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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.

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.

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

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Sherry

Thursday 6th of August 2020

The peace Lily we got for our 17 year olds daughter funeral is dying. Is there anyway I can send a picture and see if we can save it?? 😢😢

Raffaele

Thursday 6th of August 2020

I'm so sorry to hear that :-( And yes, absolutely. Please use the contact form on my website to send me a message. When I reply, you can attach the photos and I will help. I have a peace lily as well from when my father died.

Josianne Bonnici

Saturday 16th of May 2020

Hi why my peace lily without flowers.thankyou

Raffaele

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

The most common reason is not enough light.

Stephanie Penrod

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

I love your post! Thank you! I do have a quick question- I have a piece Lilly that is about 8.5 years old and when it was given to my sister it was very large and full and beautiful. My sister is not the best at taking care of plants and over the years the plant has slowly deteriorated and I am trying to help her save it. I reported the plant because it had not ever been reported and I found that the plants only had minimal root systems and that the roots are very thin and scraggly. so I am assuming that the roots have rotted off over the years. I used a combination of new soil and the good soil when I reported it but I still potted it in quite a large pot due to the leaves being quite large. It seems to be doing better for awhile but now it seems to be falling over all the time and the leaves are turning brown and crispy in large sections. This is a plant that was given to my sister when our father passed away and I would really like to save it for her. Any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated!

Gina

Monday 11th of May 2020

@Raffaele, I have A house plant, I think it is similar situation and I repoted. But all but the top two leaves remain yellow brown. Should I cut those off to give this plant a chance to re grow new leaves. I repoted Recently to larger pot to try and help. What about fertilizer?

Raffaele

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Hi Stephanie! I just got your email as well. I will reply to that.

Charlene Thames

Thursday 20th of February 2020

I am so afraid of repotting my peace lily because I'm not good with plants it was given to me my best friend mom passed away last year and she was very special to me and I named the plant after her so this why I don't want to kill my plate. Its sitting in my living room not in direct sunlight, so should I move it some place else please help.

Raffaele

Thursday 20th of February 2020

Hi Charlene, just follow the instructions in the blog post as far as location and care in general and you will be ok! As far as repotting, here is my blog post where I show how I repotted a peace lily: https://www.ohiotropics.com/2018/09/05/how-to-repot-a-plant-that-is-root-bound/