The Q&A Archives: Colored Calla Lilies Blossoms Don't Open Up

Question: I sent my parents colored calla lily bulbs to La Paz, Bolivia, South America. The altitude is very high but they have always grown WHITE calla lilies with no problem. The colored callas bloomed once but now the blossoms don't open up and just wither on the stem. What is the cause? They were planted in May which is the fall there. They are still coming up even though it's now spring for them. The white callas which are planted next to them are doing fine.

Answer: The most common reasons for flower buds not to open correctly would be a root rot problem, underwatering, or cold temperatures. Root rot usually shows up as yellowing leaves or dark tips on the flowers. Underwatering could also cause the blooms to shrivel -- some types of callas require very wet soil during the growing season while others will tolerate soil with damp to average moisture. Cold temperatures could also cause the flowers to fail. Since the other callas seem to be fine, I would suspect one of the first two problems.

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