Tropicals forum: Ailing Old Peace Lily

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 12, 2016 5:01 PM CST
I have owned a lovely large Peace Lily for over 15 years. It's been healthy all summer and recently bloomed. Suddenly it is wilted and in great distress. I dug it up out of it's large pot and replaced the soil adding more perlite. There was no smell or evidence of rot. The roots were long and strong. There were 4 large plants and 2-3 small babies. It has been 3 days in the new soil and it is showing no signs of recovery. I fear I am going to lose them. I am open to any final ideas while she is on her last leg.
Old picture.
Thumb of 2016-09-12/ShadyGreenThumb/7d9b6f
Today


Thumb of 2016-09-12/ShadyGreenThumb/227a63

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Sep 12, 2016 5:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Sep 13, 2016 11:34 AM CST
Cheryl, my guess is that it became so root-bound, that simply watering it did no good. The water just ran straight through and out the drainage holes. If you are going to keep it intact as in the photo, I would place the pot in a large basin of water, deep enough that it comes to the top of the soil, and let it soak for several hours. Do this weekly until you know whether the plants will survive or not. Mist the leaves 2-3 times each day but have good air circulation so that the leaves have a chance to dry out between misting.

If this were my plant, I would divide it, separating the pups from the "mothers". Pot the pups up separately. Keep all the potting soils slightly moist, never allowing any of the pots' soils to dry out. If you lose the mature plants, perhaps you can save the pups. Perhaps you have already done this.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
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ardesia
Sep 13, 2016 2:29 PM CST
Sounds like she already repotted it Ken.

Cheryl, I don't think those old leaves will perk up again, I would cut them off and hope the plant sends out new growth. Be sure to look for any signs of insect infestation in the crown of the plants.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Sep 16, 2016 7:31 AM CST
My experience with these guys seems to be kind of in line with what Alice said. Ken's advice is spot on for root bound plants, but you mentioned it is already repotted. Soaking it too much at this point could lead to rot issues (if it's not allowed to dry somewhat between soakings).

I've repotted perfectly healthy spathipylum plants and they always seem to sulk get pouty by immediately wilting and (as my dad would say) "looking like the rats peed on them." Blinking nodding Some to most of the existing leaves may die, but they do generally start to send up new growth before too long. It's important to not water too much during this time as it will be more sensitive to root rot until you see it either perk back up or start to push up new growth.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
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drdawg
Sep 16, 2016 7:48 AM CST
Good points, Carter. Keep in mind that even though a terribly root-bound plant is re-potted (and I don't even know whether this plant was root-bound), that root-ball still will resist water retention. The new potting soil may be moist, but unless the root-ball has time to absorb water again, it will still stay dry. There is always a fine line between moist and soggy-wet. I just want my root-bound plant to re-hydrate when it has succumbed to drought-like conditions. Soaking is the only sure way I know to achieve this. Just my experience, you understand.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
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Carter
Sep 16, 2016 7:54 AM CST
You are exactly right, Ken.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 16, 2016 2:09 PM CST
Thanks all. I'll be trimming the plant back and hoping for the best. Crossing Fingers! It was in a VERY large pot and nowhere rootbound. I have had the plant for 15 years but not in the same pot for 15 years. I have had it in the house for about 5 years. I am totally stumped as to why this has happened. But I will deal with it.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Sep 16, 2016 2:15 PM CST
OK, Cheryl, at least we know that it wasn't root-bound. Just forget all my advice, since it was based on a root-bound plant. Good luck.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 16, 2016 3:24 PM CST
HI Cheryl, I have always found my Peace Lily very thirsty during summer, so I always water them often, then on situations where my peace lily is near death, a careful gently watering really helps them revive again. Twice it has happened to me, one time brought out by mistake so it got too toasty dry and this last August, it got too thirsty indoors while we were away for almost a month. Gently reviving with water, will eventually help it perk up.

It may be acclimating too from the changes you made, so give it time.

My Peace lily looked much worst that that but it came back:
Thumb of 2016-09-16/tarev/0a60ff

And recently this last August, you can still see the dried out damage on some leaves, but it is now sending me a new leaf:
Thumb of 2016-09-16/tarev/5b0ac7
Thumb of 2016-09-16/tarev/5c201c

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Sep 21, 2016 7:56 PM CST
We've started over but we have hope! NEW growth!

Thumb of 2016-09-22/ShadyGreenThumb/ae75ed

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Carter Mayer
Houston, TX (Zone 9b)
Tropicals Adeniums Plant Identifier
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Carter
Sep 22, 2016 6:50 AM CST
Congrats! That's exciting!! Thumbs up
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
Tropical Plants & More
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
Oct 2, 2016 12:42 PM CST
Things are looking up there, Cheryl @ ShadyGreenThumb.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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I don't have gray hair, I have wisdom-highlights. I must be very wise.
Name: Laurie Basler
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids
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lauriebasler
Oct 5, 2016 5:51 AM CST
So glad. I have seen spaths do this to their faithful owners before. Wonder if it is just something that they do sometimes.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Oct 23, 2016 10:29 AM CST
Update. She seems to be bouncing back! It appears I didn't lose any. If I knew what happened, I'd surely prevent it if I could! Now all I need is time and patience to bring it back to the magnificent size it once was.
Thumb of 2016-10-23/ShadyGreenThumb/07a9d3

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Oct 23, 2016 12:27 PM CST
That is so good to see Cheryl! It is on the mend, just keep on being patient with it, just gentle watering. It does like to be kept moist, once those new leaves are out. It sure is a fighter!
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
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plantmanager
Oct 23, 2016 12:45 PM CST
Hurray! Cheryl! It's great it's recovering nicely and shouldn't take too long to be beautiful again.
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 14, 2016 5:00 PM CST
Well, my plant appeared to be coming back and doing well. But now it is as if it's started again on the brand new leaves! What could it be? Should I totally repot them in something different? New soil? Washing the roots and disinfecting them somehow?
Thumb of 2016-12-14/ShadyGreenThumb/53a8f0

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Dec 14, 2016 8:15 PM CST
I may be way off base but that looks like fertilizer burn to me. Also, that potting medium looks like it has an over abundance of vermiculite.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Cat Lover Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Region: California Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener
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tarev
Dec 14, 2016 8:46 PM CST
Oh, sad to see that Cheryl..but maybe it is just adjusting to watering? Are you giving intervals in watering?
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Dec 17, 2016 12:28 PM CST
Haven't used fertilizer in 3 months and it was a weak solution of Miracle Grow. The new soil I mixed in has no added fertilizer. (That's getting harder to find!) I added the extra perlite because when I dug up the dying plant the soil was hard as a rock. Would perlite add anything else to the mix besides drainage? Any chemical change?

I think I will eventually dig it up and place them in smaller pots to get a very good start over and a final chance at a good life. It gave us so many great years! Crying Maybe something is living in that pot? It is large, old, plastic, brought in from outside about 4 years ago, and could very house something creepy.

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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