How to keep cut calla lilies fresh

Written by richard kalinowski | 13/05/2017
How to keep cut calla lilies fresh
Cold storage can help preserve calla liles. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Calla lilies produce smaller flowers than most lilies, but for the most part they look very similar to Easter lilies, peace lilies and other common lily varieties. However, calla lilies require much more water than other lily types. Cut stems cannot suck up water as efficiently as planted stems, so water-dependent calla lily cuttings die faster than common lily bouquets. Proper cutting and preservation practices are vital for calla bouquets, as these practices will keep cut calla lilies vibrant for as long as two to three weeks.

Water the calla lilies generously the night before you cut them. You want to ensure the lilies have sucked up as much water as possible.

Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle in the morning, before sunrise. Make your cut midway up the stalk.

Submerge the stem in a vase filled with distilled water. Tap water may contain chlorine or other contaminants that diminish calla lily health.

Cut off about a half-inch of the calla lily's stem while it is submerged under water. Cut at a 45-degree angle to ensure adequate surface area for the plant to drink water. If your vase is not large enough for underwater cutting, you can skip this step, but it helps reduce air bubbles at the base of the calla lily for better water consumption.

Add a drop of pure lemon juice into the vase water to maintain better calla lily health. Calla lilies prefer conditions that are slightly acidic.

Place the vase and lilies in a refrigerator set to 3.33 degrees Celsius. Your calla lilies stay fresh longer if they are kept chilled. Temperatures between 2.22 and 3.33 degrees C work best. Never allow temperatures to dip below 00 degrees Celsius, as this freezes the water and kills the calla lily.

Change the distilled water daily, and keep the fresh cut lilies in cold storage until you plan on displaying the vase or using the lilies in a bouquet. If you keep the lilies well stored, they will last much longer once you decide to display the cuttings.

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Distilled water
  • Lemon juice

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