Why Are My Calla Lilies Drooping, Wilting, or Yellow?

Calla Lilies are breathtaking plants that are well worth keeping in your garden or a pot in your home. For the most part, they are easy to take care of and require minimal attention.

However, sometimes things go wrong, and you may start to notice that your Calla Lily is starting to look rough. You may be wondering why your plant is changing colors or not standing up as tall as it once was.

There are seven main reasons why your Calla Lilies are drooping, wilting, or yellow: root rot, flowers are too heavy, too much water, too little water, fungus or mildew, too much nitrogen, or a lack of sunlight.

If you are wondering why your Calla Lilies are drooping, wilting, or yellow, keep reading below to learn more about what it could be and what to do to fix the problem.

Why Are My Lilies Drooping or Wilting?

There are seven common reasons for drooping or wilting Calla Lilies. Generally, the reason boils down to there being too little or too much of something.

Rhizome Rot

Rhizome Rot, also known as soil-borne bacterial soft rot, is a bacteria that attacks the roots and causes damage throughout the whole plant. The stems will end up weak, wilted, and yellowed.

If you notice your stems are wilted and yellowed, Rhizome Rot is a common issue that is likely the problem.

To fix this, you will want to reduce the nitrogen in the soil and add more calcium. A lot of gardeners recommend bone meal, as it provides both calcium and phosphorus and is easy to add in.

Always make sure your soil drains well, and try not to cut your flowers while they are wet, or you may more easily expose them to the pathogen.

Heavy Flowers

Heavy Calla lilliesHeavy flowers are more associated with drooping than wilting. Nothing is specifically wrong with the plant. It does not necessarily have any stress or nutritional issues. Instead, the petals are simply too big.

This is especially common with large, hybrid blooms, or those that have very leggy stems. A lot of flowers are bred with large, decorative blooms in mind, without taking into account what the plant can handle.

If this occurs with your plants, don’t worry, all you have to do is install a supportive structure. Usually, stakes, a small fence, or a post are enough to help your Calla Lilies stand upright again.


Calla Lilies only need a small amount of water. The general recommendation is 1 inch or about 2.5 cm per week, though that can vary depending on the humidity and temperatures in your area. For indoor plants, this is a lot easier to control.

If your Calla Lily is planted outside, though, making sure your plants aren’t overwatered can be a challenge.

If you notice that your Lilies are often sitting in pools of water or that mushrooms are growing around them, in addition to the presence of droopy stems or yellowed leaves, you may need to take time to inspect your plant.

To see if your plant is recoverable, check the roots. If they are firm, you simply need to relocate them to somewhere that has better draining soil and gets enough sun to dry out the soil.

If the roots are soft, however, you will need to take your whole plant and discard it. Once the roots are soft, the plant is past being recoverable, unfortunately.


Calla Lilies don’t need much water, but they still need some. Generally, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) a week is what a Calla Lily needs. If it has been particularly hot or dry, they may require more.

Unfortunately, these lilies have little to no drought tolerance. This means that as soon as the soil dries completely, the leaves, flowers, and stems begin to wilt and droop. Shortly after this, leaves may begin to turn yellow and brown.

To test if the soil is dry, you can simply stick your finger in the soil. If it is dry and crumbly and doesn’t stick to you, it is probably time to water.

A moisture meter is another useful tool if you simply want to be able to keep a constant eye on your soil moisture levels. It is designed to read how much water your soil has and can be useful for pickier plants.

Mildew and Fungus

Powdery mildew is a common issue with Calla Lilies, especially if there are a lot of plants crowded into one area or there is a lot of shade. Many people don’t realize that mildew is becoming a problem until it’s too late. The first sign is nothing more than a powdery gray coating on the leaves while everything else behaves as normal.

However, shortly after, the plant begins to droop and the leaves turn yellow and brown before falling off. Many people have their own home remedies for mildews and fungi, such as copper and milk, but you can also use a simple fungicide.

Too Much Nitrogen

Pretty much every plant needs nitrogen. However, there is a delicate balance between a healthy amount of this element, and too much. When there is too much nitrogen for a Calla Lily, it will begin to grow leggy. This can make the stems too weak, and the plant will begin to droop as they are unable to support the weight of the leaves and flowers.

For Calla Lilies, you want to stick with a 5-10-5 or a 5-10-10 ratio for nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium (NPK).

Searching for Sunlight

sunlightSome plants desire a lot of sunlight, and as such, the plants can search for and grow towards the sunlight. This is a strange phenomenon called phototropism, and Calla Lilies are one such plant that has this ability.

If you planted your Calla Lilies in a place with a lot of shade, the stems may bend or droop in an attempt to find nearby sunlight.

If your Calla Lilies are in a pot, you only have to rotate the plant around 180 degrees so that the plant will begin to grow back the other way.

If your Calla Lilies are in the garden outside, it might be worth considering replanting them in a different area. They enjoy places where they can get at least six hours of full sun.

Why Is My Calla Lily Drooping and Turning Yellow?

Often, if your Calla Lilies leaves are turning yellow, it has something to do with problems in the soil. Yellow leaves are known as chlorosis. Usually, this is due to a shortage of nutrients in the soil such as nitrogen, iron, zinc, or other elements. Try to look at your fertilizers and see what your plant may be missing out on.

However, if your plant is getting these nutrients in proper amounts, this may mean something is blocking absorption, such as bacteria or fungus. Adding a fungicide may help.

Finally, root rot can also harm your plant and cause yellow leaves. Calla Lilies like soil that isn’t too moist, and their roots will often suffer the consequences if you give them too much water or soil that doesn’t drain properly.

Is It Normal for Calla Lilies to Droop?

While it isn’t good or normal for Calla Lilies to droop, it also isn’t uncommon. Many health reasons can cause your plant to be unable to support itself anymore and begin to wilt or droop.

Also, with the current abundance of hybridization practices, it’s possible that they may have been bred to have much larger flowers than their stems can actually support.

How to Fix a Drooping Calla Lily?

To fix a drooping Calla Lily, you have to determine what the cause is. Is it due to a lack of nutrients, too many nutrients, the wrong amount of water, bacteria, a fungus, or just hybridization practices?

Once you determine what is wrong, you can take steps to correct the problem. This may involve something like adding more water, less water, fungicide, a post to help the stem support its flowers, or re-potting.

How Do You Keep Calla Lilies Upright?

Making sure you don’t buy hybrids that have overly large flowers is a good step. After that, it is important to research to make sure that you are treating your Calla Lilies right. Make sure they are getting the right nutrients, sunlight, water, and soil to prevent them from drooping and to keep them upright and gorgeous.

How Do You Save a Dying Lily?

wet call lillySaving a dying Calla Lily takes a lot of time and effort. First, you must make sure that all dead or dying leaves and blooms are trimmed off. If there are a lot of them, prioritize the worst ones first. Try to leave at least 30% of the leaves on the plant.

If you eliminate more than this, your Calla Lily may not have enough leaves to photosynthesize and will likely die. You can always eliminate more leaves as new ones grow.

Next, you want to make sure that you water your plant enough. When the soil gets dry, you want to make sure you are watering it. However, overwatering can be just as bad, so make sure the soil drains well so there is never water just sitting there.

Using distilled water is best, as there are no additives or worries about bacteria in the water that could weaken your plant further.

Why Are the Leaves Falling off My Lily?

Leaves are an important part of all plants. This is what allows them to absorb their energy from the sun, and losing too many leaves can cause a lot of problems. So when a plant’s leaves start falling off, you know something serious is happening.

Often, leaves start falling off when they go into shock. You may see this when you first buy a plant. Calla Lilies go from being grown in a lush greenhouse with a lot of care to being in a dry store with unnatural light. By the time they are bought, the Lily is often root-bound and isn’t getting enough nutrients.

If you’ve had the plant for a while, make sure conditions haven’t changed. Have you recently moved to a new area? Did the temperature drop? These things can throw a plant into shock and cause them to start dropping leaves.

If you haven’t changed anything, check to see if they are root bound. If they are in a pot and you haven’t given them a new one recently, they may be running out of space and need more room to grow.


Calla Lilies aren’t the hardiest of plants. Some specific diseases can cause harm via bacteria or fungus, and they can’t handle any sign of drought.

But if your Calla Lily starts to droop, wilt, or turn yellow, they likely just need a little TLC. There are seven main problems that can cause drooping, wilting, or yellowing: rhizome rot, heavy flowers, overwatering, underwatering, mildew and fungus, too much nitrogen, or too little sunlight.

By taking the time to figure out what is wrong, you can help your plant thrive and grow back to its former beauty.