Want to learn how to bring a Peace Lily back to life?
This article will dive into the reasons why Peace Lilies show signs of dying in the first place, as well as a foolproof method for reviving them.
Let’s get straight into it.
- Identifying The Problem With Your Peace Lily
- How To Bring A Peace Lily Back To Life
- In Summary
Identifying The Problem With Your Peace Lily
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Peace Lilies, it’s that they are dramatic.
This is why knowing if your Peace Lily is struggling or needs watering is essential. Let’s look at the most common reasons for Peace Lilies looking like they are dying and how severe each problem is.
If your peace lily has drooping or yellow leaves, it could be due to overwatering.
A quick way to check for overwatering is to look at the soil; if the surface looks wet or saturated with water, it is very likely overwatered.
You can also remove the plant from its pot to see if excess water has collected in the bottom.
If overwatered conditions persist for a long time, the roots will eventually start to rot.
Underwatering, while much less common than overwatering in the case of Peace Lilies, can still make your Peace Lily show symptoms of dying.
The most common symptoms of underwatering are brown and crispy leaves and slow growth, and brown leaf tips in the beginning stages of underwatering.
Aside from these symptoms, you can gently lift your Peace Lily from its container to check if the soil is completely dry.
You can also place it in a sink and check how quickly water passes through the soil.
Wrong Type Of Soil
Using the wrong type of soil for your Peace Lily can have a significant impact on its health:
- If the soil drains too quickly, you will likely run into problems with underwatering.
- Overwatering becomes more likely if the soil doesn’t drain much at all.
- A lack of nutrients in the soil will slow down overall growth and can lead to severe problems, especially if you don’t supplement with fertilizer.
If you’re unsure of what soil your Peace Lily has, it might be time to repot into a more suitable soil mix to eliminate this as a potential problem.
Peace Lilies can suffer from various diseases like root rot, which affects the roots and occurs due to overwatering, or leaf blight, which affects the leaves and is spread by excessive moisture.
If your Peace Lily has lots of irregular spots or marks on its leaves that appear to be spreading, these are clear signs of disease.
Peace Lilies can also be infested with pests like fungus gnats, mealybugs, and spider mites.
Some of these pests will be visible to the eye, like mealybugs which have a white cottony appearance.
Spider mites are harder to see but can usually be spotted by the webbing they leave behind.
Most pests feed on the sap found within the leaves of Peace Lilies, leaving behind honeydew residue, which promotes the growth of sooty mold.
Another common problem that faces Peace Lilies is leaf scorch.
Leaf scorch occurs due to an excess of intense, direct sunlight on the leaves.
Affected leaves will develop brown and yellow spots and eventually die, and leaves facing the sun will be affected more severely.
Sun scorch becomes much more likely in hot and dry weather.
As tropical plants, Peace Lilies prefer high humidity.
Low humidity can contribute to leaf scorch; common symptoms include brown leaf tips and edges.
Temperature fluctuations can affect your peace lily’s health, causing issues like yellow leaves. Aim to keep the temperature between 50 and 80°F (18-26 C).
Nutrients are critical for Peace Lily’s health, especially the three nutrients found in complete fertilizers:
- Nitrogen – Important for leaf development.
- Phosphorus – Important for root development and blooming, especially for Peace Lilies, given how many flowers they produce.
- Potassium – Potassium is essential for overall growth and health.
Lack of nutrients can lead to various problems, such as slow growth or discolored leaves.
If you don’t fertilize your Peace Lily, it is likely deficient in some nutrients.
How To Bring A Peace Lily Back To Life
The steps below outline a procedure you can follow to find any problems with your Peace Lily and bring it back to life.
If you already know what problem you are facing, like sun scorch or low humidity, for example, you can skip through some of these points as these problems have quick fixes.
Pruning (Check Leaves For Pests & Disease)
To revive your Peace Lily, prune any dead or dying leaves. Use clean and sharp scissors to make clean cuts without damaging the remaining healthy foliage, and trim at the base of the leaves.
This helps the plant focus its energy on healthy growth and allows you to inspect the leaves closely for signs of diseases or pests.
If any pests or diseases are present, you need to remove affected leaves and deal with them:
- Pests can be removed by washing with water and treating the plant with insecticide. Here, you can find a full write-up on dealing with pests, including non-chemical control.
- Diseases require treatment with fungicides, and you can find a full write-up here.
Checking The Roots For Rot
Root rot can sometimes be the culprit behind a dying Peace Lily, but it’s hard to know without checking the roots.
This also provides an excellent opportunity to check the soil and repot with a fresh mix to improve drainage and nutrient content.
Gently remove the plant from its pot and examine the roots. Healthy roots should be white and firm, while rotten roots should be brown and mushy.
If any of the roots are rotten, they must be pruned using a sterilized pruning tool, and the rest treated with fungicide designed for root rot.
Repotting – Choosing The Right Pot And Soil
Choosing the right pot and soil is crucial in helping your Peace Lily bounce back. Opt for a pot with drainage holes and use a well-draining potting mix. Amix of standard houseplant potting mix, sand, and perlite/bark works well.
Remember, choosing a pot that’s too large may retain excess moisture, which could be detrimental to your plant. I like to give one to two inches more room when repotting my Peace Lily.
Adjusting Watering Techniques
After repotting, water the soil generously in a basin until it starts to flow out of the bottom.
From here on, it’s all about watering your Peace Lily properly to encourage new growth. To do this, only water when the top inch of soil becomes dry.
After the initial repotting, use a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength to help your Peace Lily recover.
From then on, fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season and avoid over-fertilizing, as it can cause root burn.
Providing Proper Conditions (Sunlight, Humidity, Temperature)
Ensure your Peace Lily receives suitable conditions to thrive by following the guidelines below:
- Sunlight – Peace Lilies thrive in bright, indirect light.
- Humidity – Peace Lilies love humidity, so aim for a humidity of 50-70% for optimal growth. I recommend purchasing a hygrometer to measure the humidity accurately, and you can use pebble trays or group your plant next to another to increase humidity if needed.
- Temperature – Keep the temperature between 50 and 80°F during the day, and keep fluctuations to around 10°F or less at night.
Getting these conditions right will give your Peace Lily the best chance of recovery after repotting and dealing with significant issues like pests or diseases.
In most cases, you should be able to bring your Peace Lily back to life by following the advice in this guide.
It is very unusual for a Peace Lily to die completely, especially if you regularly check on its health. Issues like pests and diseases must be taken very seriously to ensure the long-term health of your plant.