Calla: beauty for pot and bed


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The name "Calla" is derived from the Greek word "kallos", which means "physical beauty". It belongs to the genus Zantedeschien (after the Italian botanist Giovanni Zantedeschi) from the family of arum family (Araceae). Callas are sometimes referred to as calla lilies, but there is no botanical relationship with the lily family. Danger: There is also a genus called Calla. However, this contains only a single plant species, namely the dragon root (Calla palustris), also called marsh calla. It looks very similar to the Zantedeschie, but has a green husk and grows in wetlands in temperate and subarctic climates. In Germany, the wild swamp calla is now rare and is under conservation.

Growth and appearance

Calla Garnet Glow Ostrich

The Calla also looks good outdoors. Lots of sun and water are needed to flower as rich as this Garnet Glow calla

The Zantedeschie has the typical appearance of the Arum family: A white or yellow flask, on which many small male and female flowers sit, protrudes from a single bract, the so-called Spatha. Depending on the breed, the color spectrum of the attractive high leaf ranges from light white and cream, to yellow and orange, to rich pink, violet and red to almost black. The variety "Black Magic" e.g. has a bright yellow bract with a very dark colored center. Surrounded by flowering arrow-shaped and dark green, partially speckled leaves that give the Zantedeschie a lush fullness. The plant reaches a total height of 30 to 100 centimeters. It is well suited as a cut flower due to its high growth.

Plant Callas

Depending on the species Callas have fleshy rhizomes or tubers. In the spring, the Calla tubers are placed about eight centimeters deep in nutritious potting soil and propelled at temperatures around 14 degrees. From planting to flowering, the rhizome needs two to three months of time and lots of light. The flowering period in May ranges from three to eight weeks. A weekly fertilizer supply prolongs the flowering period.

Location and care

Wife pours Calla

Calla needs regular watering

The tropical areas of southern Africa are home to the exotic, heat-seeking Zantedeschie. As sunbathers, callas therefore love bright locations that should be well protected, such as along the house wall or on the sunny side of hedges and other dense plants. The soil should be sufficiently moist. The heyday of Calla is between June and August. When cultivating Zantedeschien first wet, then dry, since the tuber plant is used to rainy and dry periods in their South African homeland. During growth, pour plenty of lime-free water and feed with liquid fertilizer until flowering. After flowering, stop fertilizing and severely restrict watering. The leaves then move in, and the tubers can be hibernated dry and frost-free in the basement or in the garage. The collected plant needs a rest period of ten weeks before replanting. An exception is the room calla: it keeps its leaves and winter best as a potted plant in the cool conservatory.

Flowers of Calla Vermeer

The bracts of Calla "Vermeer" are white on the outside with purple throat

Zantedeschien, especially the room calla (Zantedeschia aethiopica), are sensitive to pests such as aphids or spider mites. Even an infection of bacteria and fungi, they do not tolerate well. Therefore, the plant pots should be well washed out before insertion and fresh, high quality substrate used. If the plant is injured during care, it is particularly susceptible to disease. Treat infected parts of plants as soon as possible with plant protection products and cut back severely in case of emergency. Dispose of the cut leaves over the household waste.

Simple propagation

Group of Arum Lilies

Callas should be planted together in small groups

Division is the simplest and fastest way to multiply Callas. With a sharp and clean knife, the rhizomes are divided so that each section has enough buds and roots. You can also multiply the room calla by removing side shoots from the rhizome. The rhizome pieces are stuffed about four to five centimeters deep. One third of the earth should consist of peat, sand and potting soil. Pour freshly potted rhizomes moderately. With the sprouting then increase the Wassergaben.

Calla in the pot

dark callas in deco basket

Dark colors are very popular with Calla, as here on "Queen of Night"

Zantedeschien also thrive in the tub and are characterized by a long flower florets. Be it planted in natural pots of bast or wood or placed in modern, monochrome metal or stone tubs - Calla is everywhere a charming highlight. Provided it is in a warm, sunny spot and has enough water and nutrients. The substrate should never completely dry out during flowering. Leafy plants can be placed in water-filled coasters or directly in the garden pond. For the single planting, a pot of about 15 centimeters in diameter suffices. Triplets look luscious in a 22-centimeter pot. Unfortunately, the tuber plant is not hardy for us, so it should be brought to the outside only after the last night frosts at least 15 degrees permanently.

Video Board: How To Grow Calla Lillies.

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