Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Green Goddess'
CALLA LILY, ARUM LILY, PIG LILY
syn. Calla aethiopica, Richardia aethiopica
Pronounced: zan-te-DES-kee-uh ee-thee-OH-pik-uh
Sunset zones: 5, 6, 8, 9, 12-24, H1, H2.
USDA zones: 8-10.
Heat zones: 10-4.
Height: 36 inches (90 cm).
Width: 24 inches (60 cm).
Late spring to midsummer.
White spathes are 6-8 inches long, marked with green along undulating margins and green veins.
Arrow-shaped, dull green leaves.
Humus rich, fertile, moist, acidic soil.
After flowering, apply a low nitrogen/high potash fertilizer. At planting time, toss bone meal or high potash fertilizer into planting hole. Mulch in fall to insure survival.
Divide tubers in spring.
Pests and Diseases:
Botrytis, rust and virus diseases may be a problem.
Rainy Side Notes
I love to pronounce this botanical name: zan-te-DES-kee-uh ee-thee-OH-pik-uh. It took many repetitions before I could speak her name accurately; but, as everyone knows when dealing with a goddess—green or not—it is imperative to get her namesake correct.
The cultivar ‘Green Goddess’ is a stately calla lily beauty. However, you have to stand next to her to appreciate her gorgeous large flowers, made up of a spathes camouflaged in white and green. From across the garden, this is not so conspicuous. When you are close to this tropical looking plant and see her blossoms fully exposed, you can appreciate her full beauty. Even without the flowers, the plant stands stately in the garden; it reaches three feet high, showing off its undulating, arrow-shaped frondescence.
Like any self-respecting goddess, she demands some special care in our Pacific Northwest gardens. As you know, our climate is dry in the summer and she detests drought conditions. If we want to keep her happy, we are going to have to give her a lot of water. You can grow her in shallow water, providing you lift her out before winter. She does not like her feet frozen in water. If you want her in the garden, then provide her with a deep drink of water once a week and mulch, mulch, mulch around her skirts, to conserve the moisture.
In the warmer areas of our region, which stays above 15°F, mulching your plants insures its survival. I’ve seen some sources say it can survive down to zone 7 (0°F) gardens with mulching. However, if you live in the coldest areas of our maritime climate, you can lift and store the tubers like you would dahlias rather than risk losing your goddess.
‘Green Goddess’ is a fantastic choice as a cut flower. Pick stems when the flower begins to unfurl and the flower will last up to or over a week in the vase.