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Why Are My Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow (10 Main Reasons)

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Calla flower is famous for its spectacular flowering. Every person who has ever been given flowers will love this plant because it evokes pleasant associations and touching memories.

But sometimes, the appearance begins to change but not for the better. The bush looks less beautiful mostly, decorated with large leaves of rich green color on long petioles. However, they often begin to turn yellow and fade gradually and then die off.

Why are my calla lily leaves turning yellow
calla lily i’s slowly turning yellow and then brown via Reddit

Why Are My Calla Lily Leaves Turning Yellow?

1. Dry air and lack of moisture

Calla lily comes from the humid tropics; therefore, in the climate of the middle zone during a drought in summer, it is stuffy, especially with thickened plantings. Then the leaves turn yellow and dry up. To avoid this, plant them in light shade and at a good distance from each other.

And also, watch the watering regime. Do not let the soil under the lilies dry out too much. At the same time, keep in mind that waterlogging can also cause yellowing of lily leaves, leading to root rot of the plant.

2. Iron deficiency

Because of iron deficiency, chlorophyll formation, which is significant for photosynthesis, is disrupted in lily leaves. This is especially pronounced on young leaves, where they become more yellow every day while the veins remain green.

In this case, the garden lily needs to be fed. To do this, dissolve 2 tsp in 3 liters of settled water, citric acid, and add 8g of ferrous sulfate. The resulting solution is sprayed on the leaves, and the soil around the plant is watered.

3. Deficiency or excess of nitrogen

With a lack of nitrogen, the lily leaves turn pale, yellow, and grow poorly. Competent feeding with nitrogen-containing fertilizers will help to cope with this problem. 

But don’t overdo it because excess nitrogen fertilizers result in brown spots on the lily leaves. Also, over time, the leaf plates turn yellow, and the plant dies off. 

In this case, the flower becomes stained. Such overfed plants, as a rule, cannot be saved. Therefore, it is better to uproot lilies.

4. Root damage

Often, if yellow leaves appear from calla lily, you should expect the situation to worsen. This is negative processes will soon affect or have already affected the root system. If foliage is not removed promptly, it can cause problems with other parts of the calla lily. 

It also happens that it is the roots that provoke the wilting of the aboveground part. There is only one way to check their condition: remove the flower from the soil. Also, the rotten ones must be removed. 

Why are my calla lily leaves turning yellow 2
Calla lily leaves turning yellow after repotting via Reddit

5. Bacterial rot

This is the most common garden lily disease, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and die off, but brown spots appear first. Most often, rot occurs due to damage to the bulb and waterlogging of the soil.

Before planting, the bulbs are etched in a pink solution of potassium permanganate to prevent this ailment. And during the emergence of seedlings, the plants are treated with fungicides.

If the disease makes itself felt during flowering, all damaged flowers and leaves are immediately removed and destroyed.

6. Rust

If you notice that yellow, orange, or brown spots have appeared on the leaves of the calla lily, take a closer look for red fungal spores on them (they are similar in shape to pads). These spots appear bulging if the plant is sick with rust.

In this case, all affected parts of the calla lily are removed, and the entire plant is sprayed with 1% Bordeaux liquid. Re-planting lilies in areas where rust affects bulbs can be no earlier than three years later.

7. Spider mite

There are pests that like the structural features of the plant, for example, a spider mite. If this parasite has settled on it, Calla lily will be completely occupied and covered with a white spider web.

The tick likes coolness and shade, and calla stems are an ideal habitat. To get rid of it, you need to arm yourself with laundry soap. You should carefully wash the plant, protect the ground from drips and splashes, and rinse after that with plain water. Repeat the procedure until the population is destroyed. 

8. Pythium or blue mold

This disease causes the rotting of the roots of the bulb. They become covered with brown spots while the tops of the leaves turn yellow, and the stem of the calla lily dries and withers.

All affected parts of the plant are immediately removed to solve this. Before planting a lily, the soil needs to be disinfected with a 0.4% solution of colloidal sulfur, and the bulbs soaked for half an hour in a solution of Maxim drug.

9. Gray rot or botrytis

Dark yellow spots appear on the leaves of lilies affected by this fungus. Watery spots can also be seen on flowers. It is unlikely that it will be possible to completely cure the plant since the fungus becomes active again in the heat and with high humidity.

It is necessary to cut and destroy all damaged leaves and stems. And in September, dig up the bulbs, treat them with the fungicide Maxim and transplant them to a new place. 

In spring, for preventive purposes, plants should be watered with Fitosporin-M solution, and this procedure should be repeated every time wet weather sets in the street.

10. Nematodes

When nematodes damage the bulb, the lily leaves become more rounded, change their color to yellow-brown and eventually fall off. These dangerous pests live between the bulbous scales, but they go into the ground under favorable conditions.

To save calla lilies from nematode invasion, you need a regular soil dressing and disinfection of bulbs in hot water (50-52 °C) for 10 minutes.

Also, you need to remove weeds and preventively spray the insecticides timely to save calla lily from nematodes. So that you do not lose your favorite plants, take care of them correctly, and once a month during the growing season, feed the lilies with a special fertilizer for bulbous plants.


Let us make a reservation right away that all ailments that lead to yellowing the calla lily leaves result from improper plant care. With the above reasons, you will know why the leaves of this plant turn yellow. 

Therefore, the first step is to provide the flower with suitable living conditions. Preventive measures to fight against diseases and pests will also be useful.