Houseplants forum: Help recovering peace lilies?

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Aug 30, 2017 11:56 PM CST
Hi, I had a friend take care of my plants while I was away for a couple weeks - I'm sure he did his best but they sustained an unbelievable amount of damage IMO, especially for peace lilies. A lot of dried leaves, some brown and yellow (mostly around the outer edge of the plants), and with one the leaves are drooping a lot like it really needs water but the soil was already damp when I picked it up, so maybe the problem was that they were overwatered (they were all damp when I picked them up).

I was hoping for any and all advice you can give me regarding helping the plants recover. I already trimmed the leaves with sterilized scissors that seemed way beyond recovery. Please see the pics here (trimmed leaves, followed by worst-looking plant, followed by second worst-looking):

Also, any ideas on how long they will take to recover? They looked great when I dropped them off but they look terrible now (one of them at least - and all of them looked MUCH worse than the pictures before I trimmed the leaves), and am curious about this question also. Not just to look healthy again but to regrow new leaves to replace those that were cut.

Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Sep 2, 2017 2:44 PM CST
It is hard to know just what caused the leaves to die back. Likely it was because the soil got too dry at some point and then revived after it was watered, but some damage had already been done.

You did the right thing by removing the discolored leaves. What remains looks pretty healthy, so I don't think the roots were seriously damaged. Ideally, you should water the Peace Lily just as or before the leaves start to wilt just a bit.

Once you get the watering under control and avoid allowing it to wilt severely or keeping the soil constantly wet, then it should make a nice recovery. Recovery for Peace Lilies is faster than for many other plant species. But be patient.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Oct 3, 2017 7:20 PM CST
I feel your pain. You're trimming may not be over yet..sorry.
How fast they grow back will be depenant on your conditions. The plant itself is forgiving, the leaves are gone, but the plant will settle back to the old routine right away. Once you get it home to your tlc it should grow like always and you'd know better than us. Adding a weak solution of nitrate fertilizer when you water (1/4 strength) will help, as will adding artificial light. It doesn't have to be a fancy set up, even putting them under a "daylight" bulb from a desk lamp as long as its close enough.

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