The Q&A Archives: Planted Calla Lilies in Fall

Question: Last fall I planted calla lily bulbs with my tulip and crocus bulbs. All the bulbs are in large containers. I live in zone 5 and at the time I didn't realize the difference between bulbs. I suspect the callas had died over winter. Should I try to dig up the callas before the crocus and tulips begin to develop roots? Or should I just leave the calla bulbs alone? Will the calla bulbs rot and harm the other bulbs? Thanks for the help.

Answer: I think you are right that the callas will not have survived if they have been outside and frozen. If they froze, they will probably be rotten. Whether or not that could affect your other bulbs is hard to predict. I would expect the other bulbs to be rooted by now, so it is probably better to leave them undisturbed because if you try to dig them up, you risk damaging the roots. If on the other hand you kept them chilling in a garage or other cool but above freezing location, the callas might actually still be alright. So much of gardening is trial and error, at least this will be an interesting experiment. I hope your other bulbs do well for you!

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