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Calla planting and growing


Calla (properly Richardia), Egyptian lily. - The calla is one of the most satisfactory of winter house-plants, lending itself to various conditions.

The requirements of the calla are rich soil and an abundance of water, with the roots confined in as small a space as possible. If a too large pot is used, the growth of foliage will be very rank, at the expense of the flowers; but by using a smaller-sized pot and applying liquid manure, the flowers will be produced freely. A 6-inch pot will be large enough for all but an exceptionally large bulb or tuber.

If desired, a number of tubers may be grown together in a larger pot. The soil should be very rich but fibrous - at least one third well-rotted manure will be none too much, mixed with equal parts of fibrous loam and sharp sand. The tubers should be planted firmly and the pots set in a cool place to make roots.

After the roots have partially filled the pot, the plant may be brought into heat and given a sunny position and an abundance of water. An occasional sponging or washing of the leaves will free them from dust. No other treatment will be required until the flowers appear, when liquid manure may be given.

The plant will thrive all the better at this time if the pot is placed in a saucer of water. In fact, the calla will grow well in an aquarium.

The calla may be grown through the entire year, but it will prove more satisfactory, both in leaf and flower, if rested through part of the summer. This may be done by laying the pots on their sides in a dry shady place under shrubbery, or if in the open slightly covered with straw or other litter to keep the roots from becoming extremely dry.

In September or October they may be shaken out, cleaning off all the old soil, and repotted, as already mentioned. The offsets may be taken off and set in small pots and given a year's growth, resting them the second year and having them in flower that winter.

The spotted calla has variegated foliage and is a good plant for mixed collections. This blooms in the spring, which will lengthen the season of calla bloom. The treatment of this is similar to that of the common calla.