The elegant calla is popular at weddings and other formal affairs. Whether it's used in a bouquet or as a centerpiece, this eye-catching bloom always steals the show.
It's important to be extra gentle when handling callas because their spathe (the colored part of the flower) can bruise easily. Callas have thick fleshy stems that tend to curl at the bottom as they age. Take about an inch off the stems by cutting them at a 45-degree angle. This fresh cut will allow the stems to better absorb the water. Fill a vase with cool water and add a packet of the flower food that came with your bouquet.
Cut the stems and change the water every two days for maximum vase life. During the first water change, use the second packet of flower food. For the following changes, use a combination of sugar and bleach - 1 teaspoon of sugar and two drops of liquid bleach for 1 gallon for water. Callas tend to be thirsty flowers, so check the water level often and add fresh water when needed. Fill the vase about two-thirds full for full-sized callas; miniature callas require much less water and only the lower part of the stem should be exposed. Keep your callas in a cool area away from air vents and direct sunlight.
Callas have many meanings, including overwhelming beauty, innocence and persistence. In the Christian faith, callas stand for faith and purity, and because the plant blooms every year following winter, it symbolizes resurrection and rebirth. The official sixth anniversary flower, the calla stands for growth and wisdom.
While white and yellow are the most common hues, callas come in a few different colors, each with its own meaning. Yellow and orange represent growth, change and joy, while dark purple stands for strength and royalty. Pink stands for admiration and red symbolizes love and passion. Lavender and light blue symbolize refined beauty and grace.