Calla, Ethiopian Zantedeschia
According to the Horoscope, plants are considered by the flower astrologers to the sign of the Zodiac Leo (July 23 - August 23): akalifa bristly-haired; protruding aphelandra; hybrid calceolaria; Japanese camellia; gardenia jasmine; balsam (touch-me-not): Waller, Holst, Peters, linear-leaved, Hawker; bashful mimosa; royal pelargonium; Chinese rose, tailed amaranth (shiritsa); Ethiopian zantedeschia (calla).
Recently, among connoisseurs of indoor flowering and decorative leafy crops, Ethiopian Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia aethiopica). This plant has many names: Ethiopian calla (Calla aethiopica), African Rishard (Richardia africana), calla, etc. It is included in genus Zantedeschia Spreng., including 8 types.
Zantedeschia came to us from the tropics of South Africa, where it grows on wet, well-lit river banks and wetlands, reaching truly impressive sizes there. It is considered a close relative of the marsh calla and calamus living in our area. In appearance, this plant is extremely similar to the alocasia widespread in flower practice, belonging to the same Aroid family (Araceae).
Calla Elliott (Z. elliottiana Engl.)
Thanks to the exceptional grace and severity of the lines, the exquisite (ideally white) bedspread, breeders have paid a lot of attention to this flower culture in the last half century.
They created varieties both for open ground (southern regions) and for indoor keeping (in the conditions of our North-West).
By the way, New Zealand is called the world leader in the selection and production of calla lilies intended for cutting, as well as in the production of its tubers.
Calla Remani (Z. rehmanii Engl.)
In addition to varieties of the Ethiopian Zantedeschia species (with a white blanket), Elliott's calla (Z. elliottiana Engl.) with a yellow veil of inflorescence and calla Remani (Z. rehmanii Engl.) with a pink veil and spotted leaves.
Interspecific hybrids have cream and orange blankets; through the efforts of breeders, pink shades are brought even to carmine and lilac. Very interesting varieties, characterized by fragrant flowers, unfortunately, are rarely found in retail and greenhouse conditions.
Most often varieties are offered for indoor maintenance (the length of the peduncles, the length of the bedspread and color are indicated in brackets): Little Jam (Litle Ge) (up to 50 cm, 5-8, white), Nikolai (Nikolai) (up to 150, 12-15, white, green at the base), Pearl von Zweibruecken (Perle von Zweibrucken)(up to 90, light yellow-green at the base), Schöne Zweibrueckerin (Schone von Zweibrucken) (over 100, bedspread 15 cm in diameter, dark yellow at the base), Pearl von Stuttgart (Perle von Stuttgart) (up to 70 cm). It is believed that Elliot's zantedeschia with a yellow veil and mottled leaves is only suitable for cultivation in greenhouses and greenhouses.
To start a calla, an evergreen half-bollard, a florist will need, first of all, a fairly spacious room (it is easier to say, a small greenhouse is preferable). A small apartment, quite typical for the conditions of our city, is very little suitable for this purpose.
At the same time, less high varieties of Ethiopian zantedeschia are known, but for its knobby rhizomes, a decent-sized container, installed on a wide and deep base, is still required.
The plant also needs a very high dormancy period and additional lighting. So, you see, this plant is not very suitable for a small living room (especially a bedroom).
Calla lilies have cordlike, fleshy roots that extend from the succulent tuber. Its large (up to 60-80 cm) wide shiny leaves of arrow-shaped or heart-shaped form are located on long (15-30 cm) basal delicate bright green juicy petioles.
This plant looks great when it has a kind of large snow-white flower blooming at the end of a high arrow. Although in reality this is not a flower, but a kind of asymmetric cover of white or yellowish color and a diameter of 10-15 cm on a yellow elongated inflorescence - a cob, consisting of very small nondescript flowers with a delicate scent, a bit reminiscent of vanilla.
In indoor conditions, Ethiopian zantedeschia usually blooms from the second half of winter (quite rarely - from October) to May (but more often in spring - to April) for 1.5-2 months (in warm greenhouses, usually in winter); cut flowers can last the same amount of time. The appearance of an arrow is a sign of the beginning of a new growth (when wintering in a warm room, it is usually noted in January-February, in a cool room - later); at this time, the plant is transplanted, creating a temperature of at least 15 ° C.
Blooming calla lilies are fed every week with a mineral fertilizer solution, where phosphorus and potassium predominate. Excess nitrogen causes vigorous growth of leaves to the detriment of flower development. If fruits are tied, it is better to remove them so as not to deplete the plants. By the way, at home, its flowering, as a rule, coincides with a short period of rains.
Calla begins to gradually return to active life in August. After a good rest, it develops powerful leaves and then blooms again.
For successful development of the plant, it is better to choose a fairly light, but it is also possible to have a semi-shady room, necessarily protected from sunlight, moderately cool: it develops well at 10 ... 12 ° C, for example, on a north-facing window. In winter, the optimum temperature is even 8 ... 10 ° C with very moderate watering.
But during flowering, the temperature is desirable up to 14 ... 16 ° C (in a warmer room, the quality of flowers decreases). During this period, calla lilies are watered abundantly and often sprayed on its foliage. To increase the moisture content of the soil and the surrounding air, experienced growers place the plant pot in a deep tray, always filled with water. With age, the plant forms a herbaceous trunk and gives a larger flower.
After the end of flowering, calla lilies enter a dormant period. It falls in mid-May - July. At this time, the leaves turn yellow and the growth of the plants stops, although the roots continue to develop. Watering is stopped, but if possible, it is advisable to take it out into fresh air (you can until autumn). It can be a balcony or loggia, but with moderate heat, without piercing winds and direct sunlight.
During this period, you can start transplanting or reproducing it. The transplanted flower needs a room with a temperature of at least 15 ° C. After rooting, the plant watering is increased and gradually brought to abundant.
Calla is propagated quite easily and quickly (especially if the plant is cultivated in large pots) with the help of sufficiently tall offspring. They are nodules with small weak leaves, which still need to be removed, since they weaken the tubers and delay further flowering of the plants. These nodules form in large numbers around the plant throughout the year.
In queen cells from bare rhizomes, "babies" with a thickness of 0.5-1.5 cm are carefully broken out, which are placed for growing - each in a separate container. From an adult plant, you can get 12-25 pieces. It is better to do this in a small greenhouse (air temperature should be about 14-16 ° C and humidity 80-85%). At a higher temperature and a lack of light, the leaves of young calla lilies stretch out, break easily, acquire a light green color, and then the number of flowers decreases sharply. Under good conditions, they can bloom next spring.
Calla lilies in the ground
Sometimes, for reproduction, whole root tubers are divided into several parts, so that there is one bud for each, but two are better. According to some growers, it is better to break them carefully than to cut them with a knife. Bare cracks are sprinkled with coal (or treated with a solution of potassium permanganate) and dried for 3-4 days before planting.
The plant requires a shallow planting: the rhizome should be slightly covered with earth. At the initial stage, the soil substrate with "delenki" is poorly moistened. Watering is increased only with the appearance of the first shoots. Sometimes, when transplanting, parts of the tubers break off, which remain in the soil and give, after a period, small sprouts in the most unexpected places. With normal care, such a small piece - a "cut" with one developed bud gives a flower in a year.
Young calla lilies bloom the next year, but with the beginning of flowering they are periodically reinforced with foliar dressings - solutions of trace elements (boron, zinc, molybdenum, manganese, potassium iodide, copper) and often sprayed with clean water.
Calla can also be propagated by seeds, which are sown immediately after harvest. Until emergence, the temperature is maintained at about 20 ° C. When picking, each plant is transferred to a separate container. The next year, the seedlings are given a dormant period of two summer months.
When buying a healthy tuber, it should be elastic and always with live apical buds with a light yellowish and not wrinkled skin in the upper part. Too dry (unsuitable for reproduction) tubers look wrinkled, with buds without signs of living tissue and the skin that is gray over the entire surface. Tubers can be kept in the refrigerator for some time before planting (vegetable compartment).
In March (but no later than April), their rest is interrupted and planted, picking up a fairly spacious dish for this: this culture does not like cramped containers, which may not bloom. In addition, it must be borne in mind that a whole thicket of half-meter leaves may appear from a nodule that is small in appearance. The soil substrate should be rich in nutrients (turf, leafy soil, compost - 1: 1: 1), add a tablespoon of superphosphate to 3 liters of the mixture. The tuber is planted at a depth of at least 10 cm, since a shallower planting leads to lodging of the leaves.
The pot is placed on a wide and deep tray. To bring the culture closer to natural conditions, you can pour water into this sump, maintaining its constant level at a height of 5-7 cm.
Scaly leaves are the first to emerge from the soil. They begin to be sprayed regularly, otherwise the tips will dry out, which gives the plants a rather unkempt look, and flowering may also be delayed. They also begin water dressing with mineral fertilizers. At the beginning of the season, fertilizing with nitrogen is preferable, and during flowering - with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers.
For long-term maintenance, the soil substrate must be very nutritious (slightly acidic, rich in humus), therefore, it includes humus, sod and peat soil (in a ratio of 2: 1: 1); the ideal would be to add one piece of marsh land to this. Some growers add some manure or compost to the soil.
Experienced growers specializing in this group of plants recommend that when purchasing them, keep in mind the great variability of the color of the bedspread. They warn that its color can fade in low light, so it is often impossible to get a thick yellow or pink color, as it happens in photographs in advertising brochures (even in a sufficiently lit place).
It should also be borne in mind that in all (without exception) varieties, the color of the coverlet becomes green after pollination, and the original (white or pink) disappears. Such a transition is a vital necessity for the plant, since it must use the veil as an additional source of photosynthetic products (for the successful maturation of seeds.). But experts urge you not to be upset: different shades of color will still create a pleasant harmony for the eyes.
Note that calla leaves are not devoid of decorativeness. In some varieties, the leaf blades are decorated with silvery-white or pink translucent spots, which create an unusual play of light when the plants are placed against the sun.
The leaves of only a number of Remani calla varieties are less attractive (with a wedge-shaped base and without spots). According to the state of the leaves of his plant, as in a living barometer, the grower can follow the change in pressure: when it decreases (i.e., to rain), water droplets appear on the tips of the leaves and inflorescence covers.
In greenhouses, calla lilies are kept in pots and in the ground (under optimal conditions for it, it lives up to 10 years), but in the last decade they began to breed it exclusively for first-class cutting: flowers remain in a vase in a cut form for up to 1.5-2 months if Change the water weekly and prune the stem 0.5 cm each time.
If the indoor air is too dry, a spider mite can settle on the plant. Aphids may also appear on it.
candidate of biological sciences,
Senior Researcher, All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection
If you choose the optimal growing conditions for calla lilies, then there will be no problems with the plant - this is a rather hardy and unpretentious flower. In order to get a profusely flowering bush, you need to remember just a few simple rules.
The plant needs a bright spot. However, it should be borne in mind that calla lilies are patient in shady environments, while direct sunlight has a negative effect on them. The flower will feel best on the windowsill of the western side of the house. In the southern part of the room, the plant will also feel good, provided there is good shelter from the sun. In this case, calla lilies do not have to be placed on the windowsill - you can place them a little further away, next to the window. In garden conditions, this flower is planted in the shade of trees or lush bushes. In the winter season, when the daylight hours are too short, it is advisable to install fluorescent lamps near the pot. This is especially true for white calla lilies. If there is a lack of light, colored species can start to fade.
When growing flowers such as calla lilies in an apartment, you need to take care of the microclimate of the room, since, due to its natural origin, the plant has several basic requirements. It is moderately thermophilic and at the same time needs high humidity.
The optimum temperature during the growing season should be kept within 18 - 20 degrees. With the appearance of flowers, it is increased to 20 - 24 degrees. However, after flowering, this value must be lowered. In winter, it is recommended to keep it at a temperature not higher than 15-18 ° C. At this time, the flower rests. In such conditions, he is kept for at least 2 months. In the summer, the houseplant can be taken outside, this will help provide it with temperature fluctuations between day and night. Thanks to this, the formation of tubers and leaves will be much faster.
In hot weather, the plant needs periodic spraying. The flower loves humid air (about 70-80%), but does not tolerate stagnant moisture in the rhizome. If the indoor climate is too dry, you can place the plant pot on a tray with wet pebbles. In this case, it is important to ensure that the soil does not become waterlogged. Also, some growers put a container of water next to the pot, which also helps to increase the humidity of the air. The sheets should be wiped from dust from time to time. Non-flowering plants can be gently washed under a warm shower.
Substrate - sod and leafy soil, humus, peat, sand (2: 1: 1: 0.5), pH 5-5.5. Since the plant thrives in acidified soils, you can sometimes add a few grains of citric acid to the water for irrigation. The soil must be rich in nutrients.
Zantedeschia is mainly propagated by offspring, which grow in large numbers near an adult plant. They are separated after a dormant period. The offspring are transplanted into a substrate from humus and sod land. A little river sand is added to the mixture. Plants grown in this way will bloom in 2 years. It is possible to propagate Zantedeschia by seeds, but only professional growers take on new plants in this way.
Ethiopian Zantedeschia. © Digigalos
Calla Ethiopica (Calla aethiopica), or Zantedeschia Ethiopian (Zantedeschia aethiopica), belongs to the genus Calla, Aroid family (Araceae). In its natural habitat, it can be found in the swampy areas of South Africa.
It is a perennial herbaceous evergreen rhizome plant up to 1 meter high. Large green basal leaves are collected in small rosettes. The leaf plate, up to 50 cm long and up to 20 cm wide, thyroid-cordate, with pronounced, slightly recessed veins. About the same length and thick juicy petiole.
Bright yellow tiny flowers are collected in a 10-centimeter inflorescence-cob, protruding from a rosette of leaves on a long peduncle, and “wrapped” in a funnel-shaped supra-inflorescence-bedspread. This cover in Ethiopian calla lilies is smooth, white, with an elongated tip and can reach a length of 25 cm. Flowering occurs in late winter or early spring and lasts about a month.
Callas' readiness for division is clearly visible from the tuber. At first, the babies are tightly adhered to the mother plant. As they mature, an isthmus forms between the baby and the main tuber. Its thickness decreases with age. When the baby reaches maturity, the isthmus easily breaks apart - at this time it can be separated and grown as an independent plant. Do not forcibly divide the plant, cut it with a knife.
In this case, a wound surface is formed, and, as a rule, decay occurs. You can cut when the isthmus becomes no wider than 5-7 millimeters, and the wound must be treated with crushed coal.
This plant is represented by two types: tuberous and rhizome. The second type loves places with high humidity. It looks like a plant with tall stems and large snow-white flowers. Rhizome calla prefers partial shade. In the wild, it usually grows where there is a lot of clay in the soil - along river banks. This type of calla can be planted near an artificial reservoir, it will look great there.
As for the tuberous species of calla lilies, they are not demanding for high humidity. Therefore, experienced gardeners prefer to grow them in ordinary flower beds. They, like rhizome zantedeschia, relate well both to places with partial shade and to sunny ones. Although in an open space on all sides, their stems grow much lower than those that were planted in partial shade.
The size of the tuber directly depends on what age it is. This is the main criterion when buying planting material.
If calla has a large tuber, for example, from 7 cm, then this means that it will be able to release a larger number of peduncles. Among other things, this criterion suggests that such a calla will be able to bloom exactly in the year it was planted. When buying, you should pay attention to the appearance of the tuber.
It should be rot-free and firm. If the planting material is dry and shriveled, it is not recommended to purchase such a tuber.
In addition to the fact that calla lilies have very beautiful flowers, they also have interesting leaves. Each variety of zantedeschia has its own characteristics. Leaves can be either with small blotches of a different shade, or monochromatic. They also differ in width.
There are not so many plant species, but there is a great variety of varieties. Among the varieties, the most popular are:
Leaves of a standard saturated green shade, but with white splashes. Yellow buds.
Among the varieties, the Black Star is considered the most interesting, since it has maroon, almost black petals. The height of the bush is up to 0.7 meters, flowering lasts throughout the summer.