What's wrong with my Peace Lily?

black-thumbDecember 29, 2006

My peace lilies seem to be dying. They all have brown tips on the leaves and some of the leaves are yellow. Some of the stems are yellow as well. I keep it out of direct sunlight but not in the shade. I water it when the leaves start to droop. I haven't repotted it since I had a big beautiful one about five years ago and repotted it and it almost really died off. I was left with just around six stems from a huge plant. It is just now this year starting to come back and grow new ones. So I don't want to repot my new ones that I have had for about six months. Could the pot be too small?

Heres are some pics, thanks!




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Your peace looks pretty healthy other than a few of the leaves.The brown tips and yellowing leaves can be caused by either over or under-watering, over feeding as well as low humidity and using hard-water.
Don't wait until the plant droops, that means the soil is getting too dry which can also cause roots to die back.

Peace lilies like "semi" moist soil, so when the top inch or so feels "close" to dry, that's when I'll water mine and remember to empty out any excess in the saucer so it's not sitting in water keeping the soil wet.

Although many plants like to be a little snug in their pots, it looks like yours could use the next size up, maybe that's why it dries out so fast. I'd give it another inch wider between the root-ball and the inside of the pot, but no more than that or you could see some rotted roots down the road.
I'd also wait till spring to do that, but when you do re-pot you might be able to just lift, or knock the whole root-ball out intact, then just lower the plant into the larger pot filling in around the sides with some good draining soil.
In the meantime, ck the plant during the week after watering, and make sure you water it enough so it comes out the drainage holes.

Bright indirect light is best and only feed diluted amounts in the spring and summer month and only now and then.
I have a feeling if you get the watering down, you see less brown tips and no yellowing.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 9:16PM
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I know that chlorine and other salts in tap water sometimes causes the tips of leaves to turn brown. Try watering it with rainwater or other non chlorinated water like well water. Maybe that will help!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:48AM
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Thanks! I think I may be overwatering when I do. I pour until its pooled around the bottom and I don't usually empty out the extra. I checked the bottom of the pot and I can see the roots and no dirt so I will replant them.

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 12:23PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

One of the most common reasons for failure of this particular plant is to let it sit in its own drainage water. Another reason for failure is overpotting (too big a pot for the root system which prefers to be somewhat bound); yet another is to underwater by giving the plant little sips of water for fear of overwatering. It's a challenging balance.

If you do a Search in this very forum (top of the first page of this forum) using Peace Lily as your key words, you'll find a wealth of information from many others who have had your same problem.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 10:33PM
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I want to add, that remembering one piece of advice from a "so-called" plant expert some years ago , they reccommended waiting for them to wilt before watering. NoTTT! In other words, it pays to shop around for information, and I think you're on the right track so far with what I've read. As easy as I consider them to be with some basic care, I have managed to kill my biggest one with a drastic pruning, once the thing reached my ceiling. Evidently not all are created equal, so it pays to know the exact variety for space considerations.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 9:56AM
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Thanks so much! I will do that search. Hmmm.. the only one I have that I know the species for is the recent two I purchased. Its on the pot he he.

I searched all over the place for new pots convience stores Home Depot. No one had any. What's up with that? My poor plant was looking so sickly though. I ended up buying some plastic tupperware and putting holes in the bottom. I hope that won't hurt the plant. I was desperate. When I took the plant out of the pot the one that was doing the worse, the whole thing was nothing but roots.Where does the dirt go? The second one was on its way to that point and my third one (the one I almost killed by repotting it about five years ago into a pot three sizes bigger) hardly had any roots but its making a comeback I know have twice as many leaves as I did when it almost died off and only had about five. I repotted that one too beause the wicker pot it was in was braking up. Hopefully it will make it thru this one.

I followed the instruction on the bag of dirt. I watered until it came out the bottom and then got rid of the excess in the bottom. I hope it won't matter that it was watering time anyway. They were kinda droopy now though they are all standing tall.

Wish me luck!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 5:26PM
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Here are some pics of them all repotted. And the new larger peace lilies I purchased. It bends towards one side more. Any way to get them to start bending back the other way so they are more centered? Would turning that side towards the light do the trick over time? They don't seem to be planted slanted or more to that side.


The little one was fuller than the other two once upon a time. She's coming back nicely though.(just when I bought new ones and was going to let her go peacefully)


I'm glad I've read here that you don't have to cut off the flowers. I did that with the smaller ones. I hope they grow back they had so many. :( I won't be touching these.



Thanks for all the wonderful advice. Wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 6:23PM
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I was watering my new peace lilies and noticed that the water goes immediatelly to the bottom of the pot and out the holes. I looked at the hole and an see the white roots. The plant looks healthy and is in fact producing new leaves and flowers. I was just wondering if I should replant it in the same pot only with new dirt so the roots aren't exposed? I imagine from what I have read the plant is happy since it is reproducing so I don't want to shock it. Should I leave it be?

There is a pic in the link.

On another note my smaller peace lilies that I replanted are doing fine. I notice that with the new dirt I don't have to water as often as I did in the past. I haven't had to water them since replanting and that was two weeks ago. They are still standing tall and the dirt is still moist. No drooping of the stems. I guess they like their new home. Thanks again for the help with them!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 4:15AM
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Black thumb,

Personally, I would just leave it be for now. It's healthy and happy and producing new growth, so it should be just fine.

I probably could go look at several of my plants and see a few roots. As long as they aren't an inch out, or growing in circles insude the saucer, I'll leave them be. If I do snip them, they would be snipped flush with the drainage hole without hurting the plant.
Just make sure if and when you do snip, the scissors/knife is clean. I use rubbing alcohol.
In the spring if you like, you can add an inch or so of soil to the bottom of yours, but it's really not a problem now.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 11:08AM
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Ok I will leave it alone and maybe this spring give it some more dirt.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 3:53PM
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I brought a peace lily for my mother for her birthday last year. before she got it it was beautiful now the leaves are yellow and some are green with brown tips on them. please tell what I can do to save this plant.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 6:42PM
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My peace lilly is growing flowers that are green instead of white! :S WEIRD!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 7:32AM
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Meme, sounds like it either needs a bit more humidity, or something's wrong w/the soil. Did your mom repot this year? It's best growing in a pot not much larger than rootball..When watering, saturate thoroughly, then let soil dry out a 'bit' between waterings.
Plant should be placed in medium light..2 of mine are sitting underneath south windows..which means light is bright, but no direct sun..If in a north or east window, plant can be placed directly in front..
If plant isn't too big, tell your mom to take to sink/shower and hose/spray..I'm also into misting leaves, so if she can do so once a day it'll help somewhat w/humidity and keep leaves clean.
What about fertilizing?

Sub, pale green leaves aren't really rare..I don't know if it has something to do w/age of plant, but others have posted their PL's flowers were green..Toni

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 5:57PM
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maidinmontana(Zone 5 Billings MT)

I wasn't able to view your photos from when you first posted, but was curious as to how your PL is doing now. I have gotten a lot of very helpful advice on this forum.I have a huge PL from grammas funneral two years ago, it seemed to be happy for a long time but lately I noticed it looking a little sick so I did some asking on here and now I ma happy to report it is coming back and looks really good. I water it with water that I let sit for a few days before using it, I keep it in front of a west facing window filtered by sheer curtains, I mist it or set in the bathroom and let shower run for 15 mins on hot then turn off the water and let it sit in there all day with the door closed, I check the soil regualrily so I can water when needed rather than when I think it should be watered, I repotted it in a size bigger pot, I diluted the fertilizer to 1/2 strength, all from advice I recieved here. All or some of the advice worked cuz the leaves all perked up, (they were very droopy, even the new ones)it has a lot of new growth, I don't see any more brown tips and it even has 3 flowers forming. I have a smaller one too that gets all of the same treatment as the big one, hopefully it will be a big one some day. Hope yours is doing well too.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 6:28PM
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Subnormal, my pl is also putting up green flowers.I did google and find that older pl's tend to put up green flowers.I have seen other people's old pl's that were putting up white flowers.I'll just keep searching.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 7:56PM
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Its a new one! Only got it on mother's day!!!!!!!!!!! It may be a cutting from and older plant... :S

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:20AM
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Mine is new too!!!!!!Just recieved on mother's day

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 8:13PM
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