Why Are My Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow?

Calla lilies are one of the most beautiful plants that nature has bestowed us with. For any gardening fanatic, growing striking calla lilies in their backyard is like a dream come true. We are here to take you a step closer to your dream.

While calla lilies are beautiful, they can be jinxed through the yellow leaves. If you are concerned about why your calla lily leaves turning yellow, then you do not have to go any further. 

We will provide a detailed guide informing you of everything that you need to know about calla lilies.

As you read further, you will realize the importance that minor things hold in taking care of your calla lily leaves.

Also Read: Why Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow?

Know Your Calla Lilies

Before we begin gaining advanced knowledge about calla lily leaves, let’s dive deep into understanding more about what calla lilies are, how they originated, and the benefit of growing them. You would be surprised how many solutions you can find by merely knowing some basic facts about calla lilies. 

  • Zantedeschia aethiopica is a formal scientific name for calla lily, it’s native to South Africa, and has marked its presence across each continent except Antarctica. Antarctica’s absence is the habitat that it prefers, that is, only warm and humid surroundings, away from colder regions. 
  • Also famous by arum lily, calla lilies grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall, with their dark green, sturdy leaves growing at an approximate length of 45cm. It bears large and beautiful flowers that bloom in summer, spring, and autumn and give out a sweet minty fragrance to anyone passing by them. 

Some people believe calla lilies to be poisonous to health. However, this is not the case. They can produce harmful health conditions like a burning sensation, nausea, stomach and diarrhea. On the other hand, these plants are toxic to pets like cats and dogs consuming them. 

This beauty has symbolized many states and countries so far. Saint Helena, an island capital, claims calla lilies to be their national flower. Further, the republicanism and nationalism of the Irish people are also symbolized by calla lilies since the year 1926. 

Now, since we have understood the basics of a calla lily, it is time that we move to gain a better understanding of how and why are the potted calla lily leaves turning yellow and what can we do about it. 

Also Read: Do Microgreens Regrow After Cutting?

Why Do Calla Lily Leaves Turn Yellow?

Calla lily leaves turning yellow is not an everyday phenomenon. If one is informed about why leaves undergo such changes, one can also prevent it. 

#1 Chlorosis

Chlorosis is both a name given to the discoloration of leaves and the cause of leaves turning yellow.

When leaves start to produce insufficient chlorophyll, the leaves begin to devoid themselves of their natural green color and tend to become yellow and even brown or white. 

It can be attributed to several causes ranging from damaged roots and high alkalinity to nutrient deficiencies in the plant. One should check for recurring symptoms continuously. 

#2 Root Rot

Root rot is another cause of calla lily leaves turning yellow. It also causes stunted growth of the lily plant. One primary reason is the absence of well-drained soil or proper drainage holes in the plant’s container.

It is essential to indulge in a regular inspection of the roots of these plants. 

#3 Diseases

Lilies are susceptible to attract many pests and diseases, given their adaptation and natural habitat. If you find little yellow spots on your leaves turning into yellow patches, then your lilies are infected with fungus gnats and spider mites. 

Other pests and diseases attracted by calla lily include bacterial soft rot, botrytis, aphids, slugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites. One should adopt necessary practices, which we would talk about later, to prevent these pests from attacking our plants. 

#4 Natural death

If you can’t find a plausible explanation for your leaves turning yellow, then the chances are that your plant is falling sick and nearing its death, which is a natural cause, something that nobody has control over. 

If you observe your leaves turning yellow just before the fall, it is probably not a matter of concern since it should happen naturally. Unless it’s not winter or autumn around the corner, there is no need to worry since it is out of human control. 

#5 Other issues

Being nutrient deficient, overwatering, and frequent repotting are other less probable causes of potted calla lily turning yellow. 

If you tend to overwater your lily plant, then you should not be surprised about their nature of turning yellow because they would. Overwatering a plant would lead its leaves to appear limp, mushy, out of shape, and pale in color. 

Repotting a plant is not a problem until it becomes frequent. Frequent repotting makes the plant take more time about how they should or should not adapt to their surroundings. 

The deficiency of essential nutrients like iron is one of the leading causes of leaves becoming discolored over time. 

Also Read: Growing Strawberries in Hanging Baskets

How to stop the yellowing of leaves?

#1 Watering

Overwatering is a problem, but one cannot stop watering the plants with the fear of providing them more than they require. Lilies thrive in moisture, and under watering them is a significant concern.

Therefore, it is essential to water them at the correct times and in the perfect quantities. Ideally, one should water lilies only when a few of the top inches of soil appear dry and cranky.

Watering them once in a week seems like an acceptable option, until and unless winters come.

#2 Repotting

It is essential to report your calla lilies, but only if you find them getting unusually more extensive or too clustered. Repotting can be a good measure if done rightly. 

Unnecessary repotting of lilies can cause repotting stress, so keep in mind to take one step at a time and report only when it is essential. 

#3 Nutritional care

After rightly identifying nutritional deficiency in your plants, you must start providing supplements to them. To add healthy goodness to your plant, you need to change the soil if the work hasn’t been done for long. 

Another step could be to start adding fertilizers to the soil often if they are homemade and packed with the benefits of nutrients. 

#4 Treating pests

Two of the most famous tried and tested methods to treat pests include spraying neem oil on the plants occasionally and cutting down the part of the leaf that has been infected by pests and is currently in its initial stage. 

Taking care of your calla lily plant: Tips

Calla lilies are not difficult to grow outdoors; provided that you follow adequate measures to keep them healthy. You can also get insight into some of these moderately complex tips by scrolling down. 


We have learnt that calla lilies cannot be annually grown in colder regions, making them a perfect fit for tropical and warmer areas. This means that they need plenty of life to thrive in. 

While you cannot produce sunlight, provided that it is a natural phenomenon, what you can do is to take adequate measures that ensure that your plant is exposed to ample amounts of sunlight throughout the day. 

If you live in a hot and humid environment, then things are easy for you. You do not have to put in extra measures to keep your plant healthy; however, if you are a native of colder regions, try adjusting the plant’s position from time to time according to the sun. 

Besides this, do not provide them with extra sunlight. Try keeping them under partial shade most of the time, because they cannot tolerate direct exposure for long hours. 


An ideal soil for growing calla lilies would be a moist as well as well-drained soil with the right amounts of nutrients. Regular water flow in the soil is significant if you want to keep your plants blooming every hour of the day. 

There is a reason why calla lilies thrive near ponds because the soil there remains moist but not waterlogged. It is important to note that loading the soil with too much water can lead to root rotting of the plant, which can damage the crop. 

If you want to make your soil rich in nutrients, it is important to pack them with manure and organic matter before planting your lilies. 


Water can be a sensitive part here. Overwatering your liles can cause them undue damage and destruction. It is important to water the plants only once a week, under moderate weather conditions. However, if it is too hot outside, you can increase the frequencies accordingly.

If you have potted your lilies indoors, then also you need to provide it with constant moisture. This is attributable to the fact that potted lilies dry out sooner than grounded lilies. 

Humidity and Temperature

As mentioned earlier, warm environments and humidity are the homes to calla lilies. They can thrive comfortably under such conditions. An ideal temperature range for calla lily include between 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Things start going bad as soon as the temperature falls below the 50 degree Fahrenheit mark. As it gets cooler, these plants find hard for themselves to grow, let alone bloom. 


If you demand your lilies to be beautiful, then you have to fertilise them in the same manner at the right times. They are very specific in their needs to demand fertilizers. 

It is important to feed them well immediately after planting and at the onset of spring, before they start to bloom again. 

You can either purchase fertilizers from the market, or indulge in making homemade organic fertilizers that are rich in nutrition and manure. Homemade or not, one primary consideration while selecting fertilizer for lilies is that it should have low to moderate amounts of nitrogen in them. Neither too much, nor too low. 


Common pests and diseases are regular problems faced by calla lilies. You need not do anything extra than what is already mentioned above. Do make sure that your lilies are planted and placed at significantly wider differences and are watered frequently. 

Wider distance between plants ensures air circulation, whereas enough hydration ensures that the fungal diseases stay away. Enough about fungal diseases, what if someone encounters pests like slugs or spider mites on the lily plants?

In case you find the presence of pests on your plants, apply neem oil, or any other horticulture oil to keep them away. You can also prevent their attack by using insecticidal soaps. 


Calla lilies are an adorable plant species, and with small, yet vital measures, one can grow the desired quantity of calla lilies in their own garden or backyard. With the aforementioned points as your assistance, you can never skip on maintaining a healthy and good routine for your calla lilies, let alone turning their leaves yellowish. Happy gardening!