My Calla Lilies Are Pulled Out Easily

Question:

New stems from my Calla Lilies can be pulled up from ground, as if they have been eaten just below ground surface. I don't know if it's caused by insect or if I have watered too much.

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Hardiness Zone: 6b

msumom from Middle TN

Answer:

Msumom,

Examine the root-ends of your callas carefully. If they appear "mowed off" cleanly you may have a cutworm infestation. If that is the case sifting through nearby soil should also turn up a worm or two. Cutworms can be green, cream, brown or black in color and sometimes striped or banded. They feed at night and usually curl up into a c-shaped ball near plants during the day. Plants damaged by cutworms will often fall over on their own after being sheared off at the base. Because you can still physically pull yours out, it might be more likely that they're suffering from overwatering. The roots may still be intact when you pull them out or they might break off at a point where they have started to rot. Bulbs are tricky, especially when plants are young. They rot incredibly fast if given too much moisture. Make sure your soil has good drainage and let the top inch of soil dry out between watering. Once the plant starts to develop its full set of leaves, you can give it a regular watering and keep the soil moist (not wet) for the duration of the growing season.

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Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

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