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  over-wintering Calla
From: Lester Kallus lkallus at earthlink.net> on 2000.11.30 at 08:29:57(5733)
I asked this question a couple days ago but apparently the email somehow
never got through. Here goes again:

A couple years ago, some giant Calla were offered through a member of this
group. I purchased a few. Two years ago I kept them growing indoor over
the winter. Last year I just couldn't get enough time in the fall and the
hard winter hit them harder than I would have expected.

I thought I had lost them but in July I found some tiny Calla shoots and by
this fall I had small plants growing even though they were still
small. Another winter like last and I'll lose them
altogether. Consequently, I'd like to keep them inside this winter. Space
is limited so ideally I'll store them as tubers (or corms, if that's what
they are).

From: Claude Sweet sweetent at home.com> on 2000.11.30 at 20:14:26(5736)

I live in a very mild winter climate (zone 10) and grow my callas in

I generally move the containers to a location outdoors where they will
not receive much moisture so any winter rain we receive will not soak
the containers and encouragae them to rot.

The tubers seem to lose too much moisture and shrivel when stored dry in
onion mesh bags.

The soil mix in the containers is occasionally moisten if it seems to be
too dry. Tubers handled this way seem to sprout earlier and grow more

It seems that I neglected to water some containers of callas I held over
from previous years and they experienced a dormancy from the lack of
moisture and heat. I have some calla seeds and small tubers growing
outdoors now that the same type of callas that I purchased and planted
last May have gone dormant. These are normally summer growing types, but
seem to think our fall weather is spring. It will be interesting to see
if we experience a cool, wet winter and how these plants react.

A commercial grower I know purchased callas tubers from New Zealand
several years ago when the colored introductions were just hitting the
market. The first tubers grow normally. As the grower wanted to stagger
their production, the balance of the tubers were held in cool storage.
Each succeeding planting produced plants that were smaller in size and
produced fewer flowers. I make this comment to indicate that the
temperature the dormant plant material is held at may delay sprouting
and even limit plant growth. There might be a "chilling" injury below
some temperature.

I personally would pot up a few plants and attempt to keep them actively
growing through the winter; as a backup plan potup some dormant tubers
in containers, and hold the tuber in both a warm and cool location to
spread the risk so a total crop failure doesn't occur.

Claude Sweeet

From: "Gabe Thomas" CDANIELLE at prodigy.net> on 2000.11.30 at 20:15:47(5739)
I did the opposite, first winter out last winter in (zone 8), but my calla
has yet to become "giant". I'm curious what other people's experiences with
this plant have been. Has anyone gotten this plant to grow to larger than
typical Z. aetheopica size?

Gabe Thomas

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