Getting Rid Of Callas - Permanently - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Janet L. Edwards
Los Altos, CA
Avatar for jan31
Question by jan31
June 20, 2002
I have a koi pond in my backyard that is about 5 years old. When it was first completed, two lovely little calla lillies (the standard ones with white flowers) were planted on either side of the pond and they have now reached gigantic proportions. Attempts to cut other, smaller, ones way back have done no good - they are very tenacious and keep reappearing. Because of this, I'm wondering if I'll be able to remove the two huge ones.

The problem is, we can no longer enjoy a view of our entire backyard from our living room because these monsterous plants are in the way.

Is it possible to completely and safely (to the fish) get rid of them, or are we doomed to having them constantly grow back?

I'll keep my fingers crossed on this one! Thanks very much for your advice.

Answer from NGA
June 20, 2002
Common calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica) thrives in boggy soil and sounds quite happy in the location you've given them. The plants grow from rhizomes (thickened storage organs) and it's the nature of rhizomes to elongate and produce new sprouts which is why you're finding lots of little plants in the vicinity of the parents. To completely rid your pond area of callas, you'll need to dig and dispose of all the rhizomes. A spading fork will allow you to dig the area thoroughly and unearth all of the rhizomes. There is one chemical herbicide (glyphosate) registered as safe to use around bodies of water, but if you have other vegetation you want to save, your best bet is to dig and destroy the pesty callas. Best wishes with your project!

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