Answer: Calla Lilies (Zantedeschia) can be started from seed after the following treatment: harvest the seeds after the pods turn brownish tan, which indicates the seeds are ripe. The seeds have a hard coat, but scraping or nicking it might cause damage, so soak the seeds to soften the coat and leach out any chemical inhibitors the seed may have. Start with water that feels hot to your hand, fill a container, and drop the seeds in. Soak for 24 hours. If the seeds swell in this time, plant them. If not, barely prick the coat with a needle or pin, and soak again. As each seed swells it should be removed and sown before it has time to dry out. The seeds need light to germinate, and prefer a peaty soil mix. Sow the seeds on top of moistened potting soil and press them in with your hand, but don't add soil to cover them. Then place plastic wrap over the top of the tray or pot to help retain moisture and place the tray or pot in a warm place, such as the top of the refrigerator or near a water heater. Or, you can place the tray of seeds on a seed-starting heating cable. The seeds will take 30-90 days to germinate at 70F - 80F degrees. When the seeds sprout, remove the plastic wrap and place the seedlings under a source of bright light. Keep the soil on the moist side and the light source about 6-inches away from the tops of the plants. You can transplant into individual pots after the thrid set of true leaves develops, and then set the plants outdoors when the weather warms in the spring. Don't forget to harden off your seedlings before planting them in the garden bed. Good luck with your project!
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