Ask a Question forum: Peace lily doing poorly

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Cjarlotte, NC
Candyturbo
Jan 8, 2018 7:16 PM CST
I have had my peace lily for 5 years. It has always been quite a show-off. In the past 6 months, I have noticed the leaves have thinned out. The existing leaves still appear healthy, but I am not sure why the foliage has become more sparse. I have cleaned out dead leaves and stems, but new growth seems to have slowed. It is getting the same light it always has and the soil is kept moist. Could it be that the root system has outgrown the pot? Is it as simple as getting a larger pot? Do I need to re-pot it during a specific season? Thanks for any advice.
Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Jan 9, 2018 6:41 AM CST
Hello! Is it possible to show us a picture of your plant so members can assess more accurately the conditions and state of your plant?
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Cjarlotte, NC
Candyturbo
Jan 9, 2018 8:00 PM CST
Attached is a photo. I noticed with this photo that he does have a few brown leaf tips. He used to have twice this much foliage.
Thumb of 2018-01-10/Candyturbo/b2409c

Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Jan 9, 2018 8:05 PM CST
Candyturbo said:Attached is a photo. I noticed with this photo that he does have a few brown leaf tips. He used to have twice this much foliage.
Thumb of 2018-01-10/Candyturbo/b2409c



Brown leaf tips can indicate overfeeding / over fertilizing. Wilting like this can indicate not getting the moisture it needs, or even getting too much. Check the soil to a depth of an inch or two to see if it's moist or dry.

Others will chime in with lots of advice. The poor thing does look poorly. Crying
AKA Joey.
Cjarlotte, NC
Candyturbo
Jan 9, 2018 8:08 PM CST
Thanks. He is still pretty but just feeling a little down. We will test and learn. We already saved a different plant that way.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Jan 9, 2018 10:41 PM CST
Candyturbo said:Thanks. He is still pretty but just feeling a little down. We will test and learn. We already saved a different plant that way.


You're welcome, and you are welcome to the site as well! Welcome!

Usually, if the leaves aren't standing up, it means that they are deprived of moisture. When you test the soil, if it's dry, then try watering it until water leaks from the bottom of the pot, and letting the pot stand in water for a day or so to soak it up. After that, be sure to water it whenever the leaves begin to lean, even slightly.

If testing shows moist soil, then others will have to advise. I've never had any experience with overwatering.

Again, welcome to the site! Lots of really nice people here!
AKA Joey.
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Faridat
Jan 10, 2018 12:38 AM CST
Hello! Get it in the shower and give it a good soak. Springle the leaves, so that the dust that covers the leaves by time, goes away. That should help with it perking up. Let it drain well, then put it in its place again.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Sally
central Maryland
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sallyg
Jan 10, 2018 12:51 AM CST
I agree with trying a good soaking.They rarely suffer when too wet but if they get dry to the point of wilting, will turn older leaves yellow right away. Since you don't have yellow leaves or complete wilt, maybe it is on the brink, having trouble getting quite enough water. Do not repot (unless Will tells you to); these hate having the roots torn up, and just putting in a bigger pot with soil around can still leave watering problems.
There might be a mineral buildup. Can make it hard for the roots and lead to brown tip. If possible, use rain water or filtered water.
You can pull the whole thing out and look without hurting the plant. Sometimes its quite enlightening, can be dry down there when the surface seems moist , etc.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 10, 2018 7:25 PM CST
It appears that the soil has consistently been allowed to get too dry between waterings. Although the foliage perks up after watering, leaves that regularly wilt gradually become weaker and stop responding.

I am also wondering if you are watering thoroughly. The soil surface is very close to the top rim of the pot making it difficult to water without having it spill over the top. I'm not sure why it is potted so high. If watering it thoroughly is a problem, then consider slicing off the bottom inch of the rootball and setting it lower in the pot. If it is not a problem for you, then leave the roots alone.

Remove all the dry dead stuff. Keep the soil moist at all times making sure you water just BEFORE the leaves start to wilt. Any green leaves that don't perk up after watering, never will. However, the roots are healthy and will push up lots of healthy new growth that will stay upright as long as you water more frequently.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Cjarlotte, NC
Candyturbo
Jan 12, 2018 4:53 PM CST
Thank you, everyone for the great advice. "Herman" was received from a friend when my mom passed away, so it came from a florist and I never thought about it being potted high. It does tend to run over if I don't water slowly. Now that you mention it, my other peace lily that is very happy does have more depth.

I am guilty of probably not watering frequently enough. I soak it when I water, but more often than not it starts wilting slightly before I start my plant watering routine. I will shower off the leaves and then water more often and see if it perks up. It is special to me since I got it after my mom passed. It has been healthy for 5 1/2 years -- hopefully I can turn it around.

Thanks again. I am glad I found you all. You may see me often here. I have lots of questions. 😃

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