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How to Store Calla Lilies


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Calla lilies feature beautiful, delicate flowers and stems that make the plant a favorite at weddings. Unfortunately, the delicate nature that makes the plant appear so graceful also makes the plant extremely susceptible to cold and frost damage. While calla lilies can remain outdoors over winter in warmer areas, gardeners should store the plant indoors if any threat of frost exists. Calla lilies grow and propagate from a bulb-like rhizome that can be dug up and brought inside during cold months.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • Trowel
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard box
  • Sphagnum peat or vermiculite
  1. Dig up the calla lily bulbs in the fall, after the foliage turns yellow. Loosen and remove the soil around the plant with a trowel or hand spade, being careful to avoid causing damage to the bulb. Brush any soil off the bulb with your fingers.

  2. Lay the bulbs on newspaper in a cool, shaded indoor location. Keep the temperature of the room between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and avoid exposing the bulbs to any type of light or wind. Dry the bulbs out for one to three days.

  3. Cushion a box with slightly moist sphagnum peat or vermiculite. Place the bulbs on the peat, then cover the bulbs with more of the material. Close the box and store it in cool, dry place.

  4. Check the bulbs for rot or mold every two to four weeks. Cut away any diseased or damaged areas until only firm, healthy flesh is visible. Plant the bulbs the following spring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid packing the bulbs more than two layers thick in the vermiculite or peat, which can heat the bulbs and cause them to rot

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