The coves, also called water liliesare plants native to South Africa that are very popular in gardening due to their elegant appearance, thanks to their striking flower stem that arises directly from the rhizome.
They offer one of the most beautiful and striking flowers for gardens and interiors, which also give off a very pleasant fragrance. If you want to learn about how to take care of coves and know their characteristics, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we show you all the cove care to keep them in optimal condition.
Characteristics of the coves
These are the main characteristics of the coves:
- Scientific name: Zantedeschia aethiopica.
- The rhizome or bulb of calla lilies are usually purchased.
- They do not have a stem as such, the leaves and flower stems arise from the rhizome.
- They need a lot of moisture.
- It can reach up to 150 cm in height.
These perennial herbs, so popular for their large flowers, are considerably more resistant than many might think due to their elegant appearance. These are plants that, as long as they have abundant watering, can develop well both indoors and outdoors in most temperate or hot climates. Let’s see what are the main aspects to take into account to take care of water lilies.
temperature, light and location
The ideal temperature for coves It is between 14ºC and 20ºC. However, they can tolerate considerably lower temperatures. In light frosts, the aerial part of the plant is likely to freeze and die due to its fleshy leaves and stems. Even so, if this happens, the most usual thing is that the rhizome survives, so that in the following season it sprouts again. Very severe frosts could end up damaging the rhizome as well, so in cold climates the plant should be moved indoors and stored until the warmer months.
About the location and the light for the covesIt largely depends on the climate in which we live. In hot climates, the cove will do best in a place with half shade, where it receives light for a few hours in the morning. In cold climates, on the other hand, it will ask for all the light possible, although indoors we should avoid placing it next to windows that can make a magnifying glass effect and burn it.
Pot and substrate
Calla can be planted both directly in the ground and in a pot. In case of planting potted calla lilieswe will do it in one of considerable size to give the rhizome enough space to develop well.
The most important thing in this sense is that the soil or substrate offers a good drainage, since the plant needs constant levels of humidity. We recommend the mixture with a third part of earthworm humus, a third part of coconut fiber and a third part of peat, to which we will add vermiculite and perlite to improve its absorption and aeration properties. East substrate for coves It is very nutritious and light, offering excellent drainage and good oxygenation. In a pot, Calla Lily will require regular repotting, approximately every two years. Given its watering needs, it is essential that the pot has drainage holes.
Outdoors, especially in cold climates, it is recommended mulch the substrate with a layer of mulch, which will keep the rhizome at a suitable temperature and improve moisture retention.
Irrigation and fertilization
Irrigation is undoubtedly the most important point in the care of this plant. From its constant need for water it receives its nickname of water lily, and it is very common to see coves grow in swampy areas or next to streams or ponds, sometimes even with their rhizome underwater. So, we must always keep some constant humidity levels, although always without flooding. Is better water regularly have to flood the pot once every few days.
In the warm months, the cove will appreciate a contribution from fertilizer or manure every 15 dayswhich can be organic and ecological and can go in the irrigation water or directly in the substrate.
Pruning and multiplication
The only one calla pruning what is really necessary consists of remove the leaves and flowers that dry so that the cove does not waste energy on them.
if we want play the coves, it will be much easier to do it by dividing the rhizome than by sowing. At the base of any mature plant we can see a large number of suckers: by cutting one or several of them together with a piece of rhizome, with sterilized tools, we can transplant them to another pot or space with soil without problems.
When do calla lilies start to bloom?
if you wonder when calla lilies bloomthink about the calla bulbs they are usually planted in autumn, which is when it is easier to find them in nurseries and specialized premises. This is when they can be planted, and they will usually flower sometime between February and October, depending on whether the particular variety is a late or early bloomer.
It must be said that what is usually called calla flower are actually its bracts, which are called spathes in this case and tend to be white, although there are currently several types of coves and with the spathes of many colors. So if you’re looking for coves of colorsYou will have varieties such as: white cala, black cala, pink cala, fuchsia cala, green cala, etc. and some that combine a couple of colors at the same time. In the center of the spathes grows the inflorescence, yellow in color and called spadix.
Calla lily pests and diseases
To finish, we explain the creek pests and diseases What are the most common problems when caring for them:
- If the leaves dry or pass quickly, it is probably due to lack of irrigation, while if they turn yellow, it may be due to the opposite. If the leaves of your coves turn yellow, we recommend this other post about yellow leaves in plants: why they appear and solutions.
- When the leaves show burned parts, it means that the sun is too intense for the plant, or that perhaps it has been watered during the hours of intense sun and the drops of water have made a magnifying glass effect, concentrating the sun’s rays.
- Although coves do not usually have problems with many pests, they can be attacked by the cottony mealybug, aphids or red spider mite. At the signs of these pests, action should be taken as soon as possible by removing the infected parts and applying ecological insecticide. Here we explain how to make a natural insecticide.
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