

A mixture of velvety Surfinias in a range of shades, with a trailing reach of 60-90cm.

BEGONIAS

Begonia Apricot Shades

Zesty orange and yellow hues make up our beautiful Begonia hanging basket.

Begonia Illuminations Mixed

Our Illuminations Mixed basket includes a bright array of red, orange, yellow and white Begonias.

MIXED

Eton Mess Mixed

A selection of Calibrachoa, Verbena and Surfinia in beautiful pink and purple shades.

Fruit Salad Mixed

This basket includes Calibrachoas and Lobelias in delicate purple, white and apricot colours.

Palma Violet Mixed

Gorgeous Verbenas, Petunias and Lobelias make up this basket in varying tones of purple and violet.

Sherbet Lemon Mixed

Our Sherbet Lemon basket is a mixture of cheerful Lobelia Dark blue, Verbena White and Bidens Goldita.

Caring for your Hanging Baskets

WATER OFTEN:

Hanging baskets typically need more water than flowers in a garden, as any excess water drains from the bottom of the basket – meaning it is fairly hard to overwater them. How much you water your baskets will depend on temperature and time of year. In spring, watering your baskets

DEAD HEAD:

As the flowers die, make sure to remove them by pinching them off where they meet the stem. Not only does this make your baskets look better, but it will also promote the formation of new flowers.

FERTILISE:

Fertiliser will replenish any nutrients in the soil which are depleted with watering and will help to keep full, healthy looking baskets. Make sure you fertilise when the soil is moist, not when the plants are wilting, and follow the directions on the specific fertiliser you’re using.

TRIM:

If your plants are starting to look a little straggly, don’t be afraid to trim them back once or twice a season. Trimming your hanging plants will increase denser new growth and create a fuller looking basket for the rest of summer.

ROTATE YOUR BASKETS:

It can be a good idea to rotate the location of your hanging baskets occasionally – particularly if one spot receives more sunlight than another. Swapping their location every week or so can ensure that when having multiple baskets, they each receive equal opportunity for sunlight and growth.