With their alluring visuals and many myths and connotations, Calla lilies - also called Zantedeschia - are often associated with rebirth and resurrection. Known for their stunning aesthetics, you might be surprised to know that Calla lilies are not actually lilies.
Traditionally, only the white Calla lily existed but more recent hybrids come in a variety of colors which increases their aesthetic appeal for many.
Here's everything you need to know about Calla lily flowers!
• Symbolism and Significance of Calla Lily Flowers
Calla lilies are often associated with purity, beauty, and elegance. They are popular choices for weddings and other special occasions, symbolizing the purity of the bond between two people.
In various cultures, calla lilies also symbolize resurrection and rebirth due to their ability to regrow from bulbs, representing the cycle of life.
2. Cultural Importance:
Calla lilies have been featured in art, literature, and religious symbolism. They have a timeless and classical beauty that has made them a favorite among artists and florists alike.
• History and Myths of the Calla Lily
The name "Calla" lily is derived from the Greek word for beauty - calla. The origins of this flower are also traced back to Greek mythology.
You may soon realize that Calla lilies have very contradictory symbolisms for different parts of the world. On one hand, these flowers are symbols of rebirth and resurrection. On the other, polar opposite, hand, they are also well-known symbols of death.
1. Greek Origins
The history of these flowers in Greek mythology is pretty scandalous, if you really think about. Zeus, the God of the Skies, had a baby with an earthly woman. While we may not think much of this, for the Gods this meant that one of their babies might not possess divine powers like theirs.
So, Zeus tricked his goddess wife, Hera, into nursing his son. She did so when she was not in her senses but when she came to, she realized what happening and flung the baby off of her.
This resulted in some of the milk falling down to earth. It is said that where these droplets fell is where those flowers bloomed. The thus formed Calla lily flowers possessed goddess-like beauty which made the goddess Venus jealous. This led to her putting a curse on the flowers, which is what led to the formation of the spike in the center of the bloom.
Sounds like a rollercoaster ride for the birth of a flower, doesn't it?
Surprisingly enough, the inner spike of the flower is actually the true calla lily flower, while the outer, colored part is supposed to be part of the leaf.
2. Associations with Virgin Mary and Christianity
Calla lilies are very often associated with the Virgin Mary, an association that can be credited for the flowers' connotations of purity and holiness. These flowers are regularly used during the festival of Easter and also during funeral processions, as the flowers acknowledge and make the purification of the departed soul known.
In older days, Calla lily flowers were often drawn on tombstones and often, broken Calla lilies stood to indicate that the individual died before their time.
3. Associations Based on Colors
Today, different hybrid varieties of Calla lily flowers bloom in varied colors and all these colors are associated with their own meanings.
• Calla Lily Care Tips
1. Light and Temperature
Calla lilies prefer bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight but should be protected from intense midday sun.
You should try to maintain a temperature range of 60-75°F (15-24°C) for optimal growth.
Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry.
Reduce watering during the dormant period (usually in winter) when the Calla lily plant is not actively growing.
3. Soil and Fertilization
During the growing season, fertilize every 2-4 weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
4. Container Gardening
Calla lilies can be grown in containers, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings. But you must ensure that the containers you are using have drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.