Olive45
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Calla Lily

Hi,

Maybe this sounds quite a dumb question, but I got a calla lily in the summer and don't know a lot about them - are they perennial? Mine is now looking quite poor, very bedraggled and brown which I put down to the season - do they usually die off during autumn/winter and will it grow again next spring/summer, or is it a case of buying a new one next year?

Thanks! :)
Enjoying my garden despite the cold thanks to my chimenea!

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rainbowgardener
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Well you didn't say where in the world you are and it makes a difference.

Calla lilies are hardy through U.S. zone 8, perhaps even 7 depending on variety. So if you are in any tropical or subtropical area or even warmer parts of temperate, you can probably just leave it in the ground.

Otherwise yes they are tender perennial bulbs, that are not frost hardy. They die back in the fall, but can be replanted in spring if they are given proper care:

If you are in a cold winter area, you need to dig up the bulbs once the foliage is dying back, before the first frost. Dig and handle them gently. Cut off the tops, clean off excess soil, let dry out of the direct sun for a few days (or indoors in a sunny window, if your weather is cloudy/rainy) then store in a paper (NOT plastic!) bag in a cool, dark, dry location that remains between 45 and 60 degrees F. like a basement or garage, as long as it won't freeze. Could even be in the crisper drawer of your frig. Re-plant in spring after the soil has warmed and night time temps are up to 50.
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john gault
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I guessing you're somewhere north of me, because mine is still doing alright despite some cold we've had, even record-breaking cold; it's just that the cold snaps haven't lasted long enough to kill mine yet.

I heavily mulch in all my growing areas, so when they do die back, which they do every year now since the winters seem to be getting colder here. Besides heavy mulch I just cut back the leaves and put them into the mulch and they always comeback in the spring. But if you live in a really cold location you would probably have to dig them out and store them -- so I hear...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL3t8Ez_PsU

john gault
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My above link was bad and for some reason I couldn't edit that post. Here's the link for storing canna lily https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KL3t8Ez_PsU

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rainbowgardener
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That is about canna lilies. The OP asked about calla lilies, not the same. Storage isn't much different, but I think the canna lilies are just a little bit hardier than calla lilies, so they can be left out a little longer. I think she is suggesting a little more moist storage than is recommended for the callas.
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john gault
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rainbowgardener wrote:That is about canna lilies. The OP asked about calla lilies, not the same. Storage isn't much different, but I think the canna lilies are just a little bit hardier than calla lilies, so they can be left out a little longer. I think she is suggesting a little more moist storage than is recommended for the callas.
whoops :oops:

Olive45
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Thanks for your advice! Well today's about 54 degrees... So I guess it's time to get them out, dried and stored? The foliage is definitely dying back! Why does it have to be a paper bag instead of plastic? (Again, sorry if that's a dumb question!)
Enjoying my garden despite the cold thanks to my chimenea!

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rainbowgardener
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Because the plastic holds moisture in, so the bulb would tend to mold/ rot.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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