Calla Lily Flower, as many other special wedding flowers, is an exotic flower, very sensual, graceful and suggestive. These flowers grow very easily in the garden and caring for them can be very easy.
Calla Lily Flower Meaning
Calla Lily Flower Care
The other advantages of the White Calla Lilies are:
- Blossom just 8 weeks after it was planted.
- Have a very beautiful arrow-shaped foliage.
- It offers a generous beautiful color range.
Calla Lily vs. Mini Calla Lily
Mini Calla Lily Colors
Calla Lily Wedding Bouquets
There are a lot of kinds of Calla Lilies:
Calla Lily Flower “Treasure”
Known as one of the most beautiful wedding flowers of all time, when Calla Lily Treasure is fully open, it is fair to say that it deserves the nickname “The Magnificent Beauty”, which was the meaning of it in the “Victorian Language of Flowers”.
Calla Lily Flower “Captain Safari”
This beautiful flower provides a stunning bi-color beauty with a bright nuance of orange which is perfect blending with golden-yellow, atop elegant, mid-green, arrow-shaped. Your wedding bouquet will be just “Wow!”.
Calla Lily Flower “Mozart”
Like Mozart himself, Calla Lily Mozart can add gratitude and elegance to your Wedding Bouquet. Since the Art and also Beauty represents an individual perception, it’s reasonable to say that each Calla Lily has its charm. It has a lovely peach color which blends with a sublime nuance of salmon-pink.
Calla Lily Flower “Picasso”
Calla Lily Picasso is the artist of any Wedding bouquet. The rosy purple color combined with a beautiful cream-yellow will make your Wedding Bouquet looks like a superstar.
Calla Lily Flower – Cultural Information
Calla Lily Bulbs are indeed a high-value crop, and with this high value comes increased risk of disease during the calla lily production cycle. Stress management is the key to the successful production of colored calla lilies. By minimizing stress to the calla lily plant, the plant’s susceptibility to disease is also minimized and a profitable crop prevails.
Calla lily soft rot, caused by the Erwinia carotovora bacterium, is the main limiting factor in calla production. Once a calla lily tuber is infected, there are no chemical or other control methods that will rid the tuber of this bacterium. Infection from this disease is a secondary infection, however, primary infection usually occurs via Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, or fusarium. These fungal pathogens stress or damage the calla lily bulb and allow the invasion of soft rot. Therefore, all management practices should aim at preventing primary infections from fungal pathogens and to culture a strong, healthy calla lily plant.
Detailed management of air and soil temperature, media selection, water availability, plant nutrition, and a preventative disease program are essential to the culture of calla lily bulbs.
Temperature is vital to the performance of calla lily tubers. The ideal day/night temperature regime is 65°-75°F/55°-65°F. Recommended soil and media temperature is 65°F. It is important to keep soil temperature below 75°F because higher temperatures cause stress and contribute to disease. Shade cloth, greenhouse paint, or soil mulches can all help to control heat stress and to improve flower quality.
Calla lilies grow best in loose, free-draining soils with a pH of 6-6.5. This applies to both natural soil and soilless growing media. Crop rotations or periods of fallow are important to prevent the buildup of Erwinia. If drainage is a problem, plant in raised beds.
Calla lilies require an ample supply of water. Until leaves unfurl, the water uptake is not real large, but the tuber requires moisture to grow and should be kept damp. At the vegetative leaf growth phase, the plant grows quickly and water uptake increases greatly. Even, consistent watering is important as Callas are easily stressed by too little or too much water. Drip and overhead irrigation can be used. At the end of the growing cycle when plant senescence begins, water should be withheld.
In a soilless growing media, a balanced three to four-month slow-release fertilizer plus minors can be incorporated or top-dressed. The addition of calcium in the media may help with disease control and is a good precaution. Weekly fertigation also works well, beginning at leaf emergence and extending until first bloom with approximately 200 ppm N using 20-10-20.
The addition of calcium in natural soils is thought to help subdue the severity of soft rot as well. Upon the results of a soil test, the addition of NPKMg plus trace elements is used to supply the necessary nutrients for plant growth. Organic matter helps the nutrient and water holding capacity of soils, and is greatly beneficial to tuber growth. Excessive use of N will result in weak stems and leaf growth, as well as increased susceptibility to soft rot.
Infield production, one-meter wide beds are generally used. Planting densities for 3cm, 4cm, and 6+cm tubers are 35, 25, and 15 tubers/meters2 respectively. Ensure that tubers are planted upright and covered with 2 in. of soil. Larger tubers (2 in.+) should be planted 3-4 in. deep to keep tubers out of hot soil during the heat of the summer.
All flowering stock should be dipped or sprayed with Gibberellic acid (GA3) or Promalin (GA4+7) prior to planting. Permalink is the preferred compound as less deformed flowers will be produced. The use of gibberellic acid can increase flower initiation by up to 300%. For spraying, use 100 ppm Promalin or 125 ppm GA3. For dipping reduce Promalin to 75 ppm or GA3 to 100 ppm. It is also beneficial prior to plant to dip or spray with a suitable fungicide and bactericide solution (e.g. Kocide, Champ II flowable).
Calla plants are tolerant of a range of herbicides in the aid of weed control. A pre-plant eradication of perennial weeds with Roundup and a pre-emergent application of Simazine or Surflan is suggested. Weed control can be extended with an additional post-emergent application of Simazine or Surflan. Weed control in the latter half of a calla’s production season is not a problem as the dense foliage helps to reduce weed growth.
Thrips and aphids are the main pests of Callas. Control is important to prevent the spread of viruses and fungi. A preventative spray program is recommended as flower spikes emerge, to be repeated at 7-10 day intervals during flower production. Insect control via chemical application may be necessary following flowering as well due to increased disease pressure and its concurrent spread with the presence of thrips and aphids.
As previously mentioned, calla lily tubers can be attacked by a range of fungal pathogens including Pythium, Rhizoctonia, Phytophthora, or fusarium, acting as a precursor towards soft rot syndrome. These all attack the root zone and common symptoms include withering, yellow, rolled up leaves, and subsequent collapse of the base of the stem. A broad-spectrum drench every 2-4 weeks from planting onwards is crucial to controlling these fungi. In pot production, the use of 1) Agrimycin-17 @ 100-200 ppm; 2) Aliette @ 13 oz/100 U.S. gal.; 3) Chipco 26019 @ 6.5 oz/100 U.S. gal. is the preferred combination of fungicides. In natural soils, Benlate, Thiram, and Aliette is a good combination for broad-spectrum control.
Fungal spotting on flowerheads during humid and/or rainy weather is a common problem. Protectant fungicidal sprays should be used every 7-10 days during problem periods. Be careful of residues on flowers.
Harvest flowers in the cool of the morning or evening. To ensure the longest possible stem length, flowers are pulled rather than cut. Coolstore flowers at 45-48°F for 8-12 hours in a solution of flower preserve. This will minimize stem splitting and rotting, and control post-harvest fungal diseases. Re-cut the stems before they are placed in the condition solution. Pre-treated flowers can be transported dry for up to 3 days.
After plant senescence begins (visible with the onset of yellow and decaying leaves), lifting of the tubers can occur via hand digging or modified diggers. Great care should be taken during lifting, as young tubers are easily bruised or injured, allowing diseases to enter. It is also important not to harvest the tubers prior to the beginning of plant senescence. During plant senescence, tuberization (the replication of new tubers) is completed and the surface of the tuber becomes tougher.
Wash tubers gently to remove soil. Then dip tubers in an appropriate fungicide solution (e.g. Kocide) for 5-10 minutes. This helps to eliminate fungal pathogens. Dry tubers within 4-6 hours with air-assisted fans if need be. Subsequently cure bulbs for 3-7 days at 70-80°F, ensuring good air movement. This curing stage is important in forming an outer skin on the tuber, which acts as a barrier to dehydration and disease. Store tubers in a single layer on mesh trays at 45-50°F for a minimum of two months prior to subsequent plantings.
Calla Lily Zantedeschia Aethiopica
Calla Lily Zantedeschia Aethiopica has a long history in the United States as the classical tall, white chalice-shaped cut flower. Its most traditional use is for weddings. It has recently gained additional popularity as a potted plant, due in part to the registration and use of the growth retardant Bonzi, and fuller, more compact cultivars.
Aethiopica is more temperamental in regards to exact potted flower scheduling compared to colored Callas. However, as a potted plant, Aethiopica is a robust grower that withstands variations in light and temperature and frequently can be grown outdoors, or under partial (or full) cover in temperate climates. Cooler temperatures below 70°F (21°C) maximum, preferably in the 60’s or 50’s on average, will help reduce disease incidence and severity. At these optimal regimes, you will see increased flowers due to superior growth and lack of stress.
1. Availability and handling
Calla Aethiopica rhizomes are available in the northern hemisphere from the month of August to November. Upon arrival, unpack rhizomes and put in well-ventilated trays until potting up. Care must be taken in holding rhizomes too long or desiccation and weakening may occur.
For a potted crop or covered fall planting, allow approximately 11 to 14 weeks for initial bloom flushing. Some first flowers may come as early as 8 to 10 weeks, especially for later plantings of more sprouted rhizomes. Although sprouted and larger bulbs are sometimes earlier, bulb size alone does not consistently affect time to flower.
Unlike spring colored Callas, Aethiopica does not respond with an initial gibberellic acid (GA) induced flower flush and application would have little use on a potted crop. However, there is some evidence that a delayed GA response occurs six to ten months post-application and may benefit late spring cut-flower production. Rates from 80-250 ppm may be trialed, with higher rates possibly increasing flower deformity and height. GA affects cultivars Green Goddess, Pink Mist and Childsiana more strongly compared with the standard White Aethiopica. in these varieties and for cut flower plantings, use GA as a foliar spray at above rates.
3. Horn vs. cluster rhizomes
Aethiopica come as elongated and naked (without multiple side bulblets attached) rhizomes called ‘horns,’ or as broader, more compressed rhizomes with some attached bulblets called ‘clusters,’ or somewhere in-between.
Horns tend to grow with a more dominant apical shoot, have fewer side shoots (which produce lower canopy leaves), and have generally larger, taller and heavier stemmed flowers.
Clusters tend to have more or multiple breaks or budding around the main apical shoot, fuller, more compact plant habit, and lower bloom heights in relation to the leaf canopy.
Although interchangeable to a certain degree, clusters are favored somewhat for potted production and horns for cut flowers depending on your flower and/or plant habit objectives. Flower counts on average are similar for equal sizes.
4. Potting, planting and watering
Rhizomes can be planted in either raised beds or containers and prefer a deep, well-draining soil. Plant bulbs 2″ deep in containers and 3-4″ deep in the open bed. Pot or plant in a well-draining media with a pH of 5.5-6.5 and high in organic matter. Successful media generally have 50-65% peat with other components being coarse for drainage. Lime, gypsum and dolomite as calcium sources in the media are recommended for plant health. Incorporation of Terraclor (PCNB) and/or Trichoderma into media helps reduce disease.
Water freshly planted rhizomes, then fungicide drench immediately. Maintain slightly moist until substantial sprouts emerge. Keep constantly moist, but not soggy, until peak bloom, then decrease moderately.
Because of the robust nature of the Aethopica potted plant, larger pots or tubs of 10-12″ or medium pots of 6-8″ are generally used, although some experimentation has been done with smaller, more growth-regulated pots. Greater flowering and growth comes with greater root space. Cluster type bulbs or multiple (2-3), smaller diameter horns 1 1/4″ to 1 3/4″ will help fill out potted plantings and maximize bloom per pot. Larger horns simply will not fit in the medium or smaller sized pots.
Fertility maintenance is critical to continued flower production and full, well-colored plant growth in Aethiopica. We recommend that a pre-plant charge of nitrogen and potassium, with little or no phosphorus, be incorporated into the media. This will produce good, early establishment of roots and improved, early vigor. Use only a 30-day release formula then begin a balanced liquid feed at 200 ppm weekly or 100 ppm constant or as needed. Modifications can then be based on individual growth objectives and environments.
6. Temperature and environment
Night temperatures of 45-55°F and day temperatures of 55-65°F are optimum for plant growth and flowering and must be followed or greater disease problems can occur, especially in warmer conditions. Therefore, the best outdoor growth generally occurs in the spring and fall. Prolonged warmer greenhouse temperatures, especially at night, can inhibit flower production and can soften and stretch existing blooms. Moderate early warming to 65-70°F, only until sprouting, however, can help hasten rooting and establishment. Avoiding high-temperature spikes will help minimize root problems.
Calla Aethiopica withstands a wide range of light conditions from 500 to 5,00 foot-candles. It is not day-length sensitive nor does it require temperature treatments to induce bloom. 50% shade is optimal, although the plants can handle full sun to 70% shade without becoming too badly stressed. Stem length is increased, but weakened, under shaded conditions.
Callas are somewhat frost-sensitive and foliage will not withstand prolonged freezing temperatures. Rhizomes will take some frost but cannot withstand a soil freeze to bulb depth. High daytime temperatures, such as in hoop houses, are conducive to the proliferation of fungal and bacterial diseases. Cool nights and days will promote stronger and shorter stems.
7. Fungicides and pesticides
Aethiopica, particularly if potted or in beds, benefit greatly from an aggressive preventative fungicide program. Incorporation of PCNB (Terrachlor) into media at 3-5.5 oz/yd3, and Trichoderma (Root Shield) at 1 lb/yd3 will help to maintain healthy roots. The two products are compatible. Either product used alone will also yield benefits. Immediately after initial watering of media, follow with a thorough fungicide drench of Subdue (1-2 oz/100gal) for water molds, combined with either the newly available Medallion (1-2oz/gal), Compass or Heritage (0.4 oz/gal).
If these new (and improved) fungicides are not available in your area, use Cleary’s 3336 or FungoFlo at recommended rates for Rhizoctonia, along with the Subdue. PCNB is most effective as an incorporate but can be drenched with the above products if not added to the media. Including Agrimycin in the drench at 100-200 ppm (0.5-1 lb/100 gal) will also help suppress Erwinia soft rot, a bacterial disease that often becomes established in the damaged root tissues caused by the more aggressive fungal pathogens. Alteration or addition of Aliette at 13 oz/00 gal) can help manage watermolds.
Always examine roots weekly, or more often for symptoms of clearing or browning or other disorders. A second drench is recommended at 14-30 days including PCNB and/or Trichoderma to maintain long-term pot health. Avoid prolonged and overly soggy or overly dried soil conditions. Separate any diseased or rotted pots. Avoid temperature and humidity extremes in greenhouses below 40°F or above 70°F for the best health.
A preventative foliar disease program is best. Use copper Kocide or Champion sprays at 1 lb and at 1 qt per 50 gal respectively. These can be rotated with Daconil (do not mix Daconil with copper). This foliar treatment is especially recommended for pathogen-conducive environments such as outdoor plantings and in cut flower blocks. We also encourage, on a trial basis, the use of new chemicals or mix combinations, and good record-keeping for future reference. Aethiopica tend to be tolerant of most pesticides.
To control aphids, thrips, shore flies and fungus gnats (shore flies and fungus gnats can spread bacteria), Orthene, Diazinon, Malathion, Tempo, Dursban and Maverik have shown effective and non-phytotoxic. Control is also very effective on fungus gnat larvae. Check registrations in your area.
In Aethiopica, Bonzi (Paclobutrazol) growth regulator use can improve the potted plant growth habit dramatically. Trials on rates, timing, multiple applications, bulb size and configuration, soil media, and environmental differences are absolutely essential. Aethiopica is sensitive to Bonzi and too high a rate or too early an application can cause leaf crinkling, plant rosetting, lack of bloom or disproportionate (disparity in) flower-foliage height.
A rule of thumb for a single dose is to make and application when plants are at 1/2 to 3/4 desired plant height. Again, the rate will depend primarily on the light and temperature effects on stretching and your bulb size and type. The best range to start trials is 1/4 – 1/3 oz Bonzi per gal (7-10 ppm) and going down to a 1/8 – 1/4 oz for lighter effects, earlier or multiple applications or use of smaller or clustered bulbs. Rates higher than 10 ppm may arrest plant height completely and may be evaluated under more extreme stretching conditions or if the final desired has been attained.
Use of Bonzi is truly an art as well as a science and these recommendations have been tested on the central coast of California. Drenching is best done one to two days after watering to insure uniform soil moisture. It should be noted certain organic media components such as composted or uncomposted pine bark, widely used in the eastern USA, have shown up to 10 times reduced efficacy of Bonzi. Temperature, nitrogen fertility, light and water management, morning cold pulsing, or far-red light (twilight) exclusion manipulations can separately or together affect growth habit and thus Bonzi applications.
Bonzi in Aethiopica, as in spring colored Callas, reduces foliage height, darkens leaves and toughens or tones plants, which can improve shipping and post-harvest life. However, it can also reduce foliage height, and perhaps reduce later flower numbers at the higher rates. Use care and experiment, always using untreated controls.
10. Harvesting flowers
Cut flowers at earliest when yellow spadix (the little finger-like thing in the middle of the bloom) is just visible at 10-15% open spike stage. Tighter spikes will not open naturally. Aethiopica can be cut at late stages to fully open, but may not ship as well due to packing and bruising. Flowers should always be cut before pollen shed.
Flowers can be picked either by pulling stems or by cutting stems. There are advantages and disadvantages to both techniques. Pulling stems increases stem length and is a much quicker technique. However, some research shows that younger flower primordia may be damaged this way and stem “stretching” or bruising can take place if picking is not done correctly. We recommend pulling stems, but the soil must have proper moisture or stem “stretching” will occur.
Cutting stems reduces the chance of flower primordia damage as well as stem stretching, but the resulting stem length is slightly shorter. Some diseases caused by viruses or bacteria may be transmitted, so knife disinfection should be practiced.
It is up to each individual grower to decide which method is best for their operation.
Flowers should last up to three weeks or longer when cared for properly.
11. Post-harvest handling
Flowers should be placed in clean water immediately after picking in the field then re-cut and bunched according to stem length and quality. They should be kept in a commercial flower keeping solution such as Floralife or in a solution of sugar and bactericide (Clorox). Too high a concentration of sugar in the solution will encourage premature flower opening and increase microbial growth in the solution. Stem splitting, in our experience, is worse in pure or less hard water.
Flowers should be stored at 36-40°F and no lower than 34°F. Stems should be re-cut and solutions changed every two days, if not daily. Bucket and work surface sanitation is very important to vase life and flower quality. When bunching flowers, take care not to bunch stems too tightly thereby restricting solution uptake.
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