I've always loved calla lilies. Much to my utter delight, I've found it to be relatively easy to grow calla lilies right in my own backyard in south central Pennsylvania. I have done so successfully ever since we had a patch of land to call our own in Lebanon, PA. I don't even bring them in for the winter like you're supposed to. 

Every spring, I find time to steal away and take photos of my little flower babies. This was taken in my backyard last June.

Raindrop on a pink calla lily

What I didn't know, however, is that every year the elegant calla blossoms turn into rather ugly looking seed pods that can harbor up to 50 calla seeds inside. I feel like there's a metaphor in there for women about pregnancy and stretchmarks, etc., but I digress. FIFTY??!!! Holy moly! I've been throwing them away! This is the first year that I have had the presence of mind to do a little research on how to propagate them.

So just so we're clear, I've never done this before and all of my knowledge comes from the wonderful world of web. Here goes nothing.


At the end of the season, but before the first frost, cut off the blossom stalks and peel off the outer husk to reveal the green or brown pods inside. They should be soft. If they're not, let them sit for a few days until they start to soften.

Withered calla lily seed pods in the fall


Break apart each of the green or brown pods and take out the seeds inside, being careful to remove any outer coating. Each pod will have between 1-3 seeds inside. As an aside, this is a an easy, tactile activity that is perfect for kids to do with you. My daughter was eager to help. 

Young girl working at a table sorting seeds
Blonde girl showing calla lily seeds


Put the seeds into a cardboard box or paper bag and set them out to dry. They have to dry fully before you can pack them away for winter. The nice man on the YouTube video I watched said that if you can still cut through them with a knife, then they're not dry enough. You can put them in an envelope over the winter.

Paper bags labeled "Pink" and "White" containing calla lily seeds


Start them early in February, using the paper towel method * where you wrap them in a damp paper towel, put them in a baggie, and tape them to a sunny window (kinda like the bean germination experiments we all did as kids) until they begin to sprout. They may take up to 20 days.

*You can also plant them directly into a pot. I had an issue with them molding before they sprouted, so next year I might try that instead.


Plant the lily sprouts near the surface of the soil in a seed starter tray, roots down, keeping the soil well watered and place it in good light.


Once the callas are about 3-4 inches high (and when the danger of frost is over), you can plant them in full or part sun. Enjoy!

Note: One thing to note: A lady from another YouTube video mentioned that it may take up to 3 years before you see any blooms from calla lilies that you grow from seed, so don't worry if it takes a little time. It'll be worth it.

Macro raindrop on pink calla lily