Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting for callas

Last year we bought some lovely yellow callas. I can't remember how long they bloomed, but I was eager to try to keep them over the winter and see whether they'd repeat the show this year. Late in the fall, when the leaves had started yellowing, I brought them into the kitchen and tucked the pot (a rather large brass pot that I'd lined with a heavy plastic trash bag) against the corner of the kitchen table where it would be out of traffic. The remaining leaves died quickly and were gone within a week.

And that was that. I think I sprinkled a little water on it once over the whole winter.

Then, in early March or maybe even late February, I started getting curious. I watered the soil sparingly, then, a week later, more generously. And as soon as I saw the tiniest points of green emerging, I moved the pot to a bench in the laundry room--more susceptible to changing temperatures but also to steadily increasing sunlight.

And the plants have leafed out beautifully. I especially like the small translucent spots in the leaves. But so far, no blossoms. The pot sits on the corner of our back door stoop, where it gets bright light for most of the day and a couple hours of direct sun. I'm feeding and watering regularly. Are leaves all we can hope for this year? Did some process of "forcing" that the callas may have gone through in order to be sold at market last year render them "spent" for this year? Are they recovering the urge to bloom? Or am I just being hasty: are they waiting for high summer?

Will report back on any new developments.

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