Ask a Question forum: Are the Calla tubers rotten?

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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keithp2012
Jan 5, 2017 5:31 PM CST
When I pulled them they smelt like a raw potato, now they have a foul odor. I have them stored in my basement and they are dry.
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Jan 5, 2017 6:41 PM CST
A bad smell is never a good sign. The top right one in your picture sure looks like it has a soft spot. You could probe around with a clean, sharp knife and see if you can clean out any rotten stuff. Then dust the cuts with cinnamon, and hope for the best. Keep dry, don't wash them!

Is your basement cool as well as dry? Too much warmth could be helping any bacteria or other pathogens to grow in your stored bulbs.
Elaine

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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Jan 5, 2017 7:01 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:A bad smell is never a good sign. The top right one in your picture sure looks like it has a soft spot. You could probe around with a clean, sharp knife and see if you can clean out any rotten stuff. Then dust the cuts with cinnamon, and hope for the best. Keep dry, don't wash them!

Is your basement cool as well as dry? Too much warmth could be helping any bacteria or other pathogens to grow in your stored bulbs.


It's cool and dry yes.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Jan 5, 2017 9:03 PM CST
What do you have them stored in?

Why did you "pull" them?

Agree with Elaine. And if they smell bad, they are rotting.
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Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Jan 5, 2017 9:38 PM CST
DavidLMO said:What do you have them stored in?

Why did you "pull" them?

Agree with Elaine. And if they smell bad, they are rotting.


Stored in a brown bag with peat moss. Pulled them because it's ice outside and snow
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Jan 5, 2017 11:37 PM CST
OH....Got ya. I thought you already had them stored.
Peat Moss is not the best thing to store in. Perlilite, ground paper, vermiculite are better.

As Elaine said, you can try to cut out the rotted area and use cinnamon or powdered sulphur.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Jan 6, 2017 8:51 AM CST
keithp2012 said:

Stored in a brown bag with peat moss. Pulled them because it's ice outside and snow


How long ago did you pull them? I know they are prone to bacterial soft rot but could they previously have been frozen while still in the ground or did you bring them in some time ago?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Jan 6, 2017 9:13 AM CST
I agree cut rotten parts off and sulfer em. And i would plant them in pots right then. Put em in sunny window. Have a head start for spring 😁
Are you sure that you needed to lift them ??? If so. Next year. I would store them like mentioned above. Butt in a preferated plastic bag in the refigerator.
Ooo!!!😬 refrigerator.... Cold.....
And dry !!!

😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
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eclayne
Jan 6, 2017 9:45 AM CST

Plants Admin

A teaspoon is easy to use for scooping when a knife is difficult. Dust the cut with cinnamon or sulfur as mentioned. I store in paper bags in a cool dry area of the basement, to restrict airflow/desiccation and check them every few weeks early on. If you store in Perlite either rinse it thoroughly and allow to dry completely or wear a gas mask. Smiling
Evan
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
Zinnias Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Annuals Spiders! Hybridizer Garden Photography
Vegetable Grower Tomato Heads Native Plants and Wildflowers The WITWIT Badge Daylilies Dog Lover
keithp2012
Jan 6, 2017 2:16 PM CST
sooby said:

How long ago did you pull them? I know they are prone to bacterial soft rot but could they previously have been frozen while still in the ground or did you bring them in some time ago?


Yes they did have some freezing exposure before I could pull them earlier
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jan 6, 2017 5:47 PM CST
They don't typically tolerate freezing so that could have directly damaged them as well as let the bacteria get in to start the rotting. Next time it would be a good idea to bring them in earlier before freezing weather.
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
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eclayne
Jan 6, 2017 6:28 PM CST

Plants Admin

If potted I'd say this is very good advice. When grown in ground at an appropriate depth of about 8" deep and mulched, the tuber or rhizome shouldn't be affected by a frost or even a killing freeze in 7a. Lifting them soon after should be fine. You should also be watching for signs your plant is going dormant which can happen most any time but usually in early fall with some varieties for me. Cold and wet is a greater risk with a dormant Calla because several species are summer/dry season dormant. Those genes are often present in cultivars.
Evan
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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Arico
Jan 6, 2017 6:52 PM CST
If it also feels soft/mushy to the touch it's rotten. But not lost. Scoop out the rotting part completely, dust with fungicide and let it callus over.

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