Tips on maintaining a peace lily

peacelovinglilyMarch 8, 2009

1. FLOWERING: Hi, I bought a beautiful peace lily around 2 months ago, and it bloomed! Most of the flowers however, are now quite dead / about to die. I've heard that you're supposed to 'cut off' dead flowers, but HOW do you do this? Do you just cut off the head? The whole stem? How far down do you cut, do you cut diagonally, etc? On that note, how would you do the same for dead leaves, which my plant is beginning to get more and more of?

2. FERTILISING: I've also heard that people have trouble getting their lillies to bloom again, after their initial flowering. When I asked my plant salesperson, he recommended plenty of sun and a capful of fertiliser every month. I'm a little worried, as a) I thought peace lillies don't like lots of sun, and b) I've seen a few threads on NOT using fertiliser on peace lillies because it burns them - could someone please advise me on this?

Sorry for all the questions! Thanks!

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Cut off the whole stem down at it's base. Use fertilizer at 1/4 the recommend rate on the package every 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 11:48AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't think one even needs to cut the faded flower stems, I think one give a gentle tug at the base of the stem & remove the entire thing.

As to light, I believe it's bright light that's preferred, definately not direct sun.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 11:55AM
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I have a really similar situation to the original post except mine came with the flowers already out. The main flower died and some of the leaves had tips which turned black.

Maybe it is me, but I don't think Peace Lily's are very easy plants. They do require a decent amount of light so keeping them away from windows is probably not optimal. Mine also doesn't like to dry out as much as my other plants do but that is just something I've learned by watching whether it droops or not.

Fertilizing I am not really sure about. I know I answered questions which weren't asked. Best of luck with getting it to reflower. I will be using 1/4 recommended fertilizer though, so I did learn something.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I tried removing the dead flowers by gently tugging the stem, but it remained stubbornly attached, so I ended up cutting it it's ok if there's like a little broken-off stem poking out of the leaf stalk?

Also, when fertilizing, would you water exactly the same way, or should you direct the water near the middle so it spreads, etc or is that too concentrated? Again, I'm worried about the 'burned roots' aspect. Though I will definitely be watering with diluted amounts, as recommended.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 6:46PM
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If you leave the flowers long enough, eventually you will be able to pull them off. I don't think its going to mattter if you have cut it off near the base though.

I've never had issues getting them to rebloom. I fertilise mine sparingly, perhaps 1/4 strength every 4th or 5th water. This is just due to convenience, I've fertilised it two waters in a row before and never had problems with burning. Just water (when fertilising) as you normally would, soak the whole rootball.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:11PM
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jefe12234(4a MN)

The leftover stem will eventually dry up and then you'll be able to pull it out. And when watering you should wet the entire soil mass and continue until a substantial amount of water runs out the bottom of the pot. This should be done every time you water with or without fertilizer. It will wash out any accumulating salts from tap water and/or fertilizer.

Also, I'm not sure if you're talking about regular fertilizer or time release. Regular fertilizer should be mixed into water at a certain concentration and then watered into the soil. Time release fertilizer should be mixed into the soil when repotting or mixed into an established plant's soil as deeply as possible without disturbing the roots.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:12PM
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Wow, quick replies, thanks!

Ok, I will attempt to let the flowers die a bit more before trying to pull them off again :)

jefe12234, I'm talking about regular fertilizer; stuff the salesperson and bottle recommends a full cap of every month. So far, I've been reading (and been told) to only do it every 2-3 months and at a much more diluted rate, hence the confusion.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 8:25PM
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peaceloving, if you do a Peace Lily search on this Forum, you will find a wealth of information to consider and learn from. My own sick, rotting Peace Lily was SAVED by the advise of "hopefulauthor" and "maidinmontana" on the post titled "Peach Lily all leaves-very tall" started on Feb. 17, but you will pick up valuable bits and pieces from everyone.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2009 at 2:58PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

Thanks for the pat on the back patann, it has been an ongoing learning lesson for me w/my PL, but now it is a realy beauty and if the info I learned here or on my own can help others, all the better.

Peaceloving, one thing I did learn is to really watch for signs of lack of water. If the leaves droop even slightly it needs a drink. A few times isn't going to kill your plant, but if you wait until it is totally wilted everytime before watering, it will eventually never recover and die a slow death.

After tring different things I finally resorted back to my original habits. Watering/soaking it every time I water it. I use a 3 gallon bucket and dump 3 buckets on it, let it drain completely before putting back in front of a west facing window where it gets full/direct sunlight. I veered away from this for awhile, (indirect light,smaller amounts of water) and I was constantly fighting droopy leaves and black dying leaves. Since I went back to this method it is much happier and flowers 4-5 time a year. I leave the flowers alone until they are dried up, then snip em off (or not) I'm not too dilegent on this, it doesn't seem to matter one way or the other.

Heres two pics the first one was during the trial period, the second more recent and much happier plant.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 11:04AM
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What a beautiful big lily maidinmontana! I bought one recently too, and I wouldn't know where to put it if it got that big!

I've been watering mine every 4 days, so maybe it hasn't had a chance to 'droop'. I'm not sure what a 'drooping' lily would look like! Is your lily 'drooping' in that first picture? Does anyone have pictures of a 'drooping' lily so I will know what to look out for?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 8:13PM
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I'm impressed you can water your lily every 4 days flamingogirl! I only water mine once a week and it turns yellow with a vengeance if I water it even half a day droops with a vengeance too, if I underwater it. Actually, it doesn't even droop, it just full on flops pitifully, until I give it a drink. Little drama queen (I've decided it's female, that's how moody it is!):)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:11AM
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I have a (had a luscious)peace lily pot at home. Stupid me fertilized it with a capful of Miracle Gro and within 4 days 80% of the plant turned yellow n drooped. I tried to flush the old soil and used new potting soil. Can anybody tell me survival chances of my peace lily.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2009 at 3:08PM
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Hmm...I'm not an expert in fertilizing or peace lillies, but it sounds like you gave your lily too MUCH fertilizer? I tend to fertilize (when I do it, which isn't often)with a quarter, rather than a full cap, and it doesn't seem to have harmed my lily any (in fact, it bloomed - don't know if that was because it was already in the process of blooming, or because of the fertilizer). Hope that helps.

I'm still awaiting pics of a drooping peace lily, if anyone has any...:)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 11:32PM
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My husband bought me a Peace lily all beautiful and bloomed about month ago. Now, it looks like this. What, am i doing wrong? Am I killing it? Seems like it is just getting smaller and smaller and dying. =(

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:00PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There isn't enough information provided to make an informed guess at what's going on, but if you go only with the odds, it's most likely to be over-watering that's the issue. Other possibilities are over-fertilizing if you've fertilized, or even a light issue if the light in your home is considerably dimmer than it was in it's previous location.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 10:57PM
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All the advise has been very good. You should cut off faded flowers and leaves. If you don't they continue to draw "energy" from the plant. So it makes it much healthier. When the small bit of flower stems left turn brown, you can pull them out. I recommend using a fertilizer you mix with water (miracle grow), mix at half strength and fertilize your peace lily every other month. They are actually very easy to maintain. Water when top inch of soil is dry and if you forget, the plant will remind you by drooping. I usually mist mine when I water. Also, wash the leaves with a soft damp cloth a couple of months, this keeps them not only looking better, but healthier. I would add pictures of mine, but I am new and cannot figure out how to add the pics. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 1:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Rhonda, the pics you want to share need to reside somewhere else on the internet (a photo hosting/sharing site) and are linked to show on the page with HTML code in the message body, like this (change the ()'s to 's):
(IMG SRC="";)

Or, if the photo-sharing site does not allow that format, you can use a link like this (change the ()'s to 's):
(A HREF="";) name your link (/A)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 5:40PM
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Hello all, I too had a beautiful blooming peace lily until about a month ago, it was bigger than the one pictured on this page, now all of the leaves are droopin and turning yellow day by day and the tips are brown, I am not happy about this, this is my second large houseplant in 6 months. I had a chinese evergreen and that one slowly perished, I have been reading the posts, and it seems tht I havent been watering it enough. it is sad, I am thinking about repotting it, I will try to post a pic of it tomorrow,this was the first time I heard of seperating it, It may be a few years old, may not be old enough.. I have added some fertilizer recently, just a few drops, I was misting it then the leaves started looking too moist.. any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:18PM
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