Ask a Question forum: Can a peace lily come back from root rot?

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Moose422
Jun 23, 2015 7:48 PM CST
Back in December my wife and I received a peace lily from her step-father's funeral. It slowly started losing leaves, so we started watering it with a watering globe (we now know that that was a poor decision). Once we noticed that it was waterlogged we tried letting it dry out on its own yet it just started wilting. Today I decided to repot it and I found some bad root rot. I trimmed away the worst of it and noticed tgat there were still A FEW good roots. Is there anything we can do to save the lily?
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Jun 24, 2015 5:37 AM CST
If all the roots are mushy I'd have to say there is no way of saving it. I'm sure others will come along with more advice for you.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 24, 2015 8:17 AM CST
Hi Moose422, Welcome! to All Things Plants!

The pieces of plant that still have a bit of root attached (your last two photos) look like they are still viable so you should definitely give it a try! The largest clump in the next to last picture looks to have extremely wet soil remaining around the base so I'd rinse every bit of that away and dry the plants completely - you can use paper towels and even lay them out on paper towels for awhile to dry, then pot them all up into a small pot containing some well draining soil, either commercial potting soil with a lot of perlite added for drainage or you can add orchid bark mix to the soil which will allow more air circulation around the roots. Be sure your container isn't too large for the size of the plant and that it has good drainage in the bottom for the excess water to escape. When watering, don't let the pot sit in a tray of accumulated water for long or the roots will get saturated, causing root rot and the eventual demise of the plant.

I've been growing Peace Lily for years and like all of my other plants, I grow them in a mixture of potting soil with lots of orchid bark mixed in ... it makes for a chunky, airy, well draining potting medium. My Peace Lilies stay out on my screened porch year round, but I live in Florida so my plants do receive extra moisture from all the humidity in the air. I am very lax about watering so mine will totally wilt at times with the leaves flopped over the edges of the pots ... but they perk up once I've soaked them with the hose. Good luck with your Peace Lily and I hope you are able to revive it for many years of enjoyment. Condolences to you, your wife and family on the loss of her step-father.

Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum)
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 25, 2015 9:25 AM CST
That is interesting, I have found Peace Lilies to be more of a water hog here in my area especially when temps are getting hotter now.
My peace lily got fried in heat and lost all its leaves one time when my hubby thought it needs sun, not undestanding it needs shade and be kept moist. I was able to nurse it back, diligently giving it daily spritzing, keeping the media moist and in shade. Thankfully seasons were slowly transitioning and Fall was coming up then but temps still nicely warm.

In your 2nd to the last photo, it still has a potential to return nicely, I would put it back in a moist media, and put it in shade. Keep media moist, do not dry it out. Give it time to adjust and get back, it is a very resilient plant. You will need your patience and diligence to keep the media moist.

Have attached here a photo of mine, to show you how resilient it is:
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 25, 2015 10:22 AM CST
tarev, I've never had luck with Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) growing in real wet soil but maybe it's because of our high humidity, with so much moisture in the air all time. Our daytime temps have been in the mid to upper 90's with lows in the mid 70's for over a month now, along with the high humidity. Years ago when I used strictly potting soil with no additives and watered once a week, I couldn't keep plants alive.

I found this neat photo with a Peace Lily growing in water and a Beta fish swimming in the vase: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=spathiphyllum+growing+in... and I have heard of some people growing Spathiphyllum strictly in water like the Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii) is sometimes sold and grown. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=lucky+bamboo&view=detail...

I think I'll experiment and go take one of my Peace Lilies apart, wash off all the soil and put it in a vase of water to see how it does.
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Jun 25, 2015 11:14 AM CST
I can sure see it being a water hog in Tarev's dry conditions. But, as you say Lin they are very easy care for me, so it must be the humidity.

Mine are in a window box outside my bedroom patio door, just finished blooming, and I never give them a thought. They get a light watering from the irrigation system a couple of times a week, and light rain if it rains since they are under the overhang.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jun 25, 2015 12:10 PM CST
They grow like weeds in the Philippines, and humidity there is through the roof too with frequent rain. But they are provided some shade from the heat of the sun so often times under the trees. Same here, if I try to put them out it will be zapped by our dry heat during summer and with no rain here it is just so frustrating. So better to have it growing indoors near some nice light, it still needs some light for its photosynthesis. But one thing for sure, it loves water, especially on very warm days. Eventually as seasons change, adjust watering, just a bit more interval when it starts to get cooler and sun is less.

In addition to keeping the media moist, like all other plants, container has to have good drainage and I would add some perlite in the media just to keep it light and open, so it will not go too compacted. That should help the roots get air while being moist.

Moose, as with any repotting to be done, expect the plant to be in adjustment mode, it will undergo some shock, but once it gets acclimated again, it should return nicely. Looking again at the photos, so the last two photos shows very good promise of recovery. Good luck on your plants! Smiling

Moose422
Jun 25, 2015 12:36 PM CST
Thank you all for your advice. When I picked up the crown with the long root, the root just fell off, and when cleaning away the dirt on the larger crown the offshoot and small root detached from it. Not looking too good, but they are dry now and I will replant them into a loose soil for adequate drainage. I am also spritzing the leaves to keep some moisture in the plants without risking more root rot.

Thank you again. I love reading all of the stories and tips.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jun 25, 2015 12:42 PM CST
Oh, sorry to hear the new growth is gone as well as the root. Just try if it will come back, use small container for now, it will need to grow new roots first since there is no root to drink any moisture now.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Aug 16, 2015 9:48 AM CST
On June 25th when I first saw this thread I decided to go out and divide one of my Peace Lily plants. I washed off all soil and took two glass vases of different sizes, put washed/cleaned pebbles into each vase, placed the plants and added more pebbles to anchor them. I then added water just to a level just below the top of the pebbles. It's been almost two months and they seem to be doing fine. I keep them indoors and only moved them out to the screened porch (brighter light) for the photo:
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~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 16, 2015 10:14 AM CST
Amazing, Lin. They look wonderful. Have you been watering with a little bit of fert?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Aug 16, 2015 10:30 AM CST
Elaine, I am soooo bad about fertilizing anything. I usually have good intentions but then forget rather quickly. Rolling on the floor laughing
I can't remember the last time these were fed when they were growing in soil and they haven't been fertilized in the almost two months they've been growing in the water either. I have noticed that they've produced new roots since being in the water so if I supply them with a few nutrients they might also grace me with a bloom or two. Green Grin! I'm going to make myself a note right now to get my 5 gal bucket out tomorrow and mix up some plant food for everything on the porch and the deck and I'll give these guys a tiny bit at the same time. I'm going to take them back out to the porch right now because I know if they are indoors I'll not think about feeding them.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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