Peace Lilies were delivered to me like this, Need Help!

dapendaAugust 5, 2014

I bought 2 peace lilies from Hirt's Garden and they arrived with leaves already yellow, brown and black with holes in them. The flower on one of them is yellow. I'm not quite sure how to save these plants from dying!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I know you expected the plants to be pristine when they arrived, and the fact they're not has you dismayed, but the health of the plant isn't necessarily always reflected in the appearance of the foliage, and the plants aren't ready to give up the ghost. Plants shed leaves through natural senescence, and it's not unusual for plants to incur some mechanical damage in transit.

You can remove any damaged foliage at once, which will significantly improve the plant's eye appeal, or you could simply cut ALL of the leaves off just above the crown and keep the soil damp, not wet, and in bright light but not direct sun. The plant will quickly produce a new flush of growth with leaves adapted to maximize its ability to utilize the light it gets where you've sited the plant. Neither of the choices outlined pose any threat to the plant's viability. The worst part is the test of your patience, but then patience is one of the things we can learn from plants. ;-)


This post was edited by tapla on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 16:08

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:27PM
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They will be fine. Agreeing with Al. Cut off the bad leaves and care as normal.

A Peace lily was the plant that was the most amazing of all the sad plants I have saved. I found one abandoned when working in a vacant home. It had been left on the outdoor step in full sun, not watered for who knows how long. No life showing at all. As I went to toss it, I knocked all the potting soil off into the garden to recycle, rather that go to the land fill. I noticed the roots were still life like. So tossed it in a bag and in my van just out of curiosity. Popped it in some potting soil and watered, and in a week it was putting up many new leaves. It went on to be a beautiful plant.

The fault here in not necessarily the sellers. This looks more like it got left on a loading dock somewhere or in a hot truck, a situation that most packages do fine in. Otherwise there's always paying more for over night delivery.

In the future I recommend not ordering thru the mail in the heat of summer. I check where the seller is located and the weather the the plant will be possibly be exposed to on its trip to me if it's an item vulnerable to extreme temperatures.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:49PM
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Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are readily available just about everywhere from grocery stores to the Big Boxes to florists and to garden centers...

They're one of the most resilient and forgiving houseplants I can think of. Cut the dead flowers and yellow leaves off, as suggested, and they shouldn't miss a beat. The pots look pretty small, peace lilies can expand pretty fast and will need a potting up at some not too distant future point.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:30PM
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I've brought one back from the brink of death myself (clearance plant). You wouldn't believe the before and after. 'Peace Lilies' can burn with too much heat or light, so getting one in the mail this time of year isn't advisable (agreeing with the poster above).

They may look a little raggedy at first while they fill in, but this time next year, you won't know they were the same plants!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:45AM
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. The peace lily looks much healthier after I chopped off most of the yellow, brown and leaves with holes in them.

I have a question: Can I cut just the leaves off or do I have to cut the stems all the way to the crown to ever see leaves grow from them again?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 1:27PM
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A 'Peace Lily' grows from inside to out, in that the new leaves will form in the middle of the "crown" and as the leaves get older, they move to one side a little and a new leaf forms (I'm not good with plant nomenclature here, so I hope this makes sense).

Usually there's multiple plants in one pot. New babies form from the base of the plant, and you'll see some emerge from the soil line periodically. An indication of how many plants are in a pot is that for example, you have nine blooms at one time, there's at least nine plants in the pot (could be some that aren't blooming, so there's always the possibility there's more in the pot). Each "plant" produces one bloom at a time.

I'm of the preference that I cut as close as possible to the bottom of the stem and once it turns brown and dries up completely, I pull it off; they're a bit harder to remove while still green or even yellow. You may of had some that you cut back that are in between leaf stalks; those are difficult to remove without damaging the plant. I'd wait for those to completely die and you should be able to "pop" them out once they've dried up completely.

I hope you find this information useful. Be sure to keep it away from strong light (bright indirect is best, morning sun is the only sunlight I'd advise). If you're going to leave it outside, again, morning sun only. Update us down the road when you feel like they've made some progress. I'm a sucker for 'Peace Lilies' and I like seeing others. :D


    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:18PM
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