Caring for your calla lily flowers:
1. Before the flowers arrive we recommend you already organize, clean and rinse the buckets, vases or containers that you are going to be working with. It is important that you start with clean containers and vases as bacteria in the flower water can shorten the vase life of the flowers.
2. After receiving your shipment, unpack the flowers immediately. It is possible that the flowers may appear limp--this is normal. All calla lilies will require rehydration after being shipped to you. Colored calla lily flowers (the mini calla lilies) are harvested and shipped fully open and do not require time to open. Large calla lilies require 1-3 days of opening time and will arrive closed or partially closed.
3. Prepare sufficient pails of water to hold the flowers loosely. For large calla lilies and other flowers, fill your containers with plenty of fresh water from the faucet. For mini calla lilies, allow only 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of the container. Mini calla lilies do not need full vases, and having the stems fully submerged may cause the stems to become soft.
4. With a sharp knife or pruner, carefully recut the stems under running water at least ¼ inch above the original cut, at a slanted angle. It is important to recut the stems because once a flower is out of water for over 20 mins, the ends of the stem close up and can no longer take up water efficiently.
5. Get the flowers into their buckets of water as quickly as possible. Taller flowers may need support while taking their initial drink so that the stems do not bend over. Take the flowers to a cool, dim room to complete what the professionals refer to as 'conditioning'. This allows the stems and blooms time to recover and rehydrate, taking up as much water as possible before being placed in an arrangement. The flowers will need to be kept in a cool room (65 -72 degrees Fahrenheit) away from direct sunlight or heating or cooling vents. Avoid placing flowers directly under ceiling fans, or on top of televisions or radiators.
6. Leave the pails of flowers to rest for a time – optimally around 6 hours, with a maximum of 1 day (Try to refresh or change the water and recut the stems 1/4 inch every 24 hours). During this conditioning period, check for drooping flower heads, an indication that the stems are not taking up moisture. Remove these flowers from the pail, hold the end of the stem in boiling water for 10 seconds, then return to the pail to continue conditioning.
7. After flowers have been conditioned, simply cut again at least ¼ inch from the end of the stem before placing them in your arrangement.