How to Preserve a Calla Lily

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Preserve a Calla Lily
Use dried calla lilies in a floral arrangement. (Dynamic Graphics/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Calla lilies, with their striking trumpet-shaped blossoms towering regally in a sunny garden, provide a colourful and striking addition to any growing area. Some gardeners enjoy growing calla lilies in a cutting garden so they can bring their beauty indoors in floral arrangements. You can also preserve calla lilies by drying them carefully. After drying calla lilies, they will stay vivid and beautiful for years in a dried floral arrangement.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Plastic container with lid (rectangular and 5 inches high)
  • Silica gel
  • Soft 1-inch paintbrush

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  1. 1

    Cut calla lily blossoms from the plants in the early morning after any moisture evaporates from the blossoms. Select blossoms at peak beauty without blemish or flaws. Trim the blossoms from the stalk with the pruning shears about 2 inches below the blossoms.

  2. 2

    Pour 1/2-inch of silica gel into the bottom of the plastic container, spreading the silica in an even layer.

  3. 3

    Place the calla lily into the container, resting it gently on the silica gel with the blossom of the calla facing upward in the container. Place more than one calla in the container as long as they will fit without touching each other.

  4. 4

    Sprinkle additional silica gel over the calla lily in the container. Sift the silica gel slowly and carefully so you do not change the shape or position of the calla as the silica fills up the container. Continue sprinkling silica gel over the blossom until it covers the blossom completely and you can no longer see it.

  5. 5

    Place the lid on the container, fitting it tightly.

  6. 6

    Set the container in a location where the temperature is around 21.1 degrees Celsius. Leave the container undisturbed for two weeks.

  7. 7

    Check the drying progress after the two weeks elapses. Gently brush away the silica gel so you can see the petals. When the petals feel crisp and without moisture as you touch them, they are dry enough. If you still feel moisture in the petals, cover them back up with silica gel and allow the calla lilies to continue drying for another day or two.

  8. 8

    Remove the calla lily from the container after it dries completely. Use a soft paintbrush to brush away any remaining silica gel from the nooks and crannies of the petals.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the calla lily in a floral arrangement by attaching an artificial floral stem to the natural stem with floral wire.

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