Peace Lily Problem

cuttyswifeApril 14, 2010

I have 2 Peace Lilys from my dads funeral on 3/25/10. When I was watering them I noticed "worm" looking things in the soil the plants came in. They almost look like mini catapillers. I sprayed an organic soap in the soil & it didnt kill them so I tried using Fungicide. What should I do? I dont want them to die but I have a "black thumb" when it comes to house plants. Also the leaves on them are starting to turn down & tips look curled. HELP me save my Peace Lilys PLEASE

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greattigerdane(z5NY)

So sorry to hear about your dad!

Instead of using any kind of chemicals, or soapy sprays, I probably would just re-pot, dumping the old buggy soil outdoors and getting new well draining soil back in the same pot. or at least the same size pot.
Or, you can put the whole pot down in a full bucket of water, (up past the rim) for like 15 minutes or more, the critters should float up to the top for air, then you can spill them out, replacing any lost soil if needed.

Peace lilies do well in bright light, avoid hot direct sun.
When the top inch of soil starts to feel almost dry (not dried out) give it a good drink, they like to be a little moist at all times. Avoid hot direct sun.
I water mine usually once a week.
Keep the roots a little on the snug side in the pot:O)

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 8:28PM
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linda_schreiber(z5/6 MI)

Perfect advice, Billy Rae!

Just another note for cuttyswife. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed on this right now and don't feel comfortable with dealing with this yourself, see if there is a **good** houseplant place or florist or even garden center in your area who might be able to help with the problem and the repotting. They will often do this kind of thing for just a few dollars.

If not, then try the 'drowning' method. You can leave the pot totally immersed in the bucket for an hour or three. The plant won't mind. The nematodes will.

If this doesn't work, and you need to repot, don't be afraid to take it outside, get the plant out of the pot, and just gently hose off all the soil from the roots. Clean out the pot, and plant it in new soil.

Good luck with the peace lilies.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:45PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You should know that Peace lilies can be a real challenge for people who have not had experience with houseplants. So don't get upset if you have problems, okay? Peace lilies are so easy to kill by over watering, yet they don't like to dry out, either.

If your plants are still in a lined basket or a foil wrap, be sure to remove it so that the water can drain easily from the plant. Sitting is water for extended periods of time is a real problem.

I agree....stop with the chemicals! You shouldn't be using something unless you know the identity of what the problem is.

Without seeing a picture, we can't tell you for certain what the critter might be, but many times this type of description leads to little millipedes. These are very common in the pots of houseplants that have not been stored under the best of conditions. Do these things coil themselves up when you poke at them? Are they long or short and what color are they?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 5:29AM
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cuttyswife

Thank you for the tips on my Peace Lilys. The wormy critters do indeed curl up when poked. I thought they were millipedes but theyre small short & color is like a grey/black. Im going to try setting pot in water & see if that works, if not Ill re pot it. They are both still in pots that florist delivered them in. Its in a black plastic pot w/a woven basket around it. I put a plastic draining tray under the baskets. If you think I should put them in different pots please let me know. Also thank you Billy Rae for your condolence.
Michelle

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:15PM
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ashley_plant_addict(Zone 8)

Oh! They sound like roly polys...I think thats what their called. I have those in my backyard but they don't seem to hurt my plants in the slightest. I'd just repot into a better bug free soil. :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:46AM
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sajt(4b)

I'm sorry to hear about your father. I've starting growing peace lilies in a vase with just plain water or hydroponically using a solid support. This webpage can help explain how to use a solid support as the growing medium:

http://waterroots.com/isthathydroponics.htm

Peace lilies seem to do particularly well when grown by hydroculture. This may depend on the size of the plants you have, as really large peace lilies can be difficult to wrangle out of the pot and into hydroton, but it may be an option to help get rid of the bugs.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 11:58AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yep, I agree with the pillbug/sowbug/rolypoly identification now that you've described it better. In large numbers, they can cause damage to containerized plants by munching on tender roots.

I'd simply repot them into a good quality potting mix with some extra perlite added in. Put them back into the same pot if there is room. You can use the basket for decoration and the plastic liner for protection, but do NOT let them sit in the water for days on end.

Water thoroughly after the soil dries out somewhat. You might simply take the plants to the sink for this. Let them drain before putting them back in the basket.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 12:54PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

Cuttywife,
I'm so sorry for your loss.

I have a huge one from my Grammas funeral 4 years ago.

I agree with the other posts, re pot into a bug free soil/pot.

They can be tricky when it comes to watering, too much they pout. . . not enough they pout. . . but generally if you are watering right every 5-7 days should be the norm.

When you water you should make sure to sluff the soil, meaning water well enough that the water runs thru the pot for several minutes. I use a 3 gallon bucket on mine and dump 3 buckets full letting it drain between buckets. Then let it drain thourghly before putting it back in it's spot. The roots will rot and kill the plant if they sit in water.

I give mine direct east sun. It did well with west sun as well (indoors). If you do take it outside to re -pot it, be sure to do it in the shade, the leaves burn easily, and bring it in as soon as you are done. I wouldn't do this outside if it were mine. They have been known to burn in the shade too.

Please do NOT fertilize it until it recovers from the distress it's in now. This will only add to the problem.

They can be a little difficult to get to know, but once you figure out the watering schedule/routine you should do OK.

Mine flowers constantly.

One more thing, don't let it wilt/droop in between waterings, it will recover but eventually it will kill the plant it it happens too much.

Hope this helps. . .

Maid~

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:42AM
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cuttyswife

I want to thank everyone for their advice on my peace lilys! Im getting eady to repot them now & I was wondering I bought 2 glass watering spheres that slowly drips moisture/wter into the soil as plant requires. Is this a good thing to use for the peace lilys? I dont want to over water them especially after repotting.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 1:26PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

since noone else has jumped in to answer your question, I'll give my opinion on them. . .

I personaly don't like them. I like to know how much water my plants are getting, so I prefer to water them myself.

Also, I think it's better for PL and most other plants, to flush them with water, everytime you water to prevent salts and other stuff from building up on the roots. If you are using a good draining potting mixture it's almost impossible to over-water. The only way to over water is to do it too often.

Hope this helps. . .

Maid~

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:22AM
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cuttyswife

I repotted peace lilys & the one that everyone told me to "throw in the towel" & "face it theres no recovering that one!" Well since Ive become "obsessed" w/ensuring their well being, (according to husband & close friend) couldnt believe that its perkin up & lookn pretty good! Still have a way to go but so far so good! Now the other issue was the "millipede" worm issue in the other. I did the repotting process & followed instructions to use a "safe" mixture of Pyrethrim, canolia oil & warm water, sprayed thourly after soil completely sprayed off roots. Now this one that was pretty big has drooped & there are some yellow leaves. What to do? Is this really bad??? You all have been so helpful in saving my PL from Dads funeral..I need you yet again!! Thank you for all the help

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 4:42PM
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cuttyswife

I repotted peace lilys & the one that everyone told me to "throw in the towel" & "face it theres no recovering that one!" Well since Ive become "obsessed" w/ensuring their well being, (according to husband & close friend) couldnt believe that its perkin up & lookn pretty good! Still have a way to go but so far so good! Now the other issue was the "millipede" worm issue in the other. I did the repotting process & followed instructions to use a "safe" mixture of Pyrethrim, canolia oil & warm water, sprayed thourly after soil completely sprayed off roots. Now this one that was pretty big has drooped & there are some yellow leaves. What to do? Is this really bad??? You all have been so helpful in saving my PL from Dads funeral..I need you yet again!! Thank you for all the help

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 4:46PM
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katsrevenge42(7)

I had some issues with limp leaves and was advised it was what I had them potted in. I'm currently trying a 50% bark, 20% chopped spag moss, 20% perelite/gravel and 10% potting soil mix to see how it goes for me.

Yellow leaves can mean over watering or just the leaf is being replaced by a new leaf.

I linked my thread as there was some good info there.

Here is a link that might be useful: my thread

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 6:32PM
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angelgod_sbcglobal_net

My plant is very full and I have a lot of stalks on my peace but lately the inside of the stalk turns dark brown or black aand the part that suppose to be turning white never do. It is as though the inside of the stalk, that's look a caterpillar dies. which is thes. The part of the stalk that is suppose to bebe turning white never do it stays green while ithe inside turns black as though it is burning or something. The plant is setting a good area. What's going wrong?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 4:41AM
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angelgod_sbcglobal_net

My plant is very full and I have a lot of stalks on my peace but lately the inside of the stalk turns dark brown or black aand the part that suppose to be turning white never do. It is as though the inside of the stalk, that's look a caterpillar dies. The part of the stalk that is suppose to be turning white never do it stays green while ithe inside turns black as though it is burning or something. The plant is setting in a good area. What's going wrong? The plant is setting a good place.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 5:00AM
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