Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

My Calla Lilies Are Wilting

Dynamic Graphics/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Calla lilies grow from bulbs. Those planted in the ground flower in summer, after which the bulbs may be dug up and replanted the following year. Container plants may be maintained indoors year round. Calla lilies wilt for two reasons—one more serious than the other.


Calla lilies are susceptible to tomato spotted wilt virus, which causes leaf wilt. Lilies also wilt when they need to rest; wilting may mean they require a period of dormancy.


If a calla lily's leaves turn yellow and wilt or curl, the plant needs dormancy. White or brown spots and streaks on the leaves indicate the presence of tomato spotted wilt virus.


Colorado State University Extension recommends discarding calla lilies infected with tomato spotted wilt virus. If your plant needs a rest period, reduce watering for six weeks to allow it to rest, allowing the soil to dry. When watering resumes, the calla lily should again grow normally.

Alternatives To Calla Lilies

In bouquets, replace calla lilies with long, elegant flowers. Solid-colored flowers make creating a theme with floral decorations simple and elegant. A white mariposa lily (Calochortus supurbus), for example, is one option for gardeners interested in creating calla lilylike bouquets. They grow quickly, work in most climates and come in a variety of colors and flower shapes. If you're looking to add a little flair to your garden, swap your solid calla lilies for multicolored flowers. It's native to California's Sierra Mountain range. The blooms have the bright tiger lily pattern of orange, red, yellow and brown. Choose them to mimic the exact look of calla lilies with a different plant. can be grown as a shrub and has hanging trumpet-shaped flowers. Be aware that it is poisonous, though.

Garden Guides