What to look for in buying calla bulbs

linnea56(z5 IL)April 1, 2009

I have not grown these before. I was looking some over today in the store and actually examining the bulbs for the first time. I didnÂt know they were so bumpy and irregular.

Do I look for ones with many bumps? Or larger bulbs with fewer bumps? The smaller many-bumped ones had small shoots, whereas the bigger bulbs looked more dry and with no obvious signs of life. Also, I saw them sold 2 ways: in a box with peat moss, or loose in a bag with no cushioning. Does it matter? Is one better than another?

And how to start them early indoors? In pots like dahlias or begonias, or with any additional special treatment? Or do they not need a head start?

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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

linnea56 I just bought some from Holland Bulb Farms online. They just arrived yesterday. I was wondering the same. It's too cold here in NE Ohio to plant outdoors yet. I don't have a great place for storage either. So, I am wondering if I can pot them up now, and later plant in ground or repot into larger pots later.
From what I have learned is the "eyes" or bumps are where the bulb will sprout out. So plant them with the eyes to the sky, smooth part down in the pot or ground. Whatever, they sure are funny looking things lol.
Keep moist once you do plant them, but don't drown them.
This will be my first time with these too.

kentstar

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 3:30AM
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calistoga_al

You can pot them up now indoors and they will move out to the garden when it warms up. Here they are OK in the garden year around. Al

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 8:13AM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

Thanks! How long do they normally take from planting to bloom? IÂm wondering if I should stagger the planting. Does each little nose or tip produce one plant? Or one leaf?

I start begonias in a 3" peat pot and then transfer them in late May to patio pot or the ground. Sound like that would be good for the callas too.

If these are really as easy as some are saying, I may go back and get the large economy size box of 10. The only colors they had, though, are "Summer Sunset" and mixed colors. Anyone grow "Summer Sunset" ? IÂm disinclined to try mixed because I donÂt like yellow and would expect that a lot would be. (Not a fan of yellow until itÂs a soft shade)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 1:05PM
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otnorot(z5ont)

One flower from each bulb the large bulbs will bloom better than the small bulbs. I hybridize my callas and just got a black calla last Dec at home depot.I find they grow better if in pots.
Bill 77years gardening

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:28PM
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