Calla lily is one of the important bulbous crops having funnel shaped flowers grown for pot culture and landscaping. Varied beautiful colours and flower cum foliage make its choice in pots and beds of lawns and gardens.
Calla lilies grows well in full sun or partial shade.Although an outdoor plant as well as wonderfully an indoor plant; while growing it indoor care has to be taken in keeping soil moist, facilitating indirect bright light, application of nutrients at regular intervals, avoiding any stress through unfavorable indoor conditions, restricting watering on approaching to dormancy which can be visualized by drying of leaves and cutting leaves after its dried.
It is important to take care that Calla lilies are placed in a bright location until growth begins, applying adequate water during growth cycle but wet conditions to be avoided as it may start to rotting of rhizomes.
Important tips of growing Calla lilies
Growing Calla liliy is very easy but few considerations has to be taken care while planning to grow it. First and the foremost important consideration is to ensure that media which can be soil based or soillessshould be loose and well drained.
Selection of site is another consideration and for this full sun to partial shade can be opted. Calla lilies are planted with the onset of spring. Depth of planting is very important as it interferes with rooting, growth and development. General rule is to plant the rhizomes at 10cm depth and if planted in field the plant to plant and row to row distance should be 50cm.
Liberal irrigation after planting is very important so that rhizomes will settle properly. As far as soil moisture level is considered, it loves soil moist conditions. Proper fertilizer application during growing period helps in proper vegetative growth and flowering. Use of organic manures and biofertlisers as soil or media application helps in improvement in performance as far as aesthetic and recreational view is concerned.
During vegetative phase and flowering proper irrigation has to be ensured but care has to be taken not to water plants when the leaves are dry as it can induce rotting of rhizomes. Lifting of rhizomes in cooler parts is important so as to avoid damages of winter frost. Lifting of rhizomes has to be done on scientific lines.
The first consideration for lifting of rhizomes is to ensure that leaves aredry. Second important thing is to see that before lifting of rhizomes the soil is loose so that operation of lifting is eased. The next step is to lift the rhizomes in such a way that physical injury is avoided and after lifting the propagules has to be cleaned, shade dried and treated with fungicides and then stored in well ventilated conditions.Some researches recommend to store calla liliy in coco peat or peat moss so that moisture losses from the rhizomes is minimum.
Preparation for planting
Rhizomes grow best in soils of high fertility and the purpose of the long-term preparation of land for bulbs is to raise the fertility of the soil by generous manuring. It is generally agreed that high soil fertility should be maintained and potash requirement is high for rhizomes.
For commercial growers, the rhizomes can be hand planted and larger stocks should be plough planted. There are two main methods of plough planting, the most widely used in single – furrow plough turning a furrow of 18-10 in wide and rather deeper than the rhizomes are to be set.
Subsequent cultivation practices
It includes weeding, rouging, nutrition, irrigation and spraying for pest management. These practices are carried out during subsequent growth phases after rhizome planting.
Lifting of rhizomes
Lifting must begin as soon as the rhizomes are ready and should be completed as quickly as possible. Before lifting, any dead foliage or weed cover should be removed. This is done by moving off tops. Rhizome lifting can be done manually or by using lifting machines.Time of rhizome lifting is very important and it varies with variety used. Normally, the correct time of lifting is determined by foliage. When foliage has died down completely, lifting is started. After rhizome lifting, it is desirable to place them in trays to take them straight into sheds for cleaning, grading and storing.
As rhizomes are brought into the shed, it is most important to keep a careful check on the staking of the trays. On small holdings, cleaning may be done by hand but many rhizomes can be handled by machines for cleaning.
Grading refer to sorting of rhizomes into various groups on the basis of their circumference. It is an important procedure and defines the superior and inferior classes of bulbs. The grading standards have been laid for almost every bulbous crop.
Pot care of Calla lilies
Growing calla liliy in pots is hobby of masses in valley and for this purposes we have to understand how to go for this type of cultivation. First of all we have to ensure that potting media we are using is rich in nutrients, porous, well aerated and well drained so that proper proliferation of rhizomes is achieved. For this purposes potting media should comprise of sand,soil, well rotten organic manure, coca peat, bone meal , neem cake and optimum utilization of inorganic fertilizers.
Rhizomes has to be placed as per the size of container and normally in 10 inch pot 1 to 2 rhizomes of 14-16 size can be accommodated but if it is 16-18 we can go for only one rhizome. Liberal irrigations has to be carried out from rhizome planting to flowering and has it has to be ensured that there is no excess of moisture. Thumb rule for irrigating the pot is to see the upper layer dryness. Drying of foliage means we have to stop irrigation and indoor the plant till frost of winter is over.
During sprouting excessive moisture causes fungal diseases so it is suggested to see that only moist conditions are maintained not the wet situations.
Temperature and varieties
We have to ensure that the optimum light is provided to plant as in dim light there will be either no flowering or the flower which is formed will remain green. The blooming temperature ranges from240 C to 300 C however it also depends upon a particular cultivar.
Samba(pink),Hollywood(Red),Carrera(Black),Morgon(red),odeon(orange),trinity(orange),Ventura(white),Kloon(yellow),Promise(purple), ceres(yellow) are some of the elite and beautiful varieties available in market.