Propagation of Zantedeschia 'Hercules' (Giant Calla)?

mark4321_gwJanuary 2, 2013

I was at Strybing (SF Botanical Garden) a couple days ago. The Giant Calla Lilies, Zantedeschia 'Hercules', are doing well:

(The flower at the center was just at eye level, so maybe 5 1/2 feet.)

I picked up a 1 gallon plant in their store for $8. Actually the plant had been there for several weeks, I think.

One of the first things I like to do when I get a new plant is to propagate it, if possible. I removed the two smaller offsets. A few little bulbs (about 7) fell off as well. One of the offsets had a few bulbs attached as well. At first I left them, but I was packing a box for a friend, so I decided to send those. I potted up the two offsets with leaves.

My question is: how do I deal with the little bulbs (on the left in the above photo)? Will they start growing on their own if planted, or do I need to do something to break dormancy?


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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

im not an expert but in short, Yes plant them up, provide ample warmth 60-80 f and keep evenly moist, you should see leaves in a 2-4 weeks. I love that plant! Im finally coming around to callas...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:08AM
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eclayne(Z6a, MA)

I agree with grab. The Z. aethiopica types are tough plants. You might want to give them a deep tray as they like boggy conditions. 'White Giant' bloomed for me November 2011 so I'm growing some over winter to see If I can get them to bloom outside by next fall.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I meant to follow up earlier--thanks everyone for the quick and helpful responses.

I potted up the bulbils and they have started growing. I decided they should probably get individual pots, so I dug them up and repotted them.

grabmebymyhandle, if you are looking for this plant, I can certainly send you something for trade or postage.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 7:17PM
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grabmebymyhandle(6 Kentucky)

Dun dun duuunnn.... sounds awesome once it warms up we can do that!

i bet if they didnt need their own pot now they will soon, they look like fast growers

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 10:00PM
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Very nice!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 9:09PM
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It looks like 'Hercules' is going to bloom! So I decided to gather everyone together for a group photo. I've given away couple barely sprouted bulbils, so this photo may be missing one or two.

In the back are the plants that were visible when I bought it. In the front are 4 sprouted bulbils. The one on the far left was the first to start growing, and as you can tell, he got big fast from a small bulbil. I've decided to move the guys who are growing outside. I still have other bulbils inside (I'm not sure if I said I collected more after the first set...). Almost all appear to be doing fine, and have the look that they've barely broken dormancy, and have stopped. I removed the soil around their growing tips, in case light is a trigger for growth.

The average high/low outside since the beginning of the year has been 59/42. Inside temperatures are warmer of course... I've had no frost in my growing area, and it's been an extremely dry winter, with little rain. So they've been watered a number of times.

I'll follow up with a photo of the big one when it blooms.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 8:29PM
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Those Callas look good Mark!

Question, have you noticed that the 'Hercules' cultivar grows slower than regular aethiopicas? I've noticed that in my garden. Also, what kind of soil do you use for them. I have some Callas in compacted, bad soil that I'm think about repotting before we get too much farther into spring.


    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:08PM
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I'm not growing other Z. aethiopicas, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, my big plant does seem to have increased in size considerably, over the last 2 1/2 months of winter. Compare the size below, realizing the 1 gallon pots should stay the same. The bulbils have also been growing rapidly, once they break dormancy.

I think it's Kartuz' site that says that the plant grows bigger in the Bay Area than elsewhere? If so, our cool nights are no doubt a factor. (Answer: Yes, but the comparison was to Southern California. However, their climate is most similar to ours. See link at bottom).

I use a mix of "potting soil" and perlite, roughly 50:50 for most plants. I grow a lot of cloud forest plants, and they like constant moisture without being soggy. This works for most, and avoids any possible problems one might experience with a compacted soil that you mention.

I forgot to mention that my plant outside is in a fairly shaded region, that gets some dappled sun, mostly in the morning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kartuz comments on giant Calla Lilies

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 11:01PM
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The bloom opened:

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:58AM
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