The Q&A Archives: Unhappy Mature Plant

Question: My peace lily which I've had for over 6 years is unhappy. It has lost over 60 leaves over the past 4 months, the leaves brown and die. The existing leaves are not the deep green they normally are. The plant has stopped producing flowers but still gets a few new shoots. I can not see any evidence of bugs. The plant was repotted last May so I dont think it is rootbound. The plants location in my home has not been moved. HELP!!! Why is it so unhappy?

Answer: There are several possible reasons I can think of. One is that the new potting soil is not as rich as the original was, or that the roots have not extended out into it. You might want to check that, and repot again if needed, taking care to spread out the roots so they will grow into the new mix. Also try to match the soil types so the roots are not shocked and so they absorb and hold moisture at the same rate. If the roots have actually grown into the new mix, it is possible you need to use a fertilizer containing micronutrients in addition to the main three (NPK), or try supplementing your normal fertilizer with compost tea. My other thought is that the plant is "old" and needs to be rejuvenated to encourage vigorous growth. You would do this by dividing it. I hope this helps you trouble shoot -- it sounds like a grand plant!

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