Potted Calla Lily Dying? Important Steps to Revive It

Your calla lilies could be a marvelous addition to your garden. However, it would be such a sad sight if you saw your potted calla lily dying without knowing what to do. Dying here could refer to the flowers not blooming, the leaves turning yellow, or even the plant drooping.

To prevent your calla from dying, you need to make sure you’re taking care of it correctly. If you are, then you can follow the reviving steps that help you bring your calla lily back to life.

In this article, I’ll show you the best ways to take care of your calla lilies to make sure they don’t die. I will also share with you the steps needed to get your calla lily back and keep it as alive as new. Therefore, all you need to do to gain this information is just keep reading.

Reasons Your Calla Lily Looks Unhealthy

If you’re reading this article, then that probably means that you have a calla lily that looks unhealthy or on the verge of dying. 

The first step to knowing how to treat your plant is to identify what is happening to it. Here are some things that might be happening to your calla lily:

  1. Drooping

If your calla lilies are drooping, then you should try to identify the reason‌. There are multiple reasons ‌your calla could droop, and these include:

  • Under watered calla lilies
  • Overwatered calla lilies
  • A fungal rot disease
  • Too large bloom
  • Excess soil nitrogen

Thankfully, these issues are easy to handle and totally inexpensive. For instance, if the soil is too dry or too wet, just water it more often or leave it a bit to dry.

Checking the plant moisture can be through touching the soil with the tip of your finger. If you find it not moist enough, give it a drink of water and it should get back up again. Always keep in mind that calla lilies are bulbous plants that require well-drained soil to thrive.

If there is too much water in the soil and the bulb decays, you must discard it and replace it with new bulbs. Never expect a rotting bulb to bloom again, for it will never do so.

Whenever you find ‌the stems are highly malleable and mushy, it’s possible that you’re dealing with a fungal infection. Again, determining the exact sort of illness can be difficult, but if the stems are soft, you can guess it’s a fungus.

If you’re having a fungal problem in your plant, then the smartest decision is to change the soil that your plant is in. 

In case your plants are drooping because of too much bloom, then that’s the easiest thing to deal with. All you’d need to do is to cut off some flowers and take them inside in a vase to enjoy them, and that would fix your problem immediately.

When it comes to the amount of nitrogen in your calla lily’s soil, you should keep track of the fertilizer you’re using. If the fertilizer has a high nitrogen level for your plant, it will cause it to grow rapidly, producing a lot of leaves and very few flowers. 

In this case, you should consider changing your fertilizer. Trying a fertilizer with less nitrogen and more phosphorus will mostly fix this issue.

Man hand holding two dead calla flower against colorful background
  1. Viruses

Calla lilies, just like any other living organism, are prone to catching viruses. The spotted wilt and the dasheen mosaic are two types of viruses that can attack your calla lilies.

Spotted wilt is a form of insect pest that causes yellow or white spots or streaks on flower stalks, petioles, and leaves. It’s usually carried and spread by thrips.

As for the dasheen mosaic, it’s a virus that’s spread by aphids. It causes weakness to the plant along with a mosaic-like appearance on the leaves of afflicted plants.

There’s one correct way to deal with a calla lily that’s infected with a virus. What you need to do is to cut it off away from the others and then get rid of the debris according to the local regulations. Thus, it wouldn’t transfer the virus to another one. 

  1. Lacking Sunlight

Another reason that causes your calla lilies to look unhealthy is the lack of exposure to sunlight. Your callas are unlikely to bloom if they’re in partial or complete shade.

As long as they’re potted, all you need to do is to move the pot to a place that has more access to natural sunlight. If that’s not available, you can put it under growing lights for better results in blooming.

  1. Winter Dormancy

As a calla lily plant owner, you should be aware that calla lilies fall dormant in the winter. The calla lilies are bulb plants, which means they can’t handle the cold. As a result, you should take your potted calla lilies inside in the winter.

After you take them inside, let them dry out, then wrap them up in newspaper and put them inside a mesh bag. This will help them survive the cold weather and give you the chance to replant them later.

Allow two to three months for them to go dormant. To keep the rhizomes from shriveling, give them a gentle watering once or twice during that period.

  1. Yellow Leaves

You might notice your calla’s leaves turning yellow, and you’d think that it’s dying. However, leaves turning yellow has multiple reasons that are treatable. Some of these reasons are:


This occurs when the plant is subjected to transplant stress. The plant will generate new leaves as the root system develops in the new position, and you can take off the yellowed leaves.

Rough wind

When your plant is prone to rough wind, it causes the leaves to turn yellow. The way to fix this is to keep the calla lilies in a protected and sunny spot.

Salt overdose

Adding cow dung to the soil is another mistake that produces yellowing leaves on a calla lily. This substance generates an overabundance of salt in the soil. As a result, the leaves curl and then they turn yellow.

If this is the case with your calla lily, then replace the soil with fresh potting soil instead.

Root rot disease

This is a problem that exists in excessively damp soil. It happens most often when you plant a calla lily in clay or other soil that doesn’t drain well.

Providing your calla lily plant with well-draining soil is the greatest approach to prevent root rot. Reduced watering is also beneficial.

Single dry beautiful dead calla lily in a ceramic vase isolated on a white background.

How To Take Good Care Of Your Growing Calla Lilies

In order to avoid your calla lily dying or getting weaker, you can follow the tips and tricks that follow to make sure you’re taking good care of your plant.

  • They should only be watered once or twice a week. Use one to two ounces of water, and water them before the top inch of soil becomes too dry. You can even keep a little water in the saucer it sits in, but don’t leave it in standing water for too long
  • You should always leave 12 to 18 inches between calla lilies before planting. Since there will be no overpopulation, the leaves will be full and lovely
  • At home, calla lilies prefer some brightness, but avoid direct sunlight during the midday hours, as this can burn the leaves. The calla lily will thrive in an eastern window that gets morning sun or a western window that gets afternoon sun

Final Words – Potted Calla Lily Dying

A calla lily is a strong plant that can live for longer than you think. To prevent it from dying, all you need to do is take care of it properly and keep an eye on any changes that happen to it.

If you followed the right tips and tricks to care for your calla lily, you will surely be able to enjoy your plant for as long as it’s possible. Patience and proper care are the keys to a healthy calla.