HELP! My Peace Lilly is hurting

sdebacaJune 3, 2007

Hi everyone! I'm new here. I really just found this place in search of help with my peace lily.

My pastor's wife got this peace lily as a gift but had a terrible time remembering to water it so she gave it to me. It was wilted so I gave it some water and it perked up but the next day it was wilted again. The soil was a little dry so since I was feeding my other plants, I decided to give it some miracle gro food, too. Well that all but keeled it right over. The poor thing wilted so I thought, maybe I waited a few days and it still didn't get any better so I kept it inside and a few days later repotted it thinking it was just too big for the little 6" pot it was in. Over the next couple of weeks, it has not recovered at all. Matter of fact, even the new growth that is coming up, seems to be wilted as it comes up. All the leaves are wilted and one by one are turning yellow. The roots looked great when I repotted it so I know it doesn't have root rot. But I also noticed that the soil isn't getting dry at all. It's still moist to the touch and I haven't watered it in almost a week.


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Hi Sdebaca, and Welcome
What size pot was PL in, and what size did you repot in? When repotting a plant, it should be placed in 1-2 sizes larger than previous pot.
Sounds like soil is way to heavy..that's why it isn't drying out.
Do you have other mediums at home? Like Perlite, builder's sand?
It's not a good idea to fertilize an unhealthy plant..
If it were my plant this is what I'd do..Other than using regular potting soil, I'd purchase a bag of Perlite.
Remove plant from pot..check size of rootball..if there's more than 1-2" gap between roots and pot, you should decrease pot size. Add a little fresh, dry soil on bottom, set plant back in pot, then fill in container with new soil..
When you ferilized, did you use the correct amount? By chance if you added too much fertilizer, before placing plant in pot, flush soil. (run hose over rootball, ridding excess fertilizer) After plant is potted, give a hearty drink. Place plant in a minimum of medium sunlight..though they say PL's thrive in shade, I disagree..they like sun..It doesn't need direct south or west, (espeically in summer) but bright..Clip off yellow or brown leaves closest to base line. If you have Superthrive, when giving a drink, add 5-10 drops per gallon of water..Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 6:02PM
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Measuring the top rim of the two pots, I took it from an 8" to a 12". But the depth of the 8" from the top to the bottom, is 6 1/2 " and the depth of the 12" is 11". I don't know that it needed to be repoted. I just assumed it did because it was wilting every other day after watering it. (i.e. I'd water on T, it'd wilt by Th.) Also, the soil and fertilizer I used, were both miracle grow (hey, the more fertilized/healthy the soil is, the more healthy the plant, right???) Do you think there was too much fertilizer between the two? Cause I followed the directions for the miracle grow fertilizer and the miracle grow soil had fertilizer in it. I'll flush the roots regardless cause I don't know if I gave it too much fertilizer between the two and a good flushing won't hurt it, right?

Do you think I should put it back into the 8"? What exactly is Perlite and building sand and what would I use it for? Also, when you say dry soil, do you mean fresh miracle grow soil? Or the dirt I get outta my back yard.

I clipped most of the older leaves off anyway, and I'm thinking I'm gonna have to start from scratch with it (new growth, etc.)

Thanks for your advise. Please advise on the above.

I appreciate it so much.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 8:10PM
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Toni gave you some excellent advice!I think she has one that's also as old as mine.16-17 yrs right Toni?

Most plants like to be snug in their pots with an inch to spare between the root-ball and inside of the pot, that way, it's not over-potted with unused excess soil that can stay too wet, or not get enough water to all the roots causing many problems.

If your plant was in a 6" (what you said in first post) or an 8" pot, moving it to a 12" pot is way too big. Go up just one size larger and only when you absolutely need to, like if the pot is (root-bound) Pot being more full of roots than soil and can no longer hold water, instead, water runs straight through and plant wilts again in matter of just a couple days.

If your peace lily will fit back into the 6" or 8" which ever has an inch to spare, I'd move it back and get rid of any of extra soil and add a handful or so of Perlite (siliceous volcanic rock) so there is an almost even distribution.

Don't feed! Plants that are not doing well should NOT be fertilized at all, only healthy growing ones will benefit and even then it should be used sparingly and half or less strength of what the directions say.

A bag of "Perlite" can be found at places like Walmart, Lowe's, or Home Depot, most places that sell bagged houseplant soil. It helps with drainage because many bag soils are heavy and can smother the roots. Perlite will make it more airy.

Peace lilies like semi moist soil, so when the top inch starts to feel "almost" dry, it's time to water. Water it thoroughly all around the top of the soil until it comes out the bottom. Spill out any excess in the saucer afterwords so the pots not sitting in water keeping the soil soggy wet for a week.

Keep it indoors if you were putting it outside before. Give it bright 'indirect" light and/or dapple sun but not direct hot afternoon sun or the leaves will wilt and burn. You can also grow this plant in just plain water.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   June 3, 2007 at 11:23PM
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Thanks guys. I'll try it and keep you posted.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 8:09PM
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