The Q&A Archives: Chewed Up Peace Lily?

Question: I have a rather large mauna loa that I keep indoors. It was doing quite well until my dog decided to snack on it! I want to get it back to the condition it was in but the bottom leaves are chewed up quite badly and I would like to know what I can do to fix it. Should I cut the damaged parts off or is that even possible. The plant is still flowering but not as often as it once was, please help me save my plant. Thank you for your time and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: I'm sorry it has taken so long to answer your question.

First of all, these plants can be toxic so it is important to either relocate the plant or train the dog to stop eating it! (My cat likes to nibble on mine -- bad kitty!)

You can trim away any damaged leaves, in a short while the new growth will make the damage unnoticeable. Unfortunately, the leaves will not "repair" themselves.

In terms of encouraging the plant to grow and bloom, there are several reasons why a plant may slow down. One is a change in reduced light; sometimes the summer sun being higher in the sky results in less light actually reaching the plant. Next is a lack of fertility, where the plant could use a regular regime of fertilizer according to the label instructions during the growing season (less or none in winter when the lighting is least). Use a water soluble formulated for foliage plants and also that includes minor nutrients. This plant is somewhat sensitive to overfertilizing and a buildup of minerals in the soil, so you might want to leach the soil every few months as a precaution. Next would be overcrowding, and the plant needs to be either repotted into a larger pot or divided and replanted. These plants tend to lose some vigor with time and a plant that you have had for several years probably would be ready for division and/or repotting, especially if has grown a lot. I hope this helps you trouble shoot.

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