With its exotic-sounding name and unique and unusual appearance, it is hard to believe that Zantedeschia hails predominantly from our fair shores. There are five species of this remarkable bulb that derive from areas of southern Africa and each species is as beautiful and remarkable as the next.

The Zantedeschia blooms with a stunning flower that is borne directly from its fleshy stem. The stems can vary in length, ranging from 10 cm – 70 cm, depending on the species. The flower stands perfectly vertical and is a large convoluted and enclosed funnel with a slightly recurved tip. Zantedeschia’s extraordinary flowers are complemented by broad, upright and arrow-shaped leaves, which are often spotted. For all its marvelous beauty and grandeur, Zantedeschia is in fact a wonderfully simple bulb to grow and is sure to flourish in your garden this summer.

This genus is popularly referred to as the calla lily or arum lily and this much-loved bulb is available in a stunning array of colours. From the Zantedeschia species endemic to southern Africa, numerous cultivars have been produced and this diversity provides us with a vast rainbow of colours to enjoy. There are pink arums (Z. rehmannii), white (Z. aethiopica), yellow (Z. pentlandii) and hybrids in varying shades of apricot, peach, orange, purple, and red. There is even a Zantedeschia hybrid that is deep purple, almost black, in colour! At Hadeco we have a wonderful selection of colourful arums for you to choose from and you are sure to find the perfect Zantedeschia for any garden’s colour scheme.

To grow the eye catching Zantedeschia successfully it is important to remember they like rich, well-composted soil containing generous amounts of well-decomposed plant matter. When planting in early spring (September), plant each bulb roughly 15 cm apart and 5 cm under the soil’s surface. This bulb works particularly well in borders that receive full sun, but they can also be grown in partial shade. White arum (Z. aethiopica) will in fact grow very well in deep shade. If you have a water feature or pond Z. aethiopica can even be planted in a pot and submerged into water, as it does not need drainage. Other cultivars do grow well in pots, but only if drainage is good and they are regularly watered. For the majority of Zantedeschia bulbs remember the “Three F’s of Watering”: Water for Forty minutes with a sprinkler, every Four days and don’t Forget!
The remarkable Zantedeschia will flower from November to January and they are sure to impress any visitor to your garden. Once you have planted your bulbs, Zantedeschia can be left undisturbed in the ground for many years. When the next summer arrives, a top dressing of manure may be applied and a regular, deep watering during their growing season will stimulate flowering. All you will have to do next year is to wait for another summer of amazing arums!

Tags: Hadeco, Bulbs, South Africa, tissue culture, propagation, Zantedeschia, Zantedeschia aethiopica, arum lily, calla lily, Giovanni Zantedeschi, Carl Sigismund Kunth, Richardia, Carl Linnaeus

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