Article: A Guide To Growing Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies): Excellent and Informative Article!

 
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Image A Guide To Growing Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies)
By Susan Bryant on March 19, 2010

Calla Lilies are native to South Africa. There are seven species which grow in colors of white, yellow, and pink. Hybridizers have created the summer blooming colored callas, which are sometimes Mini Callas, although they grow from 8 to 30 inches tall and the flower diameter can be from 1/2 to 3-1/2 inches. Callas come in almost every color- except blue! Callas are grown in two different ways, and it's important to know what kind of calla you have so you know how to care for it.

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Imagegardener2005
Mar 23, 2010 7:09 PM CST
Name: Karen
Zone 8b
This is a great read! I want to hang on to this one. Thanks! Karen
Imagegardenersdetective
Apr 8, 2010 1:05 PM CST
Name: Susan
Zone 5
Charley's Girl Too/ HeHaw, HeHaw
Thanks for the great info. I live in zone 5. Just received my Black Star Calla Lily Bulbs. Do you suppose I can pot them up in fresh potting soil, water then leave in my basement until it warms up outside, then move them out?.

lakesidecallas
Apr 8, 2010 1:15 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
I would leave them in their bags until probably early May. When I lived in WI I never planted my bulbs much before Memorial Day, because it was often too cold and too wet, which is really bad for Callas.

The thing with Calla bulbs, they aren't like seeds. You can't water them and wait for them to grow, because they don't listen to you- they grow when they are ready. And if they're sitting there all wet and grumpy they might decide to rot.

You can pot them up and wait for warmer weather, but my recommendation is not to water until you see a green sprout come up out of the soil. Then you can give them some water, but make sure the soil dries quite a bit between waterings.

Out in my over-crowded greenhouse, I have several pots of calla bulbs that I didn't get a chance to empty last fall. One of them has a 4 inch leaf coming out, and hasn't had any water all winter or spring. It looks great, though. A few other pots got watered accidentally when I was spraying nearby- I emptied those to find some dead bulbs.

Good Luck!


Ooops, sorry! For some reason your post came up twice, Susan. I deleted one but then the photo disappeared from the post that was left. Not sure what happened there... some glitch?
[Last edited Apr 8, 2010 1:18 PM CST]
Quote | Post #168607 (3)
Imagegardenersdetective
Apr 10, 2010 9:58 AM CST
Name: Susan
Zone 5
Charley's Girl Too/ HeHaw, HeHaw
Thanks, I will wait patiently until May. I have a very good well drained soiless potting medium which I use for cannas and elephant ears that I will use for my Calla's as well. They are not suppose to be hardy here but I have reports from two friends that they have returned for them so I can't help but experiment with a couple of bulbs to see if they return in my garden as well.
lakesidecallas
Apr 10, 2010 1:49 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Do you leave your Elephant Ears out?
Imagegardenersdetective
Apr 13, 2010 10:05 PM CST
Name: Susan
Zone 5
Charley's Girl Too/ HeHaw, HeHaw
No, I either leave them in containers cut back the foliage then put the containers back outside when it's consistanty 60 degrees at night then begin to feed and water. The bulbs I plant in the ground I dig up, clean, let them dry out then pack them away in brown paper grocery bags filled with saw dust. When I pot them up in January it still takes several months for them to sprout, and I don't really gain much (except a big mess in the house) so I usually wait for our ground temperature to reach 60 degrees (our local extension service tracks ground temperatures) then plant them in the garden. I have a shady damp area in the garden that I fought for years until I discovered the elephant ears just love it there. Now I have a bit of the tropics in the midwest.
lakesidecallas
Apr 14, 2010 8:44 AM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
That's great! I've always grown mine in pots but this year I'm planing on sticking some in the ground.
Imagechelle
Jul 4, 2010 5:30 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Thank you for this informative article Susan. I'd like to pull my calla bulb at the end of the season and keep it stored for next year. You make it sound easy to do so....I think I'll try it!

Thumbnail by chelle

lakesidecallas
Jul 4, 2010 8:27 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
What a great grouping, Chelle! Which Calla is that?
It is so easy to keep them over the winter- just dig, dry, and toss in a paper bag. Make sure they're good and dry first though!
Imagechelle
Jul 4, 2010 8:42 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Do forgive me Susan! I thought for sure I added in the name! It was labeled Black Star, and I love it!

Thank you! That grouping won a contest here on cubits! A bog garden contest. The EE is a lot larger now, and I've added a few more plants. Smiling

This is the first shot I took of it.

Thumbnail by chelle

Imagegardenersdetective
Jul 5, 2010 4:00 AM CST
Name: Susan
Zone 5
Charley's Girl Too/ HeHaw, HeHaw
Susan, want you to know my Black Starr callas are gorgeous and have made a wonderful floral arrangement for the livingroom.
Imagechelle
Jul 5, 2010 5:54 AM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Hurray! Smiling

Hi GD! I'm going to cut a few of mine this morning as well so that I can enjoy them in the house. Lovey dubby
lakesidecallas
Jul 5, 2010 6:59 AM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Very nice, both of you! Chelle, you should add that 2nd photo to the database. Really shows the nice black edges on the leaves, which are sometimes hard to get a photo of!
Susan, Hurray! Hurray! I'm glad yours did well!
Imagegardenersdetective
Jul 5, 2010 12:23 PM CST
Name: Susan
Zone 5
Charley's Girl Too/ HeHaw, HeHaw
Chelle you are gonna love enjoying them inside as well. Makes me smile each time I pass them and I don't have to be out in 90 degree 90% humidity to catch their beauty.
Imagechelle
Jul 5, 2010 7:27 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
lsc - It would be my pleasure to add it! Big Grin

gd - I forgot today! I cut some phlox, rudbeckia, daylilies & cleome and forgot to cut the callas! Maybe I'll remember to add them to the bouquet tomorrow. *Blush*
Imagechelle
Jul 5, 2010 7:32 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Susan/lsc - You have your database settings set for owners only. I can't add the photo until you open it up. I'll be standing by......... Smiling
lakesidecallas
Jul 6, 2010 1:03 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Oopsie! Sorry about that. OK, it is open to all, I do have it moderated so I get a look at the photos first. That's just so I know what is going into the DB.
Thanks for adding your photo Chelle. Anyone else, please do so as well!
Imagechelle
Jul 6, 2010 1:12 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Okay, here we go......thanks Susan!

Hope you're staying cool today. Take it easy in this heat!
lakesidecallas
Jul 6, 2010 7:45 PM CST
Name: Susan B
East TN
Whoo hoo!
http://cubits.org/callalilies/db/callalilieszantedesc/view/4...
Imagechelle
Jul 6, 2010 8:02 PM CST
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana
Thumbs up

This one is from today. I was just so delighted that the EE is growing just right to give some gentle shade to the calla blooms! Peek-a-boo!

Thumbnail by chelle

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