Create a bouquet of callas

A lean, graceful profile make callas an ideal choice for a modern, streamlined summer bouquet
Article by Kathleen Norris Brenzel

Step-by-step:  How to make a bridal bouquet

Elegant as they are, the white flowers of common callas pale beside newer, more vivid dwarf callas. In the garden, colored callas make excellent border plants, and they thrive when massed in large containers (16 to 18 inches in diameter).

These beauties grow from rhizomes (thickened stems that grow underground); the flowers, which resemble fluted cups, come in soft pastel hues like pink and lavender, as well as hotter mango and orange shades that glow like candle flames. Plants range from 1 to 4 feet tall, depending on kind. More about growing summer bulbs

For best bloom, choose the largest rhizomes you can find. Flowers last two to four weeks on the plants, but are at their prettiest when trumpets are just opened. They’ll last several hours out of water.

Getting started

  • Planting time: January in areas with little or no frost; March in colder climates.
  • Bloom time: Mid-May to July.
  • Start from: Rhizomes (thickened underground stems); buy at least a dozen per bouquet.
  • Where to buy: Calla rhizomes are available in nurseries January through March. Or you can order them from mail-order suppliers such as Dutch Gardens (800/818-3861) or Van Bourgondien (800/622-9997).

What callas need

  • Soil: Fast-draining; dig in 3 inches of amendment such as compost.
  • Exposure: Partial shade where summers are hot, full sun or light shade in cooler climates. Planting: In garden beds, plant rhizomes 2 inches deep and 1 foot apart, rounded side down and “bumpy eyes” side up; handle them gently to avoid bruising.
  • In containers (at least 16 in. diameter and 7 in. deep): Plant rhizomes 2 inches deep and 1 to 6 inches apart.
  • Water: Keep soil moist but not soggy; overwatered rhizomes can rot before sprouting. Fertilizer: Lightly fertilize during the bloom season.

Next:   Make a bouquet of hydrangeas