Calla Lily Bulb

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The Calla lily bulb can add great beauty and style to any garden. Callas are basically natives of South Africa and need the tropical kind of climate to flourish. But they can also be grown at home in different conditions, provided adequate care is given to the plant at the right time.

Originally available only in white, today Calla lily bulb is available in various colors ranging from pink, mango, burgundy, to gold, red, apricot and many other shades in between. This in itself is a mute witness of the immense popularity of this plant among plant lovers.

If you purchase the Calla lily bulb, there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure optimum growth. First of all, allow the Calla lily bulb to sit in a single layer on a dry and well-ventilated area for 2-5 days. This allows the bulbs to dry and harden before they are planted. Colored callas are also called as tubers. These tubers may have shoots on the top of the bulbs and would be round at the bottom. Planting of the bulbs should take place only in spring. This is because the bulbs are very vulnerable to frost and will die away if the temperature is too low. While planting, the tubers should be put about 2-2.5 inches deep and the developing shoot or growth tips should point up. The planting medium should be very airy, loose and well draining. It is advisable to use commercially available soil mixes. Field soil is not good because this packs tightly during rains or if the soil is watered.

Calla lily bulbs need warm temperatures to attain proper growth. If the climate is cool, Callas should be planted under the full blaze of the sun. But if the climate is already hot, then the bulbs should get at least a few hours of shade everyday. Mulching the soil is good for controlling the soil temperature as well as for reducing stress on the plant. In their native habitats, Callas lily bulbs grow in bogs and shallow water lakes. So, when they are grown at home, they should be given lots of water. Water the bulbs thoroughly but only AFTER they show signs of growth. The soil should neither dry out not should it become sodden. During the period of rapid growth, feed the tubers with a water-soluble feed once every week. After this period, the feeding can be reduced.

2-3 months after potting, you will see new shoots coming out of the pot. The speed with which this takes place depends on soil temperature as well as the hybrid cultivar. But as a general rule, the larger the tubers, bigger will be the blooms that come out. The shorter variety will produce as many as 20-30 blossoms per tuber. The fresh cut varieties will produce taller flowers but the number of blooms would be lesser. Depending on the cultivar, the Callas lily bulbs can continue to bloom for almost as long as 6-8 weeks.

Even after the flowering is over, the plant still requires water and feed. This is the time when new tubers start separating. New tubers are formed and the tubers start storing food for the next year. Colored Calla lily bulbs are spring planting, summer blooming and will die in the fall. In cool places, the tubers should be dug out and stored in a dry place. This period of dormancy is important in the development of the tuber. The minimum storage period is 10 weeks and these can be stored without detriment for up to 10 months. After the dormancy period, the tubers can be replanted.

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