You wouldn’t think it from their name, but peace lilies are dramatic plants. Picture Kevin the Teenager shouting, “It’s not fair!” and you have the personification of a peace lily. One tiny little hint that something isn’t quite right in their environment or the care they’re being given, and peace lilies will not be slow to object.
This means that what you may think is a dying peace lily might actually just be seeking some attention. It’s likely that a wilting peace lily plant will bounce back to life with a little TLC. Of course, some issues are trickier to rectify than others. For example, give an underwatered peace lily a drink, and it’ll be happy within the hour. On the other hand, an overwatered plant can take a few weeks to revert back to its natural state. You can check more out at Prickle Plants.
General Care Tips for a Happy, Healthy Peace Lily
Like all plants, peace lilies have their own likes and dislikes. Ensuring your plant is kept in the correct conditions and given the right care is the easiest way to prevent problems arising. If you have a peace lily that’s looking a little depressed, check your following these care instructions and, if not, adjust your care accordingly.
Peace lilies thrive in bright indirect light. A spot in partial sunlight is perfect for promoting photosynthesis and helping the plant grow. Keep peace lilies out of direct sunlight – too much sunlight can cause leaf scorch. A peace lily will tolerate low light conditions but grows best in indirect bright light.
Evenly moist soil is ideal for peace lilies. Water regularly to keep the soil somewhat damp, ensuring excess water drains freely from the pot’s drainage holes. The soil should ever be waterlogged, and the plant should only get watered again once the top 2-3 inches of soil have dried out.
One of the reasons peace lilies are excellent indoor plants is because they like the same temperatures as we do. Keep the room at 16-21°C, and your plant will be perfectly comfortable. Wherever possible, keep peace lilies out of draughts and away from heat source, such as fires or radiators.
Peace lilies thrive in light humidity. Place your plant in the kitchen or bathroom, where it can soak up the steam. Alternatively, mist it every couple of days or place the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to increase humidity levels around the plant.
Frequent fertilisation of peace lilies isn’t really needed. However, you may wish to occasionally use an all-purpose liquid houseplant food during the growing season to give your peace lily a little boost for healthy growth.
Identify the Problem With Your Peace Lily
Finding out why your peace lily is unhappy is essential to solving the problem, correcting the issue and nursing your peace lily plant back to health. Peace lilies usually respond well to treatment, so the key is to discover the issue, and rectify it as quickly as possible.
The only trouble is that many issues display the same symptoms, so it can be difficult to work out exactly what is causing your peace lily stress.
Common Symptoms Displayed In Peace Lily Plants
Why Is My Peace Lily Drooping and Wilting?
Drooping and wilting are incredibly common signs that something is not quite right with your plant. Most peace lily owners will have to deal with these symptoms at some point.
A droopy peace lily is usually a result of improper watering, not enough/too much light, high temperatures, or a lack of nutrients in the soil.
Brown Spots or Streaks on the Leaves
Sun scorch is one of the most common cause of brown patches on peace lily leaves. Too much direct sun can literally burn the leaves, resulting in brown spots or streaks. However, brown spots can also be a symptom of watering issues.
Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow
Unfortunately, peace lily leaves turning yellow is often a symptom of root rot. As you can imagine, root rot can spread through the plant, eventually killing it if left untreated. It is caused by the roots standing in very wet soil for too long, resulting in a mushy root system. Black leaves are another sign that your plant may have succumbed to root rot.
Why Do My Peace Lily Plant Leaves Have Brown Tips?
Dry, brown tips on the leaves are an indication that your plant isn’t getting enough water. As the plant becomes more thirsty and stressed, the ends of the leaves become brown and crispy. Brown tips are often observed, along with wilting.
Pests and Diseases
Peace lilies aren’t generally susceptible to many houseplant pests and diseases, so if you notice signs that something is wrong with your plant, it is likely to be caused by the environment. However, a diseased peace lily may develop brown patches on the leaves.
Pests, such as aphids and mealybugs can leave a peace lily looking sticky with sooty mould starting to grow. Others, like fungus gnats, are annoying to have in the home but won’t do your peace lily any harm.
How To Revive A Dying Peace Lily
Treating Root Rot
Root rot can be one of the most difficult peace lily issues, so we’ll start here. If your peace lily has yellow leaves and an unpleasant rotting smell, this is likely to be the cause.
First, remove the plant from the pot and brush away as much soil as possible. Examine the root ball for any signs of root disease. Symptoms include blackened or mushy roots. Cut away any dead roots and prune other roots that may be starting to display symptoms. At this point, you may want to treat the remaining roots with fungicide.
Choose a new pot with adequate drainage holes, or thoroughly wash the old one out with hot, soapy water. Fill the pot with fresh soil (do not re-use the old soil). Place the plant in the pot, gently spreading out the roots so they have space to grow. Fill the rest of the pot with your potting mix and carefully press down on the soil to remove any air pockets.
Water the plant well, ensuring excess water drains freely away from the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot. Always empty standing water from the saucer underneath straight away. Too much water is the main cause of root rot, so adjust your watering schedule to prevent excess watering in future.
Move the Plant
If you suspect light issues are the cause of your your peace lily drooping, simply move it into another spot. While peace lilies can tolerate some shade, they are likely to object with drooping leaves if they don’t receive enough light. Choose a bright part of the house out of direct light. A north facing window is perfect.
Drain the Potting Soil
Sometimes, all that is needed to revive an overwatered plant is to drain the soil. Occasionally all you need to do is stop watering the peace lily for a couple of weeks until the soil dries out. However, if you want to err on the side of caution, or if the soil is very wet, you may want to drain the soil.
Remove the plant from the pot and replace some soil with dry potting mix. You may wish to mix in some perlite or gravel to improve drainage to help keep the soil dry and prevent it from retaining too much moisture.
Give the Plant a Drink
While its always better to underwater than overwater a peace lily, these plants do like quite a bit to drink. If you notice crispy leaf tips or the leaves remaining green but starting to droop, check the plant’s soil. If it is still moist underneath, then your problem likely lies elsewhere. However, if the soil feels dry 2-3 inches under the surface (you can use a stake or a chopstick for this if you don’t want to dip your finger in), revive the plant by watering it.
Adjust Your Watering Schedule
Inadequate watering is the most frequent cause of a droopy peace lily. Underwatering is easily treated, so it’s much preferable to deal with than overwatering. Peace lilies tolerate a little neglect when it comes to watering, so if the soil feels even slightly moist, leave it a few days before offering your plant a drink.
Aim to check your plant’s moisture around once a week. You may not need to water the plant that often, but checking in regularly will give you a feel for how much your plant needs to drink in order to flourish.
Peace lilies are generally easy plants to look after. The dramatic personality ensures any problems get noticed early, which means they can usually be treated in plenty of time to revive a drooping peace lily.