Is this a problem (peace lily)

black-thumbMay 6, 2007

I have two big beautiful peace lilies that seem to be happy. Constantly producing flowers and new leaves. I have noticed that some of the older leaves are getting holes and breaking up. I was just wondering if this is normal and that they aren't starting to go south or have some kind of sickness.

Pics below. Thanks




They are also producing some different shaped leaves. Sort of like a figure eight.


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That is weird! The leaves look like they were scratched by a big tiger or something with those nail marks and chewed area's! Do you have any pets greenthumb?
My Great Dane's tail (like a whip) did some extensive damage to a 4 ft Sansevieria shredding some of the leaves so bad I had to take them out and move the plant.

I'd ck for pest just to be sure because of the "figure eight" leaf.
It won't hurt the plants to take off all the damaged leaves along with their stems so they at least look better.The plants otherwise look pretty healthy despite the damage.

I hope you can find out what's causeing it!

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 10:43AM
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I also wonder if your plant suffered some sort of trauma when the leaf was young to produce that figure 8 leaf. Maybe the plant dried out at some point?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 11:39AM
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Nope no pets or pest in the house to cause it. I was thinking. Maybe this is because I wiped them down with a wet cloth and maybe without realizing it cracked the leaves a little and over time now it is spreading? I don't let it dry out. I thought a weird shape leaf might mean a problem.

I looked close and two other new leaves are coming out scrunched in that figure eight shape. Most are normal. Are two many leaves coming out too soon? I have a lot of new ones.

I usually keep them at my front door that has a hallway, I walk past it and usually end up hitting one of the leaves all the time. I don't do that with all of them though.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 12:51PM
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BlackThumb, I too thought of pests which usually misshapes leaves when they're present..
Otherwise, except for those few leaves your PL is green..
Every so often I'll notice a different shaped leaf on one of my plants..I truly think it just happens at times..and there aren't any pests on these leaves either...but mites are good for misshaping foliage..and other bugs.
Are the two new leaves that are growing in misshaped on the same branch as the one that looks like an 8? Toni

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:18PM
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No they aren't on the same branch. I have it on both plants but they aren't on the same branch in either. How do I know if it has bugs or mites?

Could I have caused the deterioration on those leaves when I was cleaning them? I try to be careful and gentle but every once in a while I hear a snap.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:38PM
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BT, not on the same branch? How do you know if your plant has insects? Well, it depends on the bug..Mites are the most common. They're tiny, some people can't see them..Spider mites make fine webbing, finer than that of the common spider..So, you'd see webbs in between stems. One way to check is by using a white sheet of paper, tap different leaves. If you see speckles on the sheet of paper you have mites. They're different colored like red, brown, and even green..Depending on your eyesight, you may need a magnifying glass..
Mealy is much easier to see..they look like white, cottony clumps..Scale, resemble semi-round lumps. As they age, they're much easier to spot..they find a home on a plant then sit there..There are many other insects, but those I mentioned are the 3 most common.
Usually when a plant devolopes bugs, leaf color fades. They turn a yellow mottled. Also, in many cases the leaves feel sticky.
I've been fortunate w/my PL's, never had bugs, but I think mealy would be the most common. I'm not 100% certain, but considering how leaves form, that's my opinion.
I doubt by your cleaning you caused the deterioration..Now if you heard a snap, and split foliage, this could have caused leaves to turn brown in center. Since green PL's are soft/thin, you have to be especially careful when cleaning leaves w/a rag. They break fairly easy. Don't feel you are to blame. Toni

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 3:17PM
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Black-Thumb, I have two peace lillies that look exactly like yours. I call them husband and wife cause they are the same plant and i try to keep them together. But the one i got from Home depot is the one with the funky leaves.

I wondered why they looked a little wierd but i just dealt with it and figured that since they bloomed they must be healthy. They are almost always in bloom. I think this fall i will give them a hibernation.

Im wondering if this could be the result of rushed, generic lab work in an attempt at mass production.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 10:42PM
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This could all just be something benign. Maybe the growth rate of the leaves was altered for some reason (spring, sun, water, fertilizer) or the leaf was caught as it was growing upward and trying to unfold. I've had similar things happen to a pothos of mine. The one leaf took forever to unfold and it looks healthy except that it is not as symmetrical as the other leaves and the tip looks stunted. Other than that the plant is fine and it has since produced leaves from that same stem that were free from any problems.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 10:53PM
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The plants do seem happy enough. I don't see any evidence of spider mites webs or sticky leaves. I thought maybe it might be that they are producing so many leaves so often. I've got so many new ones and still more new ones are sprouting out. The flowers are almost a constant. As soon as one set turns brown new ones are springing forth. I guess I won't worry too much about it other leaves from the same branch look fine. The odd shaped ones are kinda unique and cute.

I do kinda feel like I am to blame for the leaves that looked shredded. I tried to be careful but every so often I would hear a snap. :( I'll have to be extra extra careful.

How do you hibernate them?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 12:34PM
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amany(MI / 6)

BT, you're Peace Lilies are gorgeous. Don't blame yourself for the leaves. Sometimes I think they just have defects. And sometimes you just may snap one. But I don't think you should beat yourself up over it. It happens. Soon enough, another pretty one will grow in. :-)

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than I will come along, but I think you hibernate a PL by allowing it to become dry for 6 or 8 weeks. You only water enough to keep it from dying. I've read that some people do it to allow the PL a rest after it's done a lot of blooming.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:03PM
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Amanda, that sounds more like something you would do for a Christmas cactus. Oh, those people's poor peace lilies, lol.
Peace lilies need to have semi moist soil at all times, even in the fall and winter months. Letting them dry out at all would be certain death.

In winter, many plants slow their growth, or stop growing all together, so in mid to late fall, stop feeding them until spring rolls around again, then feed lightly.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 3:01PM
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Thanks for the compliments on the lilies! Feed em? Oops. I don't feed them anything just water. What am I suppose to be feeding them? Sometimes I feel so lack of brain. :(

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 10:11AM
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BT, I feed my PL's all purpose plant food, or foliage fertilizer..same thing, different names..They don't require flowering come naturally.
Once a month during growing season works best for me, though some people may feed less, some more..Since yours is putting out new foliage, right before your eyes, I'd give them a boost of food..Toni

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 2:23PM
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Thanks I'll take a trip to Home Depot.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 1:00PM
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nanw_4wi(4/SW WI)

It does look like simple physical leaf damage...either from your cleaning or from being brushed/bumped up against at one time or another.
About the funky leaf....I bought a big Spath *simply because* it had several leaves like this....I thought it was a cool mutation. (I like the unusual.)

Since I brought it home nearly a year ago, it still puts out a deformed leaf or two occasionally, and it, too, is otherwise healthy.

Most of the cool newer Spathiphyllums on the market result from mutations of existing Spaths. (I think!)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 4:13PM
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I don't mind the wierd leaf either. I think its kinda unique. I just wanted to be sure it wasn't a sign of trouble. I really love my peace lilies!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:28PM
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I agree with Nan that it's more likely physical damage and I definitely see oddball leafs on a lot of my plants at time. Your PL's look well cared for and very happy and if they were mine, I wouldn't worry about them at all.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:26PM
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I've decided to not worry anymore about the plants. They seem to be doing fine otherwise. I'll go back to my reguarly scheduled enjoyment.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 9:34AM
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i was running into the leaves of my PL all the time and causing damage to them... they looked very similar to the pictures above. i just moved it to a different spot because i knew it had outgrown the space it was in and that i was damaging it. it's outside on my deck now, with new growth and healthier looking leaves.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:40AM
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I'm glad yours is doing well now too.

I'm more careful with them now. I don't want to ruin them. They are so full and pretty. I can't wait for the new leaves to grow big like the old ones.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 12:12PM
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