Aroids forum: Zantedeschia aethopica

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Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 5, 2015 11:44 AM CST
Hi everyone, a newbie here.

So, I've got a problem with my plant. I ordered 8 rhizomes online last fall (round about october). 3 of them I planted immediately in a 70l pot in my living room and the other 5 I tucked away for the winter in an open cardboard box with newspaper shreddings.

The 3 I planted started growing like mad and after two weeks they were already 50cm in height! After a month 90cm.
But then all of a sudden they stopped growing. No new leaves, the once that were unrolling didn't anymore and stayed as they were. They also seemed to have yellow streakings (ones that the first few leaves didn't have). Now months later, still nothing has happened. They look like they did months ago except for a few leaf burns and unfurled leaves have turned yellow on the inside (if unfurled manually). I moved them from the living room where there's little light to the kitchen which has indirect light, but nothing helps.

In the meantime I also potted up 2 more in februari. They also grew rapidly, but seem to have the same problem once they reach half a meter: unfurling leaves stay that way and yellow mottling. Whenever I have the chance though I put them outside in full sun hoping it would 'relief the symptoms'. I'm planning on planting them outside in full ground once the weather is warm enough and hopefully they'll recover.

The other three left over from storage I put in the soil today. Maybe those will grow as they should.

But, can anyone identify the problem?
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[Last edited by Arico - Apr 5, 2015 11:45 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Apr 5, 2015 1:15 PM CST
I wonder if it could be caused by an iron deficiency? Hopefully someone more familiar with Zantedeschia will be able to offer advice.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 5, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Hi Arico, and welcome. Here is the database entry for these Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

I have these growing in my garden year 'round here in Florida. They are a flowering plant (not really an Aroid, I don't think @eclayne ?) that grows like crazy in cool weather, so they grow and bloom best for me in winter. They can go dormant either after blooming when it is hot (as they do for me here) or die back to the ground when it is cold also. Mine look similar to yours in mid-season of our very hot, humid summers here.

They grow and bloom beautifully in the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia is where I came from) which has a similar climate to the UK. Are you usually warmer in summer than there? If so, I'd recommend you grow these in morning sun, and shaded in the afternoon, so they don't get too hot. That way they will continue to grow and bloom for you further into summer.

These plants are very heavy feeders (need lots of fertilizer and rich soil) and also love water. In fact I've grown them in a pot IN my fish pond, so they can actually grow as an aquatic, or do very well as a 'margin' plant on the edge of the water as well. They don't bloom in the water but do make nice foliage.

So after all that gab, I'd say the ones you started last fall have either run out of fertilizer, or have not been getting enough water and light. They should be blooming by now, and doing better than that for you. Unlike a lot of 'house plants' I would say it is hard to over-water Callas, as long as they are getting enough light and are not too cold.

Take them all outside, as soon as the nights are above about 10deg. C and plant them in a big pot with fresh soil or in the ground somewhere with good soil, and add some pelleted time-release fertilizer. Then as the temperatures warm into summer, keep increasing the amount of water they get and they will absolutely start to bloom. The leaves do reach a certain height, and then do not get any bigger, though. That usually means the plant is getting ready to flower.

Here's one of mine, a hybrid called 'White Giant' that's been blooming since November, I think.

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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 5, 2015 2:16 PM CST
The summers can get hot during a heat stroke (above 30°C for a week have been reported in the last decade), but are usually around the 20°C. So even though this is a temperate climate, we have had dealings with extremes. This winter for instance we barely had a few days snow, but then again it has been very wet (not good if you garden on clay soil). So best I'd plant them in full sun at this latitude.

Besides, I can't believe it would be a nutrient deficiency. I've been fertellizing the second week they sprouted with a liquid feed and never let the potting mix dry out.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
Apr 5, 2015 3:41 PM CST

Plants Admin

I've not seen this in Z. aethiopica before and Elaine's advice on culture is what I do, although full sun with plenty of water works well in my climate. With other Aroids, Zantedeschia is in family Araceae, I have had one lobe not completely unfurl during winter. I've always attributed this to the spider mites I constantly battle. When will these go into the ground Arico?
Evan
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 6, 2015 4:09 AM CST
I don't see any signs of pests eclayne. I've been thinking of a virus or fungus...And hopefully these will be ready to go outside beginning of May when the risk of frost is over.

This is a photo of the garden as it is. Still a bit bare except for the lawn (we only started reshaping it a year ago; it was really a dump back then)


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I'm planning to put them left of the little stairs against the retaining wall. They'll have full sun most of the day then

[Last edited by Arico - Apr 6, 2015 6:18 AM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 6, 2015 8:49 AM CST
I went back and read your first post again, Arico. You said they grew like crazy then stopped at about 90cm. and my thought was - that's about as tall as you can expect them to be when fully grown.

I think those you have indoors are just taking a rest, and waiting for the spring weather to stimulate more growth and bloom. Any way you can put a couple of them out in your great little greenhouse to see if that helps the leaf color, and starts them putting out new leaves again? They can take a certain amount of cold at night, just not freezing or frost. Mine had lows down to 3deg. C in February and no signs of distress at all.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 7, 2015 7:03 AM CST
Another pic of the latest two I made today:
Thumb of 2015-04-07/Arico/656069

Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 7, 2015 7:30 AM CST
I'm more convinced now that your only problem is not enough light, Arico. Those plants look pretty healthy to me, other than being a little bit "leggy". This would be from too little light earlier in their lives. Winter sunlight is pretty weak, so even if you had them in a bright sunny window, they might not get enough to grow sturdy stems and dark green leaves.

I'd assume you plan to lift the bulbs in the fall when the foliage dies back, then store them indoors through the winter? Next year, I'd wait until at least February to start up the bulbs, and give them as much light as you can once they start to grow. If you can set up a supplemental light system for them, you could start them earlier.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
Apr 7, 2015 8:12 AM CST
No I'm planning on leaving them in the ground over winter and just mulch them over. Should they not survive, atleast I tried :p I did have them under a red/blue growing light (certainly the first three I planted together in that 70l container), but 400 lumen is just that, barely shady.

Well thanks for the advice anyway. How tall does your 'White giant' get?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 7, 2015 8:45 AM CST
They're about the same height, or maybe up to 1m. but the leaves and flowers are larger, and the leaves have white spots, so they're pretty foliage plants even when not in bloom. Since mine go dormant in summer, that's a great asset to me.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Apr 7, 2015 1:25 PM CST

Plants Admin

Under inadequate artificial light overwinter they can get really leggy and over 4 feet tall. That's before I tied them up. Not good practice!!
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Evan
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
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Arico
Apr 7, 2015 3:15 PM CST
Wouldn't it be better then to just cut all the foliage way down and start with a clean slate aka instant good lighting?
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
Apr 7, 2015 3:28 PM CST

Plants Admin

I planted these in ground as you see them Arico. When new leaves appeared or matured I cut off the elongated leaves. Over winter the lighting started out within inches (~10-15 cm) of the leaves. The leaves would grow into and past the light fixtures. I'd raise the fixtures then have to raise them again. Green Grin!
Evan
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
May 10, 2015 7:09 PM CST
@Arico
Any news?

If the plants were mine, honestly, I'd likely have thrown them out...
I've had a run in with colocasia mosaic virus here... There are no confirmed reports of it in the states... But it's here!
I'm sure it's also in Europe, confirmed or not...
I'm not even 100% sure it can infect callas, but it can affect a broad range of aroids!
My screens not great, I really can't tell from the pics, but it has a bit of the look of it...
Colocasia mosaic with generally follow the viens of the leaf, with a distinct yellow feathering that runs out from the veins, the virus can also make small specks on the leaves, dead in the center, yellow and discolored around that, they grow and look like burn holes, it can be variable as all mosaic can, and will rarely affect the entire leaf.
As far as I know there is no way to eleminate the virus, there are chems that treat it, but the moment you stop treatment it will come right back!
It spreads through plants injury, any tiny knick is enough to let it in, insects are the main transmitters.

Fingers crossed for you!
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 10, 2015 8:18 PM CST
Sounds pretty dire, Sway. Have you tried the aspirin treatment? Got this tip from @LariAnn a year or so ago. Crush 3 or 4 regular aspirin (not the coated ones or baby aspirin, the old white chalky ones 325mg.) and dissolve them in some water. It helps to heat up the water a bit, but it still takes a really long time for them to dissolve. Put the solution in a sprayer with a gallon of water and spray the plants.

I hope she chimes in on this, because I forget the details of how it works. I've been spraying my little citrus tree against greening disease, and I have hopes that it's helping.

In any case, if it's a disease that you can't do anything about why not just forge ahead regardless? Just keep the plants as healthy as possible and the strong ones will eventually survive. I know plants don't have an immune system like people do, but they can evolve different attributes that stand up to disease better, like thicker cell walls, for example. If you just throw out every plant that shows the first signs of a disease, you never advance the resistance process.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Kentucky 😔 (Zone 6a)
Region: Kentucky Tropicals Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener Cactus and Succulents Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Swayback
May 10, 2015 10:30 PM CST
It's a virus, once you have it, you have, and are doomed to spread it throughout your own garden, and every person you trade with, and fellow growers in your area...

Just look what canna virus has done!
The industry can't even find virus free stick to tissue culture, dire indeed!

I use a swipe of alcohol on my tools between cuts/digging, it cuts down on transmission...

I only had issue with it at the end of summer 2013, eliminated the 3 affected plants and that was that.
Most all bulbs froze that winter, so for all I know, I had more of it hiding!

Mosaic is a bad one, not to be played around with, as kid a kid I watched it decimated entire fields of tabacco, you could watch it spread slowly until the leaves of each plant began touching at the end of summer, by mid fall it would be rampant! Infecting every plant! Even transmitting to, and in future years, from the tomatoes...
Last summer (2014)I spotted at Kroger a shipment of what appeared to be some new variagated colocasia, big plants, I parked and walked up... Made it about 10' from the plants and realized they were absolutely eat up with virus!
I stopped so fast I bet I left skid marks!
They were just plain green C. Esculent a, with mosaic running down nearly every vein, it was stunning really, patterns you can't find anywhere in the plant world, atleast not the healthy plant world...

I didn't bother to inform the store, I just steered clear, but they eventually disappeared, I assume they were sold to folks in my area, my only solice is that most people likely killed the plants anyway.

I also remember someone from a board in the UK, they were quite excited to kind a new cultivar growing in there garden, they couldn't account from where it came, in short, same story, his colo was virused up and looked wicked!
If I recall, he opted to keep the plant anyway.
I have read about the aspirin treatment here from lariann, I can't justify it, too risky as a treatment, only useful as a preventative, atleast in my eyes.
I don't even pain over the decision to burn a few plants, it's callous but the needs of the many outweighs the few!
The 3 plants that I've trashed over it were easily replaced, but I've no doubt given half a chance, the mosaic would move into some of the irreplaceable ones.

I would love to know why the usda refuses to confirm its presence in the states, if an amateur gardener in Kentucky has issues with this, I can only imagine how prevalent it must be in say... Florida!
Please tree mail me for trades, I'm ALWAYS actively looking for more new plants, and love to trade!
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 10, 2015 11:53 PM CST
I've thought about the mosaic virus, but don't think it is. Since i put the plants in the hallway, any new leaves developped well. Bit leggy 'cause of little light, but otherwise just fine. None of my other callas seem to have it and as you can see they're loving the outdoors:

Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Irises Lilies Hostas Ferns Composter Region: Belgium
Image
Arico
May 10, 2015 11:54 PM CST
I've thought about the mosaic virus, but don't think it is. Since i put the plants in the hallway, any new leaves developped well. Bit leggy 'cause of little light, but otherwise just fine. None of my other callas seem to have it and as you can see they're loving the outdoors:


Thumb of 2015-05-11/Arico/f634f1

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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
May 11, 2015 7:24 AM CST
Here's a paper on Dasheen Mosaic Virus which sounds like the thing you're talking about, Sway.

http://plantpath.ifas.ufl.edu/extension/fact-sheets/pdfs/pp0...

Strangely enough, I've not seen it, that I know of. My Callas this year were superb and the leaves are still beautiful. Same with the Cannas which is interesting since the virus is so widespread.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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