Ask a Question forum: Peace lily help-leaves drying dark green

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pinkElephants
Jan 11, 2016 5:22 PM CST
I have a peace lily that is about 2.5 years old, it has been doing very well until recently for an unknown reason. I have not changed watering habits or light intensity. Its leaves are starting to dry up...but they retain their green color all the way through the drying process...absolutely no brown, yellow, or black. The leaves dry anywhere from the lower leaves to the top ones.

I re-potted the plant about a year ago. This issue began about 6 months ago. Any insight or suggestions to try? Help is much appreciated! Thanks!
Name: Lin
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plantladylin
Jan 11, 2016 6:50 PM CST
Hi pinkElephants, Welcome! to All Things Plants!
Just a guess but I'm thinking the drying leaves could be due to lack of humidity as well as very dry air ... which happens in heated homes during the winter months. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) as well as other Peace Lilies are tropical plants that love warmth and high humidity. You can sit the plant on a saucer or tray of moist pebbles (just be sure to replace the water in the saucer/tray as it evaporates) which will raise the humidity levels around the plant but it's important to keep good air circulation too and a small fan on low speed will help with that.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Jan 11, 2016 8:25 PM CST
Check on the root-ball. I have a feeling that it is totally roots - little or no soil. Therefore, the "routine" watering is simply going straight out the drainage holes.
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Jan 12, 2016 1:02 PM CST
One thing you can do to FORCE water into a tight, circling root-ball is to lower the entire pot into a bucket of water a few inches lower than the rim of your pot. Or use a filled sink. After a few minutes, the root ball is 100% soaked with water.

But you have to hope that enough water drains back out fast enough, or the plant can drink it up fast enough, that your remaining root hairs don't drown.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Jan 12, 2016 11:58 PM CST
Agree with DrDawg. Having grown/sold hundreds and hundreds of Peace Lilies, your plant is likely root bound. You have had this plant for 2 1/2 years. When was it last repotted? How many times have you divided the plant? What type pot? Clay or plastic.

Rick's method will work. But if it is pot/root bound, it needs to be divided and repotted. Unlike some plants that don't mind being terribly potbound (e.g. Agapanthus), Peace Lilies do mind.

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 13, 2016 4:30 PM CST
Agree. I think it needs repotting/more soil. Plants need water but they also need the nurtients that soil provide. Welcome!
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 13, 2016 4:46 PM CST
Thanks David. "Divided", not root-pruned.

Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Jan 13, 2016 9:54 PM CST
I said " it needs to be divided and repotted". I said nothing about root pruning. Would not suggest it anyway for a PL. Particularly to a newby here.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Jan 14, 2016 6:44 AM CST
Root-pruning would not be prudent. Whistling The only time I root-prune is when I have a large plant in a large pot and the plant is significantly root-bound. If the pot size can't be increased, I might trim back all the top-growth by 1/3 and then trim roots. Since there is 1/3 less branches/leaves, these is less need for the mass of roots. I am simply trying to keep things in proportion. Thumbs up
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Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
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Horntoad
Jan 14, 2016 8:59 AM CST
The first post stated that it was repotted a year ago.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jan 14, 2016 10:05 AM CST
Peace Lilies grow extremely fast (in good growing conditions) and even if it wasn't root-bound when it was re-potted (we don't know this) and don't know how much larger the pot was (if any larger at all), it still could be root-bound.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Jan 14, 2016 8:05 PM CST
Very true. I brought home a PL that did not sell from our Master Gardener Plant Sale last April. It has triple in size since then and desperately needs to be divided and repotted. My guess is that I can divide it out 4 ways. So I will do so soon and take them back to this year's plant sale.
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pinkElephants
Jun 11, 2016 9:44 PM CST
I disappeared for several months, sorry to be late on the replies, and thanks so much for your insight everyone!

I took the lily out of the pot and noticed that that roots stopped growing at exactly the point where I put in the new soil a year ago when I last repotted it! Something about the new soil seems to have pissed off the plant and it refused to grow into the new soil.

I divided and repotted it once more, and kept with the original soil mixture that it was doing well in for so long. (Standard well-draining potting soil with some pearlite) I think the soil it didn't like was too dense and I didn't mix it well enough with the original soil either. It's been about 4 months now since the re-pot. New leaves come in, then after they are about 4-5 inches long, the leaf tips dry up one by one until the entire leaf finally dries.

Could this be a disease of some sort? I'm worried it is sick beyond repair. Close to giving up Sad
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 11, 2016 10:09 PM CST
We really need pictures, and we need to know where you are, what the weather's like and is the plant indoors or out? It surely could be outdoors now.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. First thing I would try is soaking it for a couple of hours in a bowl or bucket of warm-ish water. It sounds like the root ball isn't getting moist enough to support the new growth. These plants like lots of water as long as they have good drainage. If the root ball got seriously dried out at any time it can be hard to re-hydrate the soil, and water you pour into the pot will just run through, not be absorbed.

IF you're worried about root rot, first slip it out of the pot and sniff. If it smells nice, and earthy, just slip it back in. If there is a funky, moldy or rotted smell, taking action about that is a good idea. I'd try first a douse with very diluted hydrogen peroxide - get it at the drugstore or grocery store, and dilute 32:1 with water, then douse the whole root ball.

My last resort is banishment - I put the plant out in my jungle, and leave it to its own devices. About half the time I come back in a month and the plant has jumped up and is (figuratively speaking) sticking its tongue out at me.
Elaine

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