'Blackjack' Calla Lily in Zone 5 From Lowes

mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)July 5, 2006

I was recently in Lowes and picked a "BlackJack" Calla Lily which looks just like "Hot Chocolate". I have been searching out and buying 'black' plants and when I saw this plant I just had to have it.

Now that the excitement of finding this plant has worn off I've realized that it appears they're passing these off as 'outdoor' plants here. Is it possible that this Calla Lily would survive a winter planted in Chicago? I'm sure the answer is "NO!!!" but I'm in zone denial :-) and figured I'd ask and see if I could get some info on how best to over winter it.

Also-

Did anyone pick up Calla Lilies that were suppose to be a "Chocolate" color from Menards but they came out 'pink' and know the real name of the pink one? The foliage, size and texture is much different than the Blackjack I just picked up and I'm wondering about the differences.

T.I.A

MrBrownThumb

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azngrnthumbs

Lowe's and just about all the other chain stores out there are doing everything in their power to promote and distribute plant material to bring in the dough, so I'm not surprised to hear a tropical plant be advertised as a "hardy" plant. It may be hardy in Florida or California where they're mass produced before being distributed nationwide, but one harsh winter in the ground or if left in a container over the winter, it's a gonner. Actually, this doesn't phase the marketers knowing that they've sold something at such a good value to the consumer, they know that it's a natural instinct for gardeners to just buy again.

Anyway, I'll stop ranting and talk about your Calla. It is likely not to overwinter unless you give it some care once frost arrives. Some people actually let the plants grow through the winter by bringing it indoors as a houseplant provided that it's given some supplemental lighting OR they can be "dried down" to a dormant state and stored until all danger of frost as passed to plant them outside once again. I'm sure someone can explain these methods in more detail. It will save you from treating these plants as expensive annuals!

Good Luck,

Riz

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 5:35PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

Riz,

Feel free to rant I feel the same way. I see a lot of Tropical Hibiscus plants planted in people's yards that HD carries and I wonder how many people will feel ripped off when they don't come back next year.

Thanks for the info I'll probably let it dry down because the window space is taken up by all the C&S I have. Have a good one.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 10:08PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Actually, calla lilies are hardy in the ground in zone 7 Oklahoma. Many people grow them here. Kind of like glads and dahlias are hardy in the ground here, too, even tho they are only supposed to be hardy to zone 8.

In the PNW they may not be because it is wetter there, and wet/cold will rot tubers/bulbs/rhizomes more than dry/cold.

We definitely do not get the moisture that the PNW does. However, in Chicago, these beauties will not be hardy in the ground, but you can bring the pots indoors as Riz suggests. They do like a dormant state, though, so I would let the foliage die back, as you would any bulb, to allow the dying foliage to feed the tubers. Then allow the pot to go dry, watering minimally just to keep the tuber from dissecating. Around late February-March, or when you begin to see some green growth again, start watering and fertilizing again. When the nights are in the middle 50s consistently, you can move them outside.

I buy a lot of stuff from HD just for the price. But I wouldn't rely on their advice for planting or culture...ever!

Susan

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 5:31PM
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azngrnthumbs

Excellent tips and advice Susan!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 8:32PM
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mrbrownthumb(z5 Chicago)

Ditto the post above mine. Thanks for the info Susan.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2006 at 10:45PM
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karyn1(7a)

I'm in zone 7 and was surprised that quite a few callas that I missed when I lifted them last fall came back this year. I'm not counting on being that lucky again and will continue to lift and store them when the weather changes. I agree with what has been said about retailers such as HD and Lowes giving incorrect info about their plants. You can get some great bargains there as long as it's a recent shipment and their employees haven't had a chance to kill them.
Karyn

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 7:54AM
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anna_lisa(Quebec)

Hi I would not trust HD or even garden centers i brought blue dahlia and it came out pink.
For the cally lily i have about one hundred of them and they store very easy just bring it in and put in a box with some wood chips or peatmoss. I also have black forest whick I love. Too bad I could not buy more they don't seem to sell them at all the garden center here in quebec oh well Anna

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 3:51PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

LOL! Was that a packaged bulb, Anna_lisa? The bulbs they have are like that. I bought a green glad, but it's yellow! I've bought many dahlias that weren't the color they were supposed to be. But, that's not their fault, it's the commercial distributor's that they get them from. I think it's kind of fun because you never know what you're gonna get from those packaged bulbs.

A lot of times THEY have no clue what they've got, and you end up getting a bargain! Woo-hoo for us! I've gotten some really nice plants that way, and paid some really low prices. But, its caveat emptor!

Susan

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 2:12PM
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judys1_suddenlink_net

I live in Zone 6 in West Virginia. I have had calla lilies in the ground for years, at least 10 for some of them. They always come back for me.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 10:49AM
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Haywoodmom

I was happily surprised when 1 bag of 2 bags of glads that I got at Lowes this spring turns out to be white calla lilies. They are beautiful... they were on clearance for $.50......the glads are up too and seem to be good... These are my first calla lilies.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:28PM
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Haywoodmom

I was happily surprised when 1 bag of 2 bags of glads that I got at Lowes this spring turns out to be white calla lilies. They are beautiful... they were on clearance for $.50......the glads are up too and seem to be good... These are my first calla lilies.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 9:51PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
i'm in 10 florida and have just the opposite problem. does not cool enough to trigger dormancy so many bulbs including callas tend to grow but don't flower
You'll have the same problem if treated as a house plant.
Obviously doesn't require much of a chill as they grow many in 8/9 florida
this doesn't stop the box stores from selling them though lol Even see tulips daffodils which require at least 6 weeks below 40lol. check out the Pacific bulb society website gives you parameters on various bulbs requirements help you make better choices on what and how you want to grow ?? gary

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 4:55AM
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crunchpa(z5Pa)

I am in zone 5b and I leave them in the ground also. I typically will dig a couple up just in case. No issues with the ones I have left in though. The undisturbed ones have spread nicely. I think I will dig and separate some of those. We get 100 inches of snow. I am sure it helps

    Bookmark   July 16, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Cela(7a)

Wow, I'm glad I found this site...some good stuff on here! I'm on my first garden and planted callas and dahlias under the advertising delusion that they are perennials. Live and learn,eh? I'm in zone 7 and I'm gonna go for broke and let them lie in the ground, since a lot of you have had success. I'll keep my fingers crossed! One question though, does anyone know why one of my glads grew up to face the wall?? I didn't know they are like toast that has to be buttered on the right side, LOL! I also ended up with a four faced daisy!?! I guess it must be my sparkling personality...
Cela

    Bookmark   August 29, 2013 at 7:54PM
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