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Dying Peace Lily? Expert Tips to Grow and Revive Your Plant!

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No houseplant collection is complete without a Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum).  Although they are very common, there is a reason for this! 

They are very low maintenance, will survive very low light indoors, and they often will tell you when they need water!  And as a bonus, I don’t know of any other plant that will bloom in low light like this plant can.

how to revive peace lily

GROWING PEACE LILY


LIGHT

Peace lilies prefer bright indirect light.  You’ll want to keep too much direct sun away from these plants because the leaves will easily burn with too much harsh sun. 

Morning sun, however, is gentle enough in most cases as long as it is not for too long. Northern exposure and Eastern exposure windows are wonderful for these plants.

I’ve even grown Peace Lilies in an office with just overhead lighting and no windows at all. They will even bloom for you sometimes in these conditions!

Peace lilies are one of the few plants that I would ever recommend for an office or room with no windows, provided that you have artificial light on for several hours of the day.

Be sure not to miss my blog post on the lowest light plants for no-window spaces for other recommendations other than peace lily!

If you do provide your peace lily with appropriate light though, it should reward you with plenty of flowers. 

Sometimes, you will find that they even have a slight fragrance! 

If flowers are not your goal though, and you are happy with the beautiful glossy leaves, you can get away with less light.  Just monitor your plant and you will know if it is happy or not.

peace lily care

TEMPERATURE

Peace lilies like it warmer, so if you are comfortable, your peace lily is probably comfortable too! 

Try to stick with a temperature range of 65F-85F for best results.


WATERING

These plants definitely enjoy being on the moister side when it comes to their potting soil. 

If you let it dry out too much, you will quickly see the entire plant start to wilt and collapse.  If you notice this, be sure to give it a very thorough watering. 

When this happens to mine, I take it to my kitchen sink and give it a very thorough soaking.  Your plant will quickly recover.

That being said, try not to let it get to the point where it wilts from needing water.  If you wait too long, your plant may die.   And if you repeat the wilting/recovering process too much, you will weaken your plant over time.

If you find that your plant has gone bone dry and you try watering your plant and the water seems to go straight through quickly and doesn’t absorb much, you’ll have a little work to do. 

Sometimes when potting mixes get super dry, they become difficult to re-wet.

In these cases, you may need to water your pot several times in a row until you can feel that the pot is heavier and that the soil has actually absorbed water instead of just streaming through. 

Otherwise, if you don’t do this, you may find that your plant will wilt again from the soil going dry very soon afterwards.


REPOTTING

I have an entire blog post that shows with pictures how I repotted one of my peace lilies.

repotting peace lily

Peace lilies grow pretty quickly and can develop pretty vigorous root systems. Be sure not to miss my blog post on repotting a peace lily with step by step instructions.

There is one very critical step in repotting that you want to make sure you don’t miss.


FERTILIZING

Like all of my houseplants, I like to fertilize dilutely at every watering starting in late Winter and continuing through early Fall. I purchase most of my fertilizers on Amazon.

My favorite fertilizer to use is Dyna-Gro Grow. It is a premium fertilizer that contains all micro and macro nutrients that plants need to thrive. I use this fertilizer on all of my tropical foliage plant and great success!

Simply add 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water.


CLEANING PEACE LILY LEAVES

There are several different varieties of peace lilies with varying sizes of leaves, ranging from small and narrow, to large and broad. 

Some varieties have pretty large leaves, and all of them will attract quite a bit of dust! 

For optimal health and growth of any plant, you should take care of those dusty leaves.

You can either use a damp sponge or damp paper towel to wipe any dusty leaves off. 

Another way, perhaps quicker, would be to place your plant in the sink or in the shower, and wash off any dusty leaves, while simultaneously give your plant a nice thorough watering!

If your plant is blooming, don’t be surprised if you see a lot of white dust or powder on the leaves.  Don’t mistaken this for pests.  It is simply pollen, and they produce a lot!


PROPAGATING PEACE LILY

The best way to propagate peace lily is to simply divide the plant at the roots when it is time to repot. 


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are you having problems with your peace lily? Here are some common problems with solutions to help you out!

peace lily dying

Why am I getting brown tips?

Brown tips in peace lilies are normally caused by extremes in moisture. This occurs especially if you let your plant dry out so much that it wilts.

If you do this repeatedly, you will find that it will develop brown tips.

On the opposite end, if you keep it wet for too long, you may also get brown tips.

plant leaves turning brown and crispy

If you haven’t repotted your plant in a very long time and it is severely root bound, the roots are in such tight quarters that even when you water, it may not thoroughly moisten the entire root system and dry tips may result.

Brown tips in peace lilies can also result from too many fertilizer salts. This can be the case if you’ve had your plant in the same pot for many years and you can physically see crusty buildup (either from hard water and/or fertilizer.)

For a more in depth discussion on brown tips in plant, check out my blog post on the 6 top reasons your leaves are brown and crispy.

Why is my peace lily drooping, wilting, or having limp leaves?

This can be caused by either your plant going completely dry for a while OR from your plant staying wet for a long time.

When you notice that your plant has wilted and started to collapse, immediately use your finger to check the soil.

If the soil is bone dry, immediately give it a deep, thorough watering. It will recover within a few to several hours.

On the other hand, if the plant has wilted and you feel the soil and it is moist, it probably means that your plant sat in water for too long and has suffered root rot. 

If you notice this, promptly discard any extra water that it may be sitting in and let the soil dry out.  If you smell the soil and it smells rancid or rotten, your plant may have suffered root rot.

Keep an eye on your plant for a while and see if it recovers.

If it doesn’t recover much after a few days, your plant probably suffered root rot.

At this point, if the plant is still salvageable, repot it.  Take the plant out of its pot, remove any loose soil and dead roots, and repot.

Be extra careful if you have your plant in a plastic pot with drainage holes, but it is slipped into a decorative pot with no drainage hole.  It is all too easy to allow your plant to sit in water if you have this set up. Slip the inner pot out and discard any standing water.

There are more factors to consider than what I just mentioned. Be sure to check out my detailed blog post on 11 different causes for your peace lily drooping.

Why is my peace lily yellowing?

There are numerous factors that can cause yellow leaves on your plant.

peace lily leaves turning yellow

Yellow leaves can result from excessively dry soil, and also from being wet for too long. Just stick your finger in the soil to determine which.

Yellow leaves can also be caused if your peace lily is sitting in too much direct sun. In this case, the entire plant will have yellowish leaves and not just one or two. Simply move it to a location that has less direct sun.

To read more about yellowing plant leaves and the various causes, refer to my blog post on tips to fix plants with yellow leaves.

Why are the flowers turning green or brown?

This is completely normal! No flower will last forever.

peace lily flowers turning green

The pure white flowers will eventually fade and the spathe will often turn green like in the photo above, and then turn brown.

You can cut the whole flower stem off at that point.

PEACE LILY TOXICITY

Peace lily is toxic to cats and dogs because of calcium oxalate according to the ASPCA.

Looking to purchase a special Peace Lily? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops to buy practically any plant is Etsy. Check out the Peace Lily selection (link to Etsy) today!

That’s all folks! I hope this post has been helpful. As common as peace lilies are, they are beautiful houseplants and there should be at least ONE in your houseplant collection!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

Aussie Neilo

Saturday 12th of November 2022

PLEASE DO NOT USE POTTING MIX! Spathiphyllum and MOST plants find potting mix too wet! Instead, please buy the following products: * Coconut fibre/husk, * Sphagnum Moss (small bag 100-200g), * Coconut Coir Peat (15L), * Peat Moss (250-500g), * Vermiculite, * Perlite, * Charcoal, * Pumice or any other light weight small stones (scoria also perfect and roots love it!). But what soil should I buy? PLEASE only buy EITHER "Succulent / Cactus" mix which should contain very little bark -OR- a "Seed Raising / Propagation" soil mix which will be very light weight and consist of just soil and light organic matter.

Get a bucket, add 500ml cold water (distilled, filtered or tap). Add another 250ml on top of Peat Moss to mix all three together. Add the following ratio: * 30% Coconut Coir Peat (crush or sit in water, source of moisture for roots). * 10% Sphagnum Moss (chop it up so mixes better, source of moisture for roots). * 30% Peat Moss (nice and slightly acidic, aerates soil - OPTIONAL). * 10% Vermiculite (rinsed first, aerates soil). * 10% Perlite (rinsed first, aerates soil). * 10% Pumice / Scoria / Mafia Stone, Diatomaceous Earth, Zeolite, or any aggregate (rinsed first, aerates soil), etc. * and a couple handfuls of light-weight delicate charcoal (crushed into chunks approx. 5mm to 10mm to 30mm). = TOTAL 100%!

You can store this mix for several months in a bucket or plastic tub in your garage, shed, near your back door, etc. until you need it.

<> In bottom of the pot I place 2-3mm layer of Coconut Husk Fibre to prevent soil escaping (and slugs getting into the pot). I use 70% of the above "mega mix" with 30% of the above seed raising propagation soil mix (Search for Scott's Osmocote Seed Raising Propagation mix I think it is called? Dark green bag! Will give you an idea). - Coir Peat retains moisture but doesn't remain 'wet'. - Sphagnum moss will retain more moisture, but if mixed well, will ensure mix is not 'wet'. - Peat moss will make the mix nice and light weight, acidic and and aerated. - Vermiculite, Perlite, Pumice, Scoria, Mafia stone, Diatomaceous earth, Zerolite and other course aggregate will provide better drainage!! Must rinse so fine dust is removed - avoid 'mud' clogging up roots! - Charcoal will keep bacteria, smells and microbes in check. Seems to make the plants happier!

ALL my XL, medium and small peace lillies are exploding with flowers! They love this mix. I feed them monthly with a Seaweed tonic, and Seasol for first 4 weeks after transplanting. Optionally, give them Chicken poor mulch (WhoFlungDung is excellent!), which also prevents Perlite / Vermiculite floating to top when watered, plus feeds Peace Lillies!!

Good luck! Ssshh! Don't tell anyone my secrets!

PlantsCraze

Wednesday 27th of April 2022

Thanks for sharing. I absolutely loved your Article.

Sue Bailey

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Why are my new flowers turning brown and dying off before they get chance to grow?

Aussie Neilo

Saturday 12th of November 2022

@Sue Bailey, Could also be humidity or drafts. Could be getting direct sunlight. Could have inadequate soil? Could be pot-bound? Could require some seaweed fertiliser and nutrients. OR could require some potassium (K) from fertiliser (stick with organic and pellets if possible).

Aussie Neilo

Saturday 12th of November 2022

@Sue Bailey, Simply upload the photo to Mediafire or any free file hosting. Then paste the link here. Please add Coconut coir and Moss to retain moisture, and along with perlite, vermiculite and any other aggregate to encourage drainage! Potting mix soil is not ideal for these plants that normally grow with organic material that **retains moisture** :D Buy some chicken poo mulch and distribute on your plants. Leave plants in a shaded area for a week if you don't like the smell inside :P

Sue Bailey

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

@Raffaele, hi no the plant looks heathy apart from that, it’s my first peace Lily I have had it since June 21i have had 3 grow so far and I have cut them out because I wasn’t sure they dried out, what dose new flowers look like? I haven’t got any to show you but I could send you a photo of the plant if you could tell me how to many thanks Sue

Raffaele

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

Hmmmmm....Have you checked your soil moisture? Have you noticed anything else unusual about your plant?

Patsy White

Monday 27th of September 2021

@Raffaele, I have a problem similar to this one. I have had my Peace Lily for many years and have repotted it several times. It has always been beautiful. Now , with no changes whatsoever in its care it is getting VERY thin. The “stalks” / “stems” are getting very long, the leaves are much smaller and MUCH less dense. This plants has been SO FULL for so many years and now it is “see through”. It truly reminds me of an older man going bald. Do I cut all the stems down to nothing? I just do not want to lose him after all this time! I appreciate your time and your help !

Aussie Neilo

Saturday 12th of November 2022

@Patsy White, G'day Patsy, please look for some organic fertiliser (I prefer pellets that degrade better than the balls) that is high in *BOTH* Potassium and Phosphorus - essential for flowers, roots and stem growth. These chemicals are to do with the NPK ratio (sometimes also NPKS - including Sulphur which is very important!). PLEASE go to your nursery and see what they have with *LOW* N (nitrogen), and *higher* levels of P (phosphorus) & K (potassium). Apply and cover with layer of soil or mulch. Give them two weeks and they will be amazing! Otherwise, stick the plants in a shaded corner in the garden and apply some chicken mulch (WhoFlungDung is excellent in Aus). Good luck! :D

Raffaele

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Hi Patsy! What size pot is it in now? Is it root bound again, perhaps? I wouldn't cut it all down. If you can send me some photos, it would help and also please describe your care conditions. Use the contact form on my site, and when I reply, you can attach the photos.

Cherie Williams

Thursday 17th of June 2021

What will happen if I don’t cut off the flowers if my peace Lilly when they turn green?

Aussie Neilo

Saturday 12th of November 2022

@Cherie Williams, G'day Cherie, your plant will send more of its energy to the stalk and flower in order to keep them alive. Cut the entire stalk and flower off ASAP, in order for more energy to go towards flowering, or production of more stems, leaves or roots. Easy! :D

Raffaele

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Hi Cherie! Nothing detrimental will happen! If you just leave them, they'll eventually dry up and turn brown. So you'll need to cut it off at that point to keep the plant looking tidy.