Calla Lily Indoor Rescue - tips needed

jennahw(7)February 18, 2009

I thought I'd posted this earlier, but don't see my post, so we'll try again.

A coworker who recently left left her Calla Lily behind. The kind with speckled leaves and pretty white blooms (it was in bloom just last week still - fading). After a couple weeks of neglect because we just today realized it wasn't getting any water since the Aqua Globe was stopped up, it was looking sad. We gave it a nice douse of water and cut off the browning/yellow leaves.

But what do we do now? As the green thumb in the dept, I'm taking responsibiity. I think I'm at least going to repot it (it's just in a little pkastic pot - it was wrapped in teh plasticey 'gift' paper) a size up since it seems rootbound. But should we continue to keep the soil most? Will the leaves stay all year round? Should I let it totally dry out for a few months? Will I have to fertilize in the spring to get it to bloom? help!

I've searched, but keep finding conflicting info! I have Callas outside (that hopefully survived the winter), but indoors I don't know what to do with them!

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snowflake-rosa

Hello! I had a calla growing indoors for a while and found bright indirect light to work well for it. From my experience and from what I've read, you pretty much can not make it too moist for this plant. They are from swampy regions so the don't object much to overwatering. A really good site that I found is http://www.pacificcallas.com/Growerinfo.htm They are a widescale producer in CA and have lots of good info on their page. Good luck with your plant!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:52PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You must PLEASE take the plastic 'gift paper' off!! That is likely interferring w/ its drainage. First & always take the gift paper off!

I wouldn't repot or change anything else, just observe for a wk at least. It's important to only change one thing at a time so one can see what works & to give the plant a chance to get used to the change.

I doubt repotting is the answer. I'm guessing there'll be some natural dieback after blooming & instincts tell me potting it larger is likely to worsen the situation by increasing its likelihood of rotting.

My personal experiences of trying to grow Zantedeschia (Calla Lilies) indoors were not successful. I tried it several times under different circumstances & in different settings.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 11:35PM
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jennahw(7)

The plastic gift paper has been off for some time (I said it WAS wrapped in that - not any more!). It's just still in the small plastic pot that it came in and not a 'proper' pot. The plastic pot, which is probably a 6in pot with 3-4 bulbs in it, has drainage holes and is in a saucer.

I guess for now I'll just try to keep the soil moist and water it a couple times a week. It's sitting in front of a window and gets good light, but it's not near my cube (I have no window), so I'll have to try and remember. I have a feeling one of us will have to just take it home and plant it when it gets warm enough.

But I've still not been able to find out if it will stay leafy if it stays watered, or if it needs a period of dormancy. Anyone? Help?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 8:02AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

What's a 'proper' pot?

Also, I've heard a few bad reviews for the Aqua globes, that they don't work.

As to dormancy, I'd try posting at the Aroid Forum nearby as I think they are Aroids.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:44AM
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jennahw(7)

Proper pot = pot that isn't crowding the plants, that isn't the cheap plastic pot they came from the store in. ie a 'nice pot'. Moving from to more like . Sorry - my definitions!

I actually have some Aqua Globes at home because I got them for cheap, and they work fine (of course you have to know what kind of plant it'll meet the watering needs of, that's probably where it fails for a lot of people). Problem with this one is that ex-coworker didn't follow directions to make a small hole in the dirt for the globe's pipe, so it got totally clogged with soil (and a piece of the bulb, actually) and was not releasing water.

Anyway, I'll check the ariod forum again. I searched and got some results from there, but most referred to planting callas outdoors in the ground, or outdoors in pots, or taking them outdoors for the summer. So I'll try to post the Q there. Seems like they might be a persnickety all-year indoors houseplant, so I may be adopting it for home!

Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 10:58AM
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snowflake-rosa

About dormancy:

http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantwxyz/zantedeschaeth.htm
says,
"It is evergreen or deciduous depending on the habitat and rainfall regime. In the Western Cape it is dormant in summer and in the summer rainfall areas it is dormant in winter. It will remain evergreen in both areas if growing in marshy conditions which remain wet all year around."

A college textbook I have, Stern's Introductory Plant Biology, suggests that the plant be allowed to dry up after flowering and then repotted in the fall.

Judging from this, I would assume that you may feel free to either keep it growing all year or treat it like some bulbs and let it dry out and store it. My mother has amarylis bulbs that have been passed down the family for a generation or two. She allows them to keep their foliage all year long and they bloom every year. Hope you have success with whatever you choose to do!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 4:36PM
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jennahw(7)

Thanks! Maybe I'll keep it moist, then if it starts looking really bad, I should still be able to take it home and plant it outside.

I've never heard of anyone keeping amarylis with foliage all year long - very cool! Also had no idea that "traditionally the plant [calla lily] is boiled and eaten." weird!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 6:47PM
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