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Calla lily help anyone?

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by tami3431 on September 13, 2002 08:10 PM
I am having some trouble with a calla lily my boyfriend got me for my birthday. It's my first time with planting bulbs and I don't know what happened. It had little white worms in the soil and the leaves were dropping and dying. I finally cut them off and dug up the bulbs. Can I dry the bulbs and plant them again?
by Plant Doctor on September 14, 2002 02:43 AM
You can give it a try, but I am not sure if it will work or not. The little white worms were more then likely grubs, which appear at this time of the year, as well as the spring. They munch away on plant roots, destroying bulbs flowers and even lawns that are in their path.
You did not mention where you are from, but if the plant had not finished it's cycle for this season, the bulb will likely die.
Bulbs go thru a chemical change, that allows them to go to sleep in the winter, I am afraid you may have interrupted that.
You can try storing it in a cool dry place, and replanting it next spring. But I would not count on any results. When you replant the bulb you may want to include a little bone meal mixed into the soil. This will help establish some roots quickly. As the plant is going to need all the help it can get.

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by Plant Doctor on September 14, 2002 02:51 AM
Oh by the way, there is a insecticide, that can be used to protect your plants against grubs. One application lasts all season long, and it does a excellent job. The most common brand name is called "Merit" As insecticides go this one is relatively harmless to anything else but fish and bugs as it targets a part of the nervous system that they only have. It is also not a broad spectrum killer. It actually makes the plant inedible to the little critters, while not harming the beneficial insects in the area.
You would apply it only after the plant starts actively growing. It has to work its way up thru the plant systemically. I hope this helps you for next year.

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by tami3431 on September 14, 2002 11:50 AM
Well, I live in Iowa and my plant has had trouble for a while. I really have never grown a bulb before so it was a new experience. I tried an insecticide when I last replanted, but the little insects still came back. I decided it was either try to dry out the bulbs or just let the plant die. So try to store them in a cool, dry place? Also, my bulb never bloomed this year. Is this normal? I was told if I kept the plant to wet it would get grubs, but in some research I read it said to keep the soil moist until after blooming. I really don't know what went wrong, but maybe I'll try it again next year. When is the right time to replant an indoor calla lily bulb?
Thanks for all your help,
by Plant Doctor on September 17, 2002 03:03 AM
Callas do not always bloom the 1st year that they are planted. As far as "keeping the soil too wet will produce grubs"...That is a old wives tale. That has stemed from people watering their lawns during the swummer and then the grubs appear.
Grubs tend to historically reappear in the same locations year after year,( usually a bright sunney spot) unless brought into check by some other means. What they actually are is beetle larva. There should be 2 infestations of them each season. One in the late spring, when the they come up from under ground, to change into beetles. The second is right about now depending on where you are located in the country. They are now feeding heavily so they can over winter way down deep in the soil. They can be easily taken out while they are active with a dose of Dylox, just make sure you water that application in very well. as you have to get the insecticide down to the level of the grubs for itto do any good.

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by Plant Doctor on September 17, 2002 03:05 AM
Sorry about my spelling, I guess that is what I get for doing this before I have my second cup of coffee

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