The Q&A Archives: Forcing Calla-lilies

Question: Last year I had lovely calla-lilies. I dug and stored them for the winter. I've started them a month ago inside, all they have done is rise to a point about a half inch tall. Do I need to chill them? They were stored at about 60 degrees. Joe May Bloomington, IN

Answer: Your calla-lilies need a dormant period, but do not require chilling; it sounds like they have had plenty of rest. The best procedure for forcing your calla-lily is to set it in a pot of rich, humus-rich soil, water lightly, and set in a dim place at 55 - 60 degrees until growth is well started. Then move to light and warmth, but not above 70 degrees, and fertilize. As the flower stalk develops, move to a sunny place. Water moderately at first, but once it is growing vigorously keep the plant almost wet. I'm not sure what is holding yours back -- perhaps overly warm temperatures or lack of water? Or there are a few root diseases that might have taken hold.

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