The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a beautiful and delicate plant that can be quite finicky. It is known to experience a variety of issues, from drooping and wilting to yellow leaves and brown leaf tips. Even the flowers of the peace lily can turn green or die suddenly. However, with the right care and attention, these problems can be easily solved.
This article will provide a comprehensive list of the most common issues that a peace lily may face, along with practical solutions to help bring the plant back to good health. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a beginner, this guide will equip you with the knowledge you need to keep your peace lily thriving.
1. Peace Lily Droops or Wilts
Your Peace Lily is Under-watered
If a peace lily’s leaves droop or wilt, it may be due to under-watering. Peace lilies are not shy about expressing their thirst, so it’s important to keep them hydrated. To revive an under-watered peace lily, water it thoroughly and let the excess water drain out. Place the entire pot in a basin of clean water for about an hour, and let the soil soak up the water through the drainage holes. In the future, water the peace lily before it starts to wilt, but avoid over-watering.
Your Peace Lily is Over-watered
Over-watering can also cause a peace lily to droop or wilt. If the plant is still drooping after each watering, it may have too much water. Overwatered plants typically have soil that’s constantly wet and may develop yellow leaves. Fungus gnats may also appear in the soil. If caught early, letting the plant dry out before watering again should help. In the future, water the peace lily only when the top inch of soil is dry.
Your Peace Lily Needs More Light
Peace lilies thrive in low-light conditions, but they still require some light to photosynthesize and produce food. If a peace lily’s leaves are drooping and the plant is not getting enough light, move it to an area with more natural light. While bright indirect light is best for growth, any spot with enough light to cast a shadow will do.
2. Peace Lily Plant Has Yellow Leaves
Your Peace Lily is Overwatered
Frequent watering is the leading cause of yellow leaves in peace lilies. It is not necessary to water the plant every day. If there are one or two yellow leaves, it is advisable to let the plant dry out. However, if the peace lily consistently droops and has multiple yellow leaves, it may have root rot. Check the roots for damage. If the roots are brown, black, or orange, they should be treated. Cut off the damaged roots and repot the plant in fresh soil and a clean pot. An effective anti-fungal agent, cinnamon powder, can be used to dust the plant before potting up.
The Leaves are Aging Naturally
Yellowing of the leaves is a natural part of the aging process in Spathiphyllum leaves. As the leaves age, they become crisp, lose color, and dry from the tip of the leaves inwards, eventually turning yellow and brown. If the rest of the plant’s leaves are healthy, there is no need to worry. Cut off the yellow leaves by snipping the stem an inch or two above the soil and discard.
3. Peace Lily Has Brown Leaf Tips
Your Peace Lily Needs More Humidity
Peace lilies are tropical plants that require a humidity level of at least 50%. When the air is too dry, the leaves tend to dry out, resulting in brown tips and crispy edges. To increase the humidity around the plant, it can be grouped with other plants that love humidity. Alternatively, placing the plant on a tray filled with river stones and water can create a small area of gentle humidity around it. Another option is to use an electric humidifier.
Your Peace Lily Requires Reliable Watering
Erratic soil moisture can affect the growth of peace lilies, and it is often first noticed through slow growth. Brown tips and edges can also appear when the plant is water-stressed. To prevent this, the peace lily should be watered regularly, and dramatic wilting should be avoided as it can cause irreversible damage to the plant.
Peace Lily Has Too Much Fertilizer
Peace lilies are light feeders, and over-fertilizing can damage them. When peace lilies are over-fertilized, the excess fertilizer collects in the soil and causes brown tip problems in the leaves, which can appear almost burned. To correct this problem, the soil should be flushed with lots of clean water. The plant can be placed under a tap or hose, and the pot should be filled until water flows freely from the bottom. The water should be left to settle for five to ten minutes to dissolve any remaining salts, and the process should be repeated. It is recommended to fertilize peace lilies in the spring and summer, maybe once every other month, using a half-strength dose of liquid fertilizer.
4. Brown Leaves on Peace Lilies
Peace lilies are known for their lush green leaves, but when they start turning brown, it can be a cause for concern. There are several reasons why peace lily leaves may turn brown, including overwatering, underwatering, too much light, and natural aging.
Your Peace Lily is Overwatered
Overwatering is a common cause of brown leaves on peace lilies. When the plant is overwatered, the roots become waterlogged and can’t absorb oxygen, leading to root rot. As a result, the leaves may start turning yellow and then brown. To save an overwatered peace lily, check the roots for rot and repot the plant in fresh soil. Remove any dying leaves and damaged roots. If the damage is severe, it may be difficult for the plant to recover.
Your Peace Lily is Watered Infrequently
On the other hand, if a peace lily is not watered enough, the leaves may also turn brown. If the soil is dry and the plant is drooping between each watering, it’s a sign that it needs more water. Be sure to keep the soil well hydrated, but don’t overcompensate by giving it too much water at once.
The Peace Lily has Too Much Light
If a peace lily is exposed to too much direct sunlight, it can cause the leaves to turn brown and even become bleached. Sunburn usually occurs on the side of the plant that faces the light. To prevent this from happening, move the plant away from direct sunlight and place it in an area with bright but indirect light.
The Leaves are Aging Naturally
Finally, it’s important to note that peace lily leaves have a finite lifespan and will naturally turn brown as they age. If the plant is producing new leaves and doesn’t have any other issues, it’s safe to discard the brown leaves and move on.
In summary, brown leaves on peace lilies can be caused by overwatering, underwatering, too much light, or natural aging. By identifying the cause of the problem and taking appropriate action, it’s possible to restore the plant’s health and prevent further damage.
5. Peace Lily Leaves Turning Black
Your Peace Lily is Damaged
Blackened leaves on a peace lily can be a result of frost damage, heat damage, or physical impact. Frost damage can occur when the plant comes into contact with cold window panes. Heat damage can happen when a leaf is in contact with a radiator or heater. Physical impact, such as crushing or twisting a leaf, can also cause blackening.
Once a leaf turns black, it cannot be saved and must be removed. Therefore, prevention is key. To prevent frost damage, keep the peace lily away from cold window panes. Avoid placing the plant near fireplaces, radiators, or heaters to prevent heat damage.
If a leaf is physically damaged, remove it as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the plant. It is important to handle the plant gently to avoid causing further damage.
6. Green Flowers on Peace Lily
The Flowers are Aging Gracefully
The peace lily is a unique plant with a fascinating structure. The heart of the lily is a cluster of flowers called a spadix, which is surrounded by a special leaf called a spathe. As the spathe ages, it is not uncommon for a little green to appear on the white petal. This is a natural process and nothing to worry about. However, if the green hue is not appealing, it can be easily removed by cutting it off at the base with clean scissors.
Your Peace Lily Needs More Light
If the peace lily has lots of flowers but not enough light, the white spathes will turn green. This is because the plant remembers being a leaf and turns green to produce more energy. To prevent this, the peace lily should be moved to an area with brighter light. However, direct sunlight should be avoided as it can cause the leaves to burn and turn brown. Providing the right amount of light will help the peace lily maintain its beautiful white flowers.
7. Peace Lily Flowers Dying
The Flowers are Old
Peace lily flowers have a limited lifespan, even though they are tougher than most flowers. When the flowers start to wilt and die, it is a natural process, and there is nothing to worry about if the rest of the plant looks healthy. Just cut off the dying flower and discard it.
Your Care Needs Improving
If the peace lily flowers start to develop and then die before they bloom, it is a sign that there are inconsistencies in the plant’s care. The most common reasons for this are issues with water or light. The plant may not be receiving enough light or water, which is enough to interfere with blooms, but not enough to stop the rest of the plant from growing.
To ensure that the peace lily flowers bloom consistently, it is important to maintain consistent levels of light, humidity, and soil moisture. Check the plant’s water level regularly and ensure that it is getting enough light. If necessary, move the plant to a brighter location or adjust the lighting. Additionally, maintaining a consistent level of humidity and soil moisture can help ensure that the peace lily flowers bloom beautifully.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Fix Curling Leaves on a Peace Lily?
Curling leaves on a peace lily can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, underwatering, or exposure to direct sunlight. To fix curling leaves, one should first identify the cause. If overwatering is the cause, reduce the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is well-draining. If underwatering is the cause, increase the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. If exposure to direct sunlight is the cause, move the plant to a location with indirect sunlight.
What is the Best Way to Treat Fungus on a Peace Lily?
Fungus on a peace lily can be treated by using a fungicide. One can also remove the affected leaves and improve the air circulation around the plant. To prevent the recurrence of fungus, avoid overwatering and make sure the soil is well-draining.
How Can I Prevent Brown Spots on My Peace Lily Leaves?
Brown spots on peace lily leaves can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, underwatering, or exposure to direct sunlight. To prevent brown spots, one should make sure the soil is well-draining and the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight. Additionally, one should avoid getting water on the leaves and wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.
What Should I Do if My Peace Lily Leaves are Drooping?
Drooping leaves on a peace lily can be caused by various factors, including overwatering, underwatering, or exposure to direct sunlight. To fix drooping leaves, one should first identify the cause. If overwatering is the cause, reduce the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is well-draining. If underwatering is the cause, increase the frequency of watering and make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. If exposure to direct sunlight is the cause, move the plant to a location with indirect sunlight.
What Type of Fertilizer is Best for Peace Lilies?
Peace lilies prefer a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. One can use a slow-release granular fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Fertilize the plant every 2-3 months during the growing season.
Why Isn’t My Peace Lily Flowering?
Peace lilies may not flower if they are not getting enough light or if they are overfertilized. To encourage flowering, one should make sure the plant is getting enough indirect sunlight and avoid overfertilizing. Additionally, one can try reducing the size of the pot or dividing the plant to promote new growth.
Caring for a peace lily can be a rewarding experience once you understand how to keep it healthy. Even a healthy peace lily may experience occasional issues such as brown leaves or drooping after watering. It is important to identify whether these issues are common and easy to correct or if they require more serious attention. With proper care, a peace lily can thrive for years, producing crisp flowers and elegant leaves.