Drooping Peace Lily Plants: Tips On How To Revive A Wilting Peace Lily
By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Peace lily, or Spathiphyllum, is a common and easy-to-grow houseplant. They are not true lilies but in the Arum family and native to tropical Central and South America. In the wild, peace lilies are understory plants that grow in moisture rich humus and in partially shaded light. Heat, water levels, lighting and disease are potential causes for drooping peace lily plants. Once you discover the cause, it is generally easy to revive a wilting peace lily. But first you need to put your Sherlock Holmes hat on and investigate the reason a peace lily keeps wilting.
My Peace Lily Keeps Wilting
Peace lily is an attractive foliage plant that produces a flower-like spathe, which is a modified leaf that encloses the real flower, a spadix. While these plants are known for their ease of care, occasional issues may arise. One of the most common is droopy leaves on peace lily. Wilting peace lilies can occur due to several conditions. It is important to look for pest and disease issues, but the problem could also be cultural.
Spathiphyllum are Aroids, which means they are known for their glossy foliage and characteristic spathe. Peace lilies grow naturally in tropical rainforests. These plants need water but once per week is usually enough. Water until the moisture comes out the drainage holes in the plant’s container. This will ensure that the root ball is getting moisture.
When you repot the plant, separate the roots of the ball out into the new soil so they can gather moisture. One common mistake is to water into a saucer and let the moisture percolate up into the roots. This is time consuming for the plant and it may not be getting adequate moisture. Additionally, the standing water in the saucer may induce root rot and attract insect pests. Good watering practices can quickly revive a wilting peace lily.
Lighting, temperature and soil
Correct cultural care needs to be given to peace lily plants. Consistently wilting peace lilies are often the result of simple cultural issues that are easily corrected. Place plants in indirect but bright sunlight. Keep them in a container that is twice as large as the root ball.
Wild peace lilies live in warm, tropical regions and require temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-23 C.) during the day and about 10 degrees cooler at night. Most thrive in average indoor temperatures but exposure to extreme heat or cold can cause drooping peace lily plants. Move any plants that are near the furnace or a drafty window or door.
Good, well-draining soil is essential. Soil with a high amount of clay can create unfavorably boggy conditions and those with too much grit or sand will simply drain away the moisture added before the plant can uptake it. The best potting soil for a peace lily is a fine, porous mixture containing peat moss, fine bark, or perlite.
Pests and disease
When water levels and other cultural issues have been adequately addressed and the plant is still stressed, look for signs of pests or disease.
Mealybugs are the most common pest problem. They can be seen as cottony bits of fluff adhering to the plant or in the soil. Their feeding behavior on plant sap reduces plant vigor and disrupts the flow of nutrients and moisture to foliage, causing discoloration and wilting. Sharp sprays of water to rinse off the insects or the application of alcohol directly to the pests can correct an infestation.
Cylindrocladium root rot is the most prevalent disease of Spathiphyllum. It occurs in the warm summer months and causes chlorotic areas and wilted leaves. Remove the plant from soil and treat the roots with fungicide. Then repot in a sterile pot with clean soil.
Several other pathogens may be harbored in contaminated potting soil. These are generally fungal and may be addressed in a similar manner as Cylindrocladium.
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Q: I am in trouble! I recently repotted a peace lily which holds great sentimental value for my wife. Now the leaves have wilted and flopped down around the rim of the pot. Is there anything I can do to save it and get myself out of the doghouse?
A: Every husband has the experience of trying to do something nice for their spouse and having it backfire. If I had to guess, I’d suspect you pulled the peace lily (^Spathiphyllum wallisii^) out of a small pot and planted the root ball whole into a bigger pot. You might have noticed that the white roots of the plant were pretty densely matted around the inside of the smaller pot. Now, when you water the lily, the water runs off the top of the mass of roots and old soil into the fresh soil around it. The water quickly drains through this soil and out the bottom of the pot. The new soil becomes moist but the old root ball remains dry – causing the plant to wilt.
This is simple to fix. Remove the plant from its new home and soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour. Next, carefully untangle as many roots as you can from the clump. Place enough soil in the bottom of the old pot to support the spathiphyllum at the correct height. Simultaneously spread the roots while packing handfuls of soil around them. Finally, when the pot is full, soak it in a bucket and let it drain completely.
If you remember to do this messy job outside where you won=t compound your problems, the plant should recover just fine. Later, dinner together at a nice restaurant should allow Rover to move back into his abode.
Lilies and Water
Drooping leaves are the surest signs that something is wrong with the lily's root system. The cause is probably either too much or too little moisture. Check the soil around the lily. If it is very dry to the touch, the plant is probably thirsty. The lily should perk up within an hour of being watered. If the soil is very wet, the lily has probably been overwatered. Overly moist soil can cause the bulbs to rot and should be avoided. If the lily is too wet, do not water again until the soil is dry to the touch.
What to Do when Your Peace Lillies are dropping
If you are only treating for one of the above problems, there are some things that may be done to help your plant recover:
1. If it’s due to overwatering, prune off any affected leaves (you can even prune half of the plant if necessary). This will make the remaining leaves stronger and healthier and help prevent or reduce disease from spreading.
2. If it’s due to drainage or you have a saucer instead of a tray, repot into fresh potting soil and make sure the plant is placed on an elevated surface so that the water will drain away from the plant.
3. If it’s due to too much sunlight, move it to a cooler area with less direct light. You may only need to move it slightly, and if you do so gradually over several days, you can often prevent sunburned leaves from occurring.
4. If it’s an insect problem, you should spray with an insecticidal soap solution. Make sure to follow the directions on the package carefully.
It should recover if you treat it right away but remember: peace lilies don’t like to be moved around a lot or to have their soil changed too much.
How To Fix A Dead Peace Lily
The other ways to tell an anthurium from a spathiphyllum or Peace Lily are that the spath has larger leaves. Peace lily pruning should be done at the base of the plant.
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Since the plant is in stress from the cold temperature make sure you keep the plant evenly moist.
How to fix a dead peace lily. Here is the step by step process that will help you fix your peace lily. Youll want to keep too much direct sun away from these plants because the leaves will easily burn with too much harsh sun. Change the potting soil completely to get rid of the soil with the fungus in it.
How to Fix Peace Lily Root Rot Repot the Peace lily. Underwatering cold temperatures nutrient problems pests or disease can also stress your plant and cause decline. Wash the root under a light stream of tap water or use the distilled water for that.
The simplest way to deal with this is to cut off the browned and spent stalks when the whole leaf and stem is dead right at the bottom. Keep the water level at a few inches so the plant is above water but the wick brings water to the roots and the plant will never collapse again. When it comes to watering once a week should be enough provided that you give it adequate water.
The spent flowers and leaves start to die as they age. Peace Lily With Damaged Leaves. Remove the entire plant from the pot and remove excess soil from the roots by gently shaking.
Peace lily or Spathiphyllum is a common and easy-to-grow houseplantThey are not true lilies but in the Arum family and native to tropical Central and South America. To deadhead your peace lily flowers that have faded out of bloom simply pinch the flower stalk just beneath the base of the dead flower. This will make room for new stalks to emerge.
Whereas you scrape the neck and plant the violet deeper to allow it to rejuvenate and grow new roots the peace lily already has aerial roots growing as you can see below. I recommend pruning out the damaged leaves this way the plant will place all of its energy into producing new foliage. Treat promptly and avoid watering on a schedule.
How To Fix A Dying Peace Lily. Overwatering is the most common cause of a Peace Lily dying. In some varieties they are six inches long.
Heres how to treat root rot and revive your peace lily. If your peace lily cultivar is named Annette Debbie Viscount or Little Angel according to the Florida. Sometimes leaves yellow and start to shrivel up.
Now- repeat the above process for all spent blooms on all your peace lily houseplants. To remove the leaves follow the leaf stem to the base of the plant and cut it off. Step 4 Examine the peace lily to see if the leaves have returned to their upright position if not then allow the plant to soak in the water for another 5 minutes.
Look for yellow wilting foliage and signs of root rot. The process may take from three to five days but once begun the leaf is doomed. Sometimes brown tips on peace lily is perfectly normal.
In this video I share how I took care of the plant and what it looks like today. A good alternative to using rubbing alcohol is to treat your Peace Lily with a dilute solution of dish soap. Allow the peace lily to sit in the water for at least 10 minutes and soak up the water through the bottom drainage holes in the pot.
It is hard to remove every piece of the brown dead stems but get as much off as you can. If the roots are loose and brown rather than light and hard also in a super damp smelly substrate cut off all the dead parts with a clean knife. Cut the stalk off as close to the bottom as you can.
This video documents one of my first plant rescues involving a peace lily. Spray the plant generously ensuring that you cover the plant completely. You can water one of two ways.
The plant has developed tall necks much like the African violet in this post. Over-watering and under-watering will cause a peace lily spathiphyllum to wilt droop. Pruning a peace lily isnt limited to the flower stalks.
Sterilize the potting container. You can use hydrogen peroxide to clean it and kill the fungus. Give it water until it starts to over-flow into the saucer or you can water and then do a moisture test.
Morning sun however is gentle enough in most cases as long as it is not for too long. This is about a peace lily that I was having a lot of issues with it did wind up dying though so I was not able to save her Do you have any secrets to sa. Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 liter of water.
Peace lilies prefer bright indirect light. Mix well and pour into a spray bottle. Cut off the rotten pieces with the sterilized scissors.
If the root is partially rotten you can still save your Peace lily. Northern exposure and Eastern exposure windows are wonderful for these plants. In the wild peace lilies are understory plants that grow in moisture rich humus and in partially shaded light.
Take out your peace lily from the pot. Make sure the cut is angled below the brown tip to keep the new tip from turning brown.
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How To Revive A Wilting Peace Lily
Peace lily prefers to have medium indirect sunlight and will develop yellow leaves if it is getting too much light or very low light. The wilting was caused by the suns drying out the soil excessively.
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They do not like dry soil and should be watered as soon as about the top 12-1 gets dry.
How to revive a wilting peace lily. It is a tropical plant and in the United States is typically grow indoors in pots. Inspect the roots for root damage or symptoms. Simply move it to a location that has less direct sun.
Place your potted Peace Lily inside a larger container. February 2018 I had an old Aloe Vera burn plant that was dying and a 10 year old Peace Lily plant that had wilted beyond any chance of saving it. Move the peace lily away from direct sunlight.
To revive your peace lily water at least once a week to keep the soil moist and prevent wilting. This website explains how I was able to split the plants up and have new plants growing. Brown spots and streaks can also develop if direct sun is.
Take out the plant from the pot and get rid of the soil. If so just trim off those discolored leaves. In this case the entire plant will have yellowish leaves and not just one or two.
Although peace lilies are relatively care-free plants they will begin to wilt dramatically with neglect. Add water when the soil is dry to the touch and only lightly. If the soil in the pot is dry thats the likely cause.
In the summer spritz the leaves every other day with distilled water to reduce water loss through the plants leaves. Place it in bright indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist. Correct cultural care needs to be given to peace lily plants.
So when I up-potted the peace lily I planted it a bit deeper to cover the long stems and give the developing roots potting medium to grow in. Every time it wilts it stresses the plant. Give it some time to recover and I think it will be okay.
Watering it will bring it back. Lighting temperature and soil. As such overwatering will affect it negatively since its used to having just enough water to go by.
Peace lilies Spathiphyllum crash when they dont get enough water and it looks like what you see in the photo. Peace lilies grow in tropical forests but not in swampy regions. Peace lilies are pretty resilient.
It grew beautifully flowering twice a year. Whereas you scrape the neck and plant the violet deeper to allow it to rejuvenate and grow new roots the peace lily already has aerial roots growing as you can see below. You can cut off all of the brown rotting materials or anything fuzzy soak the roots in warm water for a few minutes and repot the plant.
Consistently wilting peace lilies are often the result of simple cultural issues that are easily corrected. In the days ahead you may see some leaf yellowing as a result of the sun damage. All new growth should be fine.
Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Yellow leaves can also be caused if your peace lily is sitting in too much direct sun. Good watering practices can quickly revive a wilting peace lily.
As I am sure you know Peace Lilies are not bulbs. Only water a peace lily once it shows slight wilting and then do a finger test to see if the soil is dry to touch or moist. Here are the steps To revive an overwatered peace lily.
Just stick your finger in the soil to determine which. Repotting your lily will cause it to experience some shock and may make it appear wilted for a few weeks. Help for a wilting peace lily Ive had a peace lily from my dads funeral for the last 7 12 yrs.
It could be other issues but thats the most common one that causes spaths to fall down like that so check the soil moisture first. Double pot your Peace Lily. Wilting is caused by underwatering or overwatering.
Peace lilies should not wilt between watering unless the soil is becoming much too dry. To revive an overwatered peace lily place it under a shade treat root rot and repot with a new potting mix. Place plants in indirect but bright sunlight.
Water the peace lily with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted at half strength every two weeks in spring summer and fall and once in winter. This will increase the humidity around the plant and offers these benefits on a fairly long-term basis. Stop watering and relocate peace lily pot for sun exposure.
It came in a pot about 12 inches originally which it outgrew and I repotted the whole thing into a 145 pot. If the soil is moist then mist the leaves and that should perk up a wilting peace lily until its time to water the soil. Root rot is commonly caused by overwatering or standing water.
Luckily there is a simple solution that will quickly revive the peace lily to a healthy state. Then fill the space that is between the two pots with Sphagnum moss. A thorough soaking of the soil should get the leaves to perk up.
It began to outgrow this pot so I split it into 3 plants recently. However I know that peace lilies are common gifts at funerals and if this is the case it may not be replaceable.
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After checking on all the potential problems already listed, you may still have no solution to your drooping plant dilemma.
Unfortunately, this can mean you have some disease or fungus to worry about, and that might not be something you can fix. In particular, when it comes to wilting, your main culprit is Fusarium.
It’s not that likely if your plants are inside, but definitely consider this for your outdoors garden when you see new drooping. Especially if you also have tomatoes growing in the yard.
Fusarium is a fungus that lives in the soil and will attack the roots of many common garden plants.
While it doesn’t actually do any damage to the plants, the fungus draws water before the plant roots do, leading to the drooping symptoms.
There is no treatment for Fusarium, and all you can do is pull up the plants and get rid of them.
Cover up the soil in that spot with black plastic and let the heat of the sun kill off the spores for the rest of the season.
With all of these possibilities out there, it can take a little investigating and patience to figure out why your plants are drooping.
Hopefully, the solution will present itself and you can go back to enjoying your gardening and healthy houseplants.