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How to Save a Peace Lily from Dying

Are you looking to see how to save a peace lily from dying? If you have a peace lily that is dying, is there anything you can do to fix it?

The most common reason for peace lilies dying is over-watering. If you see yellow foliage and signs of root rot, you might be able to catch it in time to still save your peace lily. You’ll need to treat the overwatering to save it from dying.

peace lily flowers

Some other reasons for dying peace lilies are cold temperatures, pests, disease, and nutrient problems. Let’s look more deeply into this so you can diagnose your problem and find a way to treat it.

What Are Peace Lilies?

peach lilies in bloom

Peace lilies (spathiphyllum wallisii) are tropical plants that are native to parts of Asia and the Americas. They’re known for their beautiful, white flowers. But peace lilies aren’t just pretty – they’re also pretty tough. They can grow in low-light conditions and don’t need a lot of water. In fact, peace lilies are often used as house plants because they’re so easy to take care of.

Peace lilies typically grow to around two or three feet tall, although some varieties can reach up to six feet. They have large glossy leaves and white flowers that bloom throughout the year.

If you’re thinking of adding peace lilies to your home or garden, there are a few things you should know. First, peace lilies are poisonous if ingested, so it’s important to keep them out of reach of children and pets. If you have cats, see what plants are poisonous to cats.

They can thrive in partial shady locations, and if it’s a room with a lot of natural light, just be sure your peace lily is not in direct sunlight for too long because it can cause it to burn. 

Now, what can you do if your peace lily is not looking as healthy as when you first got it? Let’s first explore some of the most common reasons peace lilies die.

Reasons a Peace Lily Dies

While peace lilies are relatively easy to care for, they can sometimes die for reasons that are not always clear. One common cause of death is root rot, which can occur if the plant is overwatered or if the pot does not have adequate drainage.

Another possible reason for peace lily death is a lack of light. While they can function in lower light conditions, they do still need light. Ideally, peace lilies need bright, indirect light to thrive, and too much or too little light can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die. A lack of oxygen can cause death, damage to the roots, too much direct sun, and physical damage (such as dropping or breaking the plant) can also lead to plant death.

Finally, peace lilies can also be killed by chemicals that are commonly found in tap water, such as chlorine and fluoride. If you suspect that your peace lily is dying, it is important to act quickly to save the plant.

Tips for Saving a Dying Peace Lily

If you want to save your peace lily, it’s important to catch the problem early. You can do this by regularly inspecting your plants and also knowing what signs to look for. There are some common problems that many people face when their peace lily starts to die. If you know what these are, it can help you take action quickly.

Here are some signs your peace lily plant might be diseased or dying:

  • Wilting leaves
  • Leaves turning yellow or brown
  • Brown spots on leaves or brown tips
  • Heavy pest infestation
  • Root rot
  • Curling leaves

The earlier you treat these symptoms when you see them, the better your chances of saving your plant.

Diagnosing your plant problem

It’s important to know how to identify signs your peace lily is dying because it helps you treat the problem in time to save it, but also because the symptoms can help you identify the cause. When you know what’s killing your plant, you will know the best action to take to try to save it.

Here are some causes of the common signs a peace lily is dying.

Brown spots – This can come from too much sun and also from overwatering

Curling leaves – This can be from underwatering and sunburn

Yellowing leaves – This is caused by overwatering, aging, and nutrient deficiency

Black leaves or black spots – Overwatering, fungal infection, too much cold

If you see yellow leaves, sometimes they are just natural from the plant aging. If everything else seems healthy and good on the plant, you can just gently pluck those dying leaves off. But if all the leaves are drooping and turning, this is a more serious problem.

Excess water is death to a peace lily so always plant it in a pot with drainage holes and don’t use too much water with each watering.

Treating your unhealthy peace lily

If you spot these issues with your peace lily, here are some things you can do to help. First, always allow them to get dry between waterings. This also helps the roots keep oxygenated. You should let the top inches of soil dry out completely before watering again.

You can check the soil levels for moisture by putting your finger about 2-4 inches into the soil mix. If you’re not watering enough, your peace lily will wilt. It can be a bit of a dramatic plant, but a bit of water will perk it right back up.

Keep in mind that your peace lily’s watering needs will vary based on temperature, climate, and seasonal changes. So, it’s not a great idea to water it on a schedule because sometimes it will need more water than other times.

If you have overwatered your peace lily, it’s important to let it dry out fully so that it can recover. However, if root rot has already started to set in, you will need to trim back the decaying roots as soon as possible or the rot will travel up the roots and infect more of the plant.

How to treat fungal disease in your peace lily

Garden Safe 511038 Garden SafeFungicide, 24 oz - 1 count

If your peace lily plant is suffering from fungal disease, it’s essential to know how to treat it and to do so quickly. The best tools to do this are:

  • Fungicide soil drench
  • Foliar fungicide spray

You also need to inspect the leaves of your peace lily closely to be sure this is truly a fungal infection and not a pest problem. One sign of fungus is brown spots on the surface of the leaves. They will be in a circular shape.

You should also check the undersides of the leaves for small black splotches with white borders. These are the fruiting bodies of the fungus. When you’re certain it’s a fungus that you’re dealing with, you can spray the foliage with your fungicide, according to the instructions.

To avoid getting fungus in the first place – water your plant slowly to avoid splashing water and soil up onto the leaves. Avoid misting the leaves of a peace lily. Place it in a room with good circulation. Fungal diseases are best prevented rather than treated but knowing the signs to look for and catching them early is important.

Other Peace Lily Care Tips

As with any plant, prevention is the best medicine. While some things can’t be helped, it does pay off to learn as much as you can about peace lily care so that you can try to prevent problems before they occur.

For example, you can prevent root rot by watering only when it is needed and not on a regular schedule, and using a well-draining pot. Here are some other peace lily care tips:

  • Always sterilize your cutting tools when doing pruning
  • Don’t let your peace lily get too cold
  • Don’t leave your peace lily in a window with full sun all-day
  • If you keep it in a decorated pot, be sure water is not collecting at the bottom

Keep an eye on new growth and be sure it’s coming in healthy. Follow good watering practices, use healthy potting soil, and avoid letting it get oversaturated, and you can avoid many of the common things that kill peace lily plants.

How to Save a Peace Lily from Dying – Conclusion

As you can see, there are many things that can cause your peace lily to die off. Most of them can be repaired if you spot them in time. This is why it’s so important to know the signs of disease, fungus, overwatering, and other common problems with peace lilies.

If you see brown leaf tips, you’ll know what to do. If you see spider mites, you’ll know what to do. Understanding the ideal temperature needs, what makes enough water, how to give enough light through indirect light to avoid burning the plant, and understanding all the steps of proper care will ensure you have a beautiful, long-lasting peace lily.

Do you have any tips to add to ours about how to save a peace lily from dying?

how to save a peace lily from dying
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Lisa Clark is a freelance writer who grew up on farmland, then moved to the city, and has now retired back to her rural roots. She's having fun teaching her kids about gardening, planting flowers, and collecting houseplants.

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