Calla plant

Calla plant

The Calla plant: general characteristics

The Calla plant comes from the central-southern areas of Africa and belongs to the Araceae family, to the order of Alismatales, class of Liliopsida and to the genus Zantedeschia. Evergreen plant with oblong rhizome, has green leaves growing from the base of the plant, has long petioles and monoecious and tubular flowers. The inflorescences have various colors (from yellow, white, to red) which depend on the species they belong to. Like any other flower, this one too has its own botanical meaning: it symbolizes simplicity, beauty and purity. It is linked to celestial bliss therefore, it is found on the mantle of the Madonna. While, in the cinematographic field, it has assumed considerable importance following a scene from Gregory's film, played by K. Hepburn.


How to grow it

Calla lilies can be easily grown both in pots and in greenhouses. Being a plant that prefers a humid environment, if planted in pots placed inside a house, it must be placed in bowls full of water. With its characteristic flowers, it is planted in places such as small ponds or swimming pools, to better decorate the outdoor environment and give it that extra decorative touch. The multiplication can take place through normal sowing or through the separation of the tufts. Watering must be frequent in the summer while, during the other seasons, it is convenient to water the plant every 15/20 days. If planted near streams or lakes, it will benefit more.


Reproduction

The peculiarity of the Calla is the structure of the stem. The part that protrudes from the ground is very squat and can be cut in different areas, thus leading to the creation of different plants. This is a procedure that accelerates flowering and should be practiced when the calla lilies are in bloom and the rhizomes are still in "hibernation". The cut of the rhizome is done with a knife and, care must be taken to leave a round formation called "eye" because it is from these that the plant will create new leaves. The flowers are very particular because, inside they have a sort of long pistil and the outside has a tubular shape and can reach about 25 centimeters in size. It can be planted in pots both alone and with other types of flowers.


Calla plant: Fertilization and diseases

The fertilization of the Calla must take place adequately according to the passing of the seasons. Without exaggerating too much, it is fertilized regularly in spring and summer, while in winter it is convenient to reduce the use of these products to prevent too many shoots from developing and the plant being attacked by frosts. The period in which to practice the repotting coincides with the months of January and February; the rhizomes must be buried for at least 5 centimeters. Regarding the parasites that attack the species, it is worth mentioning the cottony cochineal and the red spider. Both parasites are noticeable with the naked eye. The cochineal attacks in a dry-hot environment and is eradicated using an anticoccidial, increasing the level of humidity and washing the foliage. The red spider instead weaves cobwebs in the lower part of the leaf and can be eradicated using an acaricide.


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