Calla Lilies

Care Tips:

Calla lilies are sleek, elegant cut flowers with pliable stems that are easily curved into graceful silhouettes. Their delicate blooms bruise easily and should be handled with care.

Available year-round, calla lilies should stay fresh for 7 to 10 days. In terms of care, they’re very different than other cut flowers. Once home follow these simple tips to extend the life of your blooms:

Divine and elegant, the calla lily is a symbol of magnificent beauty.
  1. Calla lilies are sometimes sold with plastic sleeves around the flowers to protect their blooms. Carefully remove these when you get home.
  2. Stand the flowers in water for at least two hours before you start arranging them. To prevent air bubbles from clogging the stems, place an elastic band around each one for the first hour of hydrating.
  3. Calla lily stems are mostly water and will begin to deteriorate if fully submerged. Use only about two inches of water mixed with flower food in the vase. If you don’t have flower food, dissolve half a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and a few drops of bleach in 4 cups of water to create a home-made substitute.
  4. Slant cut the stems to the desired length. Try to leave some of the white part at the end of the stem to keep them from splitting as they age.
  5. Be sure to keep stems under the water when cutting.
  6. Arrange the stems to your liking, varying the height and position. Add other flowers to the arrangement once all the calla lilies are positioned.
  7. Calla lilies are thirsty flowers so add fresh water daily and re-cut the stems if they start to split.
  8. Continue to remove spent leaves to keep the bouquet looking fresh longer.

About Calla Lilies:

With trumpet shaped blooms in shades of white, cream, soft pink, pale yellow, orange, lavender, and mauve, calla lilies are an indispensable cut flower.

The color palette of calla lilies is enough to satisfy anyone!

These flowers are a bit of a conundrum. Surprisingly, they’re neither callas nor lilies! After some confusion among early botanists, they were eventually classified as Zantedeschia and found to be scientifically related to philodendron, pothos, and caladium. Also surprisingly, what we think of flowers are actually heart-shaped leaves!

These natives of tropical Africa first captured the imagination of the Romans and continue to charm us today. In early Rome, calla lilies were planted for the winter solstice as a way to brighten homes during the darkest days of the year. The flower tips were gilded with gold to enhance their beauty and prestige.

In modern times, calla lilies are still prized for their beauty as well as their symbolism. In the language of flowers, calla lilies convey magnificent beauty and utmost respect. White calla lilies are classic wedding flowers symbolizing purity and heavenly bliss. They’re also a meaningful sympathy flower, symbolizing faith and resurrection.

Georgia O’Keeffe redefined calla lilies with her series of close-up paintings. Her artistic vision to depict their true form with no preconceived notions redefined calla lilies from Freud’s sensual interpretation to one of pure beauty.


Calla lilies need little adornment to make a dramatic statement. No matter the decor, calla lilies are simply divine in both modern and traditional arrangements.

White and ivory calla lilies are classic wedding flowers. Florists and event planners have capitalized on their long stems, captivating guests with towering centerpieces, or bending the stems to create curved floral sculptures.

A simple bouquet of calla lilies wrapped with a collar of leaves and secured with floral wire creates a polished bouquet or centerpiece. A single calla lily in a tall vase is the epitome of understated elegance.

White lilies have helped numerous brides overcome their indecisiveness over wedding flowers.

Calla lilies combine effortlessly with other flowers and foliage, blending colors, textures, and fragrances in creative ways. Some of our favorite combinations include the following:

Dramatic: Pair calla lilies with hydrangea to create tiers of color that will have guests fighting over who will take home the centerpiece.

Romantic: Combine calla lilies, ranunculus and roses in your favorite colors for an alluring arrangement you’ll fall in love with.

Sultry: Cool white calla lilies, pastel pink cabbage roses and lime green cymbidium orchids evoke thoughts of hot summer days.

Calla lilies are a meaningful sympathy flower, symbolizing faith and resurrection.

Luxurious: For an arrangement worthy of the Dutch Masters, surround deep purple and burgundy calla lilies with lavender phlox, dark pink hydrangeas, and fragrant lilacs.

Chic: Calla lilies and orchids are a sleek, sophisticated combination.

Exotic: Wire calla lily stems to curly bamboo stalks and display in a sleek glass vase to create living modern art.

What to know


  1. Calla Lilies will not open further after they’re cut so look for flowers that are fully open.
  2. When purchasing Calla Lilies look for pliable stems – if they snap when bent, the flowers are past their prime. Also be sure the flowers are smooth, firm, and wrinkle free. Lastly be sure there is no pollen on the stamen. This forms as the flowers age and is a sign they aren’t fresh.
  3. Calla lily sap will stain clothing, but the stain won’t appear until after laundering. If using calla lilies in bouquets or boutonnieres, be sure to cover the stems ends. Simply dab some clear nail polish on the end of each stem.
  4. Hand-tied calla lily bouquets should stay fresh out of water for 12 to 24 hours, even with sealed ends.
  5. To bend calla lilies, hold the stem gently but firmly and stroke it to move the water in the desired direction. Be sure to use even pressure so as not to create kinks. They will stay obediently in the position you place them.
  6. Unlike other lilies, calla lilies do not have a scent.

Rescue Tips:

  1. Calla lily stems have a tendency to become soft and split at the bottom. If this happens, simply re-cut the stems under water to remove the split ends.

Fun Facts:

  1. Calla lilies are the 3rd most popular flower, after roses and lilies.
  2. Calla lilies are the 6th wedding anniversary flower.
  3. White calla lilies are considered the flower of the Archangel Gabriel, symbolizing his trumpet.


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