House Plants/calla lily


We received a beautiful purple calla lily at my husband's funeral. After it finished blooming, I let it dry out and put it in a cool dry place in the basement. It must have frozen because when I brought it upstairs to start it again the two bulbs are mushy. Is it gone? I am so upset becausse I wanted so much for it to survive.  Thanks, Barbara

Hi Barbara,

Unfortunately, mushy bulbs do not recover. The mushiness is a sign of either a bacterial infection or rot. When put into dormancy, it is best that the tubers are removed from their pot, the soil gently shaken off and then placed in dry peat moss for 4-6 weeks. This ensures that the tubers are kept dry and bacteria free.

If it is any comfort, most Calla Lilies sold today are hybrids that bloom once spectacularly, but rarely bloom very well thereafter. So even if your tubers had survived, you may have been disappointed anyway.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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