The Q&A Archives: Calla Lilies

Question: I'm gardening with calla (giant California mixed), and would to know if the rain and moisture in the winter time (after the normal dormancy) will rot the rhizomes. I get no frost at the depth of the rhizomes; And would like to only dig to separate the tuberous rhizomes. Also will the mother plant produce new rhizomes that may be separated to produce a larger garden, and how do I go about separating the new rhizomes.

Answer: Calla lilies (Zantedeschia) grow from rhizomes (thickened roots) and can grow into clumps if left undisturbed for a few years. You can divide your calla's during the dormant season, after the leaves have died down and the plants are resting. Dig the rhizomes and divide by breaking apart the mass. You'll be able to see individual rhizomes once the soil has been brushed or washed away. Replant, setting each rhizome 2" deep. Since callas are dormant during the winter months, rain won't have any effect on them, as long as your soil drains well (puddles don't remain on the surface for any length of time).

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