Calla Lily – winterizing pots
I live in a very cold climate that gets down to -25 degrees. I don't have anywhere (garden shed or garage) that stays at 50 degrees thru the winter. My basement varies between 65 and 75. Will the cleaned off calla bulbs do ok at those temps? I have my calla lilies in pots. Can I just leave them in the pots? If so, will those basement temps be ok? Do I water them or just let them dry out? Do I keep them dark or keep by a window? Thank you!!! Anne
I think it is easiest to bring the tubers inside just before frost hits. Brush them off and cut out any moldy parts. Let them dry out for 3 days and then put them in a cardboard box with sphagnum peat moss or vermiculite. Tuck the box into the coldest part of your basement. Plant them out in spring after all danger of frost has past and the soil is no longer cold. For me in Michigan, that is usually 1-2 weeks after my frost-free date. You can divide off the babies or leave the tuber intact. Don't worry if it looks like the plant is sending up a shoot already just be careful not to break it off. If your house is really dry in the winter, spritz water into the peat moss monthly - one little spray is enough. I've also wrapped tubers in newspaper and hung them up in grapefruit or orange bag netting. The point is to give them good air circulation. Darkness is preferable. I've successfully stored calla lily rhizomes in my basement with both methods. I would not store them in pots; you need to recharge the potting soil by adding compost or peat moss.