Calla Lilies question

kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)March 21, 2009

Hi all. I bought some calla lillies for spring planting. I know they are either to be dug up in fall or treated as annuals here. My question is...

I am preparing a "bulb bed". My calla's will probably get here BEFORE the other bulbs, such as the iris I bought (which won't be here until August!), and some daylilies I am planting there too. Holland Bulb Farms will be sending out my Calla's soon. How long can I store them temporarily until my daylilies get here also? I don't know yet when they will come. I bought them at Oakes Daylilies.

How would I store them safely until planting time? Should I just use plant markers to show where I planted the Calla? Then plant the rest?

Thanks all,


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jackied164(z6 MA)

I dig my calla out of my pots in the fall and just store in a box in the basement over-winter. I would think it would be ok to store them in a cool dark place when they arrive until you are ready. In my experience they are far less finicky than dahlia's for example when it comes to storage. I wouldn't store them until August though. You could also potentially start them in pots indoors early when they arrive and give them a head start. Outdoors they will wait until the soil warms up. If you plant them out a little early do mark them because they will be a little slow coming up.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 12:09PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

I might go ahead and pot them up indoors, then bring them out when it warms up to let them acclimatize for a couple of days, then plant in the ground.
This is my first experience with calla's.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2009 at 4:03PM
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My calla lilies are literally planted in my water feature. They winter over (zone 7) in the water feature as the waterfall runs 24x7 to keep the water from freezing so that the birds will have water. I've seen the callas encased in ice. The mother plant and the little callas have already started leafing out again here.


Here is a link that might be useful: my calla lily

    Bookmark   March 24, 2009 at 7:49PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

wonbyherwits, what a beauty for sure. You look like you have a beautiful garden too! I am envious! I am just a beginner myself. I've only been learning seriously how to garden for a past couple years. I have a lot to learn still! I guess a true gardener probably Never stops learning lol!


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 11:16AM
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e36yellowm3(7 Raleigh, NC)

Cameron, very cool. I would have thought all that water would have caused the bulb to rot. Very surprising. Thanks for posting a link to your pictures. Alana

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:33PM
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olgaflowers(8 - DFW)

Could anyone recommend a good place to order
some calla lilies, the box stores have them but
they are so small,

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 7:06PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Callas are one bulb that you are okay in buying from boxed stores. If you put them in very moist (even thoroughly wet, as Cameron does) conditions and give them reasonably fertile soil, they are very easy to grow. If you want bigger clumps, faster, buy two or three packages and plant the bulbs closer together in one patch.

If you just want bigger bulbs, they are easy to find from most bulb companies. The white aethiopica types are the most winter hardy, though that probably won't be an issue where you live MOSt winters.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 10:45PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

A bulb that likes moist soil! Seems so strange. I was tempted by them in the box store myself. Those purple ones seems so exotic! But I really have no moist soil so I guess I will have to forget that idea.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 3:12PM
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cnid(z5b Ont Canada)

I thought Callas were too expensive and fussy to grow. I was wrong! I grow them in pots and they do great for me. I am not the best at watering regularly and they are on a hot deck, and yet they perform well and multiply yearly. I take them in after the first frost, let the pots dry out thoroughly, and stack them in the cool basement. They start right on time in the spring.

They multipy quite vigorously. So I have splurged on some fancy ones, just one or 2 of each, and now have lots. I have also been collecting seeds and if you are patient, you will have a million callas in about 3 years. Altho it is not clear what colour you will get from seed.

One thing I learned - gave a bunch to a friend who planted them in enriched soil (miracle gro??) and her plants are HUGE, gorgeous foliage, but they have never bloomed in those pots. We are repotting them this year in a more spare soil to see what happens.

I hope you get lots - even small ones. They will grow!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 10:51AM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

cnid, I don't have a garage, but I do have a shed. I wonder if they will freeze here in the shed over winter, or should I bring them in the house? I think it would be too warm in the house over winter though.
As far as Miracle Grow goes, OH NO, I bought organic miracle grow potting soil. I hope they bloom ok. What kind of soil do you plant them in? Because you said that you pot them up. I bought 12 bulbs. I am planting 3 in 2 separate planters, and the rest I will try in the ground.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 6:21PM
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kentstar your putting your daylillies in the wrong flower bed as the are not lillies and they are not a bulb they do have tuberous roots

Bill 77 years gardening.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:42PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

otnorot, why are they in the wrong bed? I guess I don't know that much yet. What will tuberous roots do to the bulbs?


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 3:05PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I think he is saying that if you are building a bed that is exclusively for bulbs, then daylilies don't belong there because they are technically rhizomes, not bulbs. However, I personally think you'll like them fine there as long as they have enough sun to bloom. I find much more pleasure in my bulbs mixed into beds with perennials and shrubs, than isolated by themselves. The permanent plants keep the interest going when the bulbs are in their ratty or dormant stages.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 6:19PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

Exactly! donnabaskets. Of course I know that daylilies are not bulbs. I do like mixed beds of which I already have a few. But, I wanted to grow some very fragrant lilies and had no other place to plant ( help, I'm running out of room for all the plants I bought, I have CHAD compulsive horticultural aquisition disorder lol) and thought I'd throw in the daylilies, just because. lol And also to hide the foilage of the irises and lilies when they are done for the season. I know that daylily foilage stays green for quite some time.


    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 6:37PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

I have bulbs planted everywhere where I also have daylilies. For the most part the bulbs are planted deeper. I often ring the daylily with bulbs because while the bulb foliage is ripening and becoming then unsightly, the daylily leaves are getting long enough to hide it. They work well together.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2009 at 10:54PM
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glover(z7 DC)

I got calla tubers from the Philadelphia flower show 5 years ago. Planted them that year and have never taken them up here in a rather protected community garden in DC. Red and dark burgundy (nearly black?) produce the most. Get a few white ones as well. Got a few yellows in beginning but have't seen those in awhile. Get a couple dozen flowers each year from my 3 ever growing bigger clumps of plants. There is one clump (only one with all green rather than spotted leaves) that looks healthy but doesn't grow tall and has yet to produce flowers. They are spreading for sure and there will come a time when I'll need to separate. . . They are the prize of my garden - my very favorite thing!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 8:59PM
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