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Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow? (Here’s What to Do)

Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow? (Here’s What to Do)

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The calla lily, also known as Zantedeschia, is a gorgeous flower that is going to really improve the aesthetic appeal of your garden.

Even though it is not classified as a true lily, you should know that the calla lily will make for a fantastic addition to any garden. It’s a beautiful plant that is available in a multitude of different colors and is great for your flower bed or for bordering in the garden.

Calla lilies come in a multitude of colors

Calla lilies can also be grown in containers, which further improves their aesthetic appeal. It’s pretty easy to grow these plants because they do not require a whole lot of attention on your part.

As long as you plant them carefully and make sure that the location of the plant is in an adequate spot, you won’t have much to worry about.

You just have to make sure that the calla lilies are planted in well-drained, loose soil. These plants need partial or full sun for most parts of the day, so it’s recommended that you take care of this.

When it comes to caring for the calla lilies, you don’t need to do much.

Like all other plants, you have to water them and make sure that you fertilize the ground at least once a month. When it comes to watering the calla lilies, it might be a wise idea to first poke your finger in the ground to check whether the soil already has moisture inside or not.

Excessive watering could damage the plant, so it’s recommended that you check first before you decide to add more water. Most people are under the impression that they need to water the calla lilies at least once a day.

Needless to say, that’s a bad idea. Not only could it cause waterlogging in the soil, but the plant could also die a premature death.

There is always a risk that the leaves of your calla lilies might begin to turn yellow over time. This could happen due to a number of different reasons, so it is important for you to first rule out all of the reasons and isolate the problem carefully.

It’s recommended that you check the reasons given below and then rule them out one by one to determine the real cause of the problem.

Dying Leaves Will Yellow Automatically

Dying calla lily leaves will turn yellow automatically

One of the things that you should know about these plants is that they tend to replace their leaves over time. When the leaves of the plant begin to die, they will start turning yellow.

This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the plant, it’s just a natural process in which the older leaves are going to be replaced with newer ones.

The flowers of this plant tend to grow directly from the bulb, and this can reach up to 36 inches in height on a leafless stalk.

With the passage of time, these flowers will die and they will be replaced by new ones. The same happens with all other plants, so there might not be a reason to panic just yet.

Wait to see if the yellowing leaves are replaced by fresh new growth. If it doesn’t happen, you might want to move onto the next reason and figure out why this is happening.

Care Issues

Another reason why the leaves are likely to turn yellow is if you are not able to care for the plant properly.

Care issues are likely to arise if you are not particular about the needs of the plant. For instance, if you decide to transplant the calla lily, there is a strong chance that the leaves of the plant are going to turn yellow.

The plant is likely to suffer from transplant stress over time, and it could cause certain leaves to die. It’s a common occurrence because the root system takes a bit of time to develop in the new location.

In this case, you might have to remove the yellowed leaves and make sure that all of the needs of the plant are met, so that it can grow in its new location.

More importantly, you should know that when the plant enters a dormancy period, the foliage is also likely to wilt and die. It’s going to turn yellow first and then certain parts of the foliage are going to die.

You have to allow the plant to turn yellow and enter its period of dormancy. There is nothing for you to worry about as this is a purely natural process.

You might want to water the plant infrequently for several months since it will be dormant and won’t require as much water.

After a few months, you will notice new growth on the plant. This indicates that the plant is now leaving its dormancy period, and you will automatically notice new growth on the plant.

Apart from this, you should know that excessive wind or drafts where the plant is kept could also cause the plant to wilt and turn yellow. You might want to keep the plant in a protected and sunny area so that the wind can’t cause much damage to it.

Ideally, if you have a fence around your garden, make sure you plant the calla lily in the corner so that it will remain protected from wind on all sides.

Another common mistake that can cause the plant to wilt and die is the addition of cow manure to the soil. Cow manure contains a considerable amount of sodium and could lead to what is known as a salt overdose in your plants.

You will notice the leaves turning yellow, curling, and dying.

If you have accidentally added cow manure into the soil, the only option available to you is to uproot the plant and then transplant it into another location. You might want to use fresh potting soil to make sure that the transplant stress is reduced.


Another reason why the leaves of the calla lily are going to turn yellow is because of diseases. You need to understand that the plant is highly susceptible to root rot, which occurs when there is excessive moisture in the soil.

One of the most obvious symptoms of root rot is the yellowing of leaves.

If you notice this happening even though the plant is properly protected and has access to sunlight, you might want to consider the level of moisture in the soil. In most cases, you can just gauge the level of moisture by checking the soil with your finger.

However, you should know that there is a better way to determine the level of moisture in the soil: a hygrometer.

When you are transplanting a calla lily, you should consider not to plant it too deep. It should not be so deep that the soil covers the base of the stem.

If you are going to plant the calla lily in a container, you have to make sure that there are appropriate drainage holes inside that allow water to drain from the plant.

These are just some of the reasons why the calla lily might begin to turn yellow.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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Tuesday 20th of April 2021

Thanks for this very useful insight. Question: once the leaves turn yellow, shall we cut them or just leave them where they are? What is the recommendation? Many thanks!


Monday 15th of March 2021

Thank you for the most helpful article. It goes well beyond the usual "too much water, the roots are rotting" advice which most of us know already. Pam


Monday 15th of March 2021

Hi Pamela!

I'm so glad I was able to help. Good luck with your calla lilies!