The Q&A Archives: Calla lily

Question: I planted Calla lilies early last year. They flourished and produced numerous blooms from last fall to early June this year. However, shortly after an herbicide was sprayed close to the lilies, the leaves turned yellow and the plants still have not recovered, even after over 3 months. Most of the leaves have fallen off, and growth is severely stunted. New leaves turn yellow almost instantly. Any suggestions?

Answer: Most herbicides contain chemical growth inhibitors and cause the interruption of mineral and water uptake in plants. Sounds as though your calla's were exposed to enough herbicide to seriously affect them. You may have to replace the plants. But before you give up completely on them, try nursing them through the season. Fall rains may help leach the herbicide residue from the soil, or it may biodegrade on its own. The plants may not be permanently injured. If growth is poor next spring, replace the plants.

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