Houseplants forum: Drooping and cold damaged peace lilies

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NatalyaGrowing
Jan 13, 2018 1:53 PM CST
Hey guys! I recently purchased a couple of peace lilies and I'm having some issues that I'm not sure how to address. To start with they were frost damaged on the way home from the store (along with the spider plant and pothos I purchased at the same time). I didn't think it would be that big of a deal, but I guess that's what happens in Minnesota!
So they're sitting up in a warm spot away from the window, settling and recovering from the cold for a while before I prune off the dead leaves, and they start drooping. I water them and they perk right up again, so I figure it was just that and we're all good now, but then within a day or two they're drooping again. I didn't expect them to need more water for a week or so and the internet seems to concur, so I'm beginning to worry something else is wrong, or that it has something to do with the cold damage. Then I found something online saying that if your peace lily is needing daily watering it may need to be repotted and they are pretty crowded in there, so it could be that, but should I repot them now when they're already under stress from the cold damage or should I wait? And is it even that? I don't see and visible roots on the surface of the soil. But I watered them last night and the soil already feels dry this morning. So if anyone can answer what all is going on and how best to handle it I'd be very appreciative. Also any additional advice about the cold damaged pothos and spider plant would be welcome.
Here are some photos of the subjects in question, with bonus cold damaged spider. They aren't drooping right now because I just watered them last night and I don't have any pictures of them drooping, but they lay right down and dangle down over the top of the bookcase when they do.

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Thank You!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Jan 13, 2018 6:56 PM CST
Peace lilies-
those are small pots for such big peace lilies. I am not surprised they need water everyday to have enough. They are thirsty plants. And they wilt very readily when dry. For these you can actually use a good dish and make sure you water very well, even leave some in the dish to make sure it really soaks the whole pot.
Problem with repotting is, the old rootball may still dry out and not easily suck water from the new soil. These do NOT like their roots ripped apart.
Repotting may be good, I suggest do not mess with the roots and DO be very attentive making sure the actual rootball stays moist while it grows into the new soil.
Spiderplant -I stink at those.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Jan 13, 2018 7:21 PM CST
Welcome to a fellow Minnesotan to the site!
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

NatalyaGrowing
Jan 13, 2018 9:19 PM CST
Thanks sallyg! Ok, so that answers the "to repot or not to repot" question but leaves the "when" question. Should I do it now or give them time to recover and just water them as much as they want in the mean time?
crawgarden, I'm in Rochester, not far from you! So I suppose you would understand why I had cold problems last week!
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Jan 14, 2018 6:49 AM CST
I would keep them in those pots as long as they get enough water. I would add a deep dish under, and water every day if needed.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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kniphofia
Jan 14, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Peace lilies can actually grow in water so yes they do like frequent watering, especially mature plants that have a crowded rootball. You need to make sure you're giving the rootball a thorough soaking and not just watering so that the water is just rushing through without being properly absorbed. I'd put them in a bucket or similar or with a deep dish underneath and let them sit for half an hour or so before you pour any excess water away. I would wait a while to repot, they have had enough stress for now!

Cold damage isn't good news for your porthos and spider plant. Just let them settle into their new home for a while before you assess the damage.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 14, 2018 11:16 AM CST
Cold damage is a problem all over the country. Even folks in FL have recently experienced temps cold enough to damage tender tropical plants. Of course, things are much worse in MN, but it is a common problem.

I think Sally's advice is very good. Remove all of the discolored leaves as they will not recover. Don't be afraid to let your Peace Lily sit in water. I have one that sits in 4 inches of water so it makes it through the week between my care visits. It does just fine. Do avoid letting it reach the wilting point.

As an alternative, you could wait a few weeks and repot at that time. Use a pot one size larger. Gently loosen the roots on the outer portion of the rootball to help it better integrate with the added potting mix. There is always some risk in repotting, however.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

NatalyaGrowing
Jan 14, 2018 5:14 PM CST
Thanks you guys! This helps a lot. I will get a deep dish for them to sit in and give them plenty of water, and repot eventually after they're no longer so stressed (maybe in the late spring).
So, one last thing: I know I need to prune the damaged foliage off of my cold damaged plants, but I read something about waiting two or three weeks to do this. Is that a good idea? Does it matter? It's been about a week, and I pinched the crispy dead leaves off the pothos, because they were dangling down and I was having trouble keeping my cats out of them. They can't reach the peace lilies or the spider though (much to their dismay), so those I can do whenever. So when should I do that, does it matter, and did I hurt my pothos' chances by doing it too soon?
Name: Lin
Florida Zone 9b, 10a

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plantladylin
Jan 14, 2018 5:31 PM CST
I wouldn't re-pot, I'd just water it more often. As suggested, you can sit the containers in a bucket or sink of water and let them soak until they take up as much water as needed and then let them drain before placing them back in the preferred area.

At our old house, the former homeowners left an old non-working fountain dumped in a wooded area of the property. I didn't have a place in the yard where we could run water or electricity to a pump so I had my husband bring the heavy fountain pieces into the atrium and reassemble it in the little pond. I figured I'd just use it as a plant stand to display one of my plants but he took an old pump and hosing and rigged it to have water going up through the fountain and running out into the pond. I knew Peace Lilies loved water so I sat one in the top bowl of the fountain. Before long, roots were growing out the bottom of the pot; the medium stayed constantly wet and the plant thrived! We moved three months ago and I left the plant in the fountain; we haven't sold the house yet and I haven't been back (105 miles farther south) to see how the plant is doing. I might have to ask my sister who lives down the street to check on it for me since we've had a few cold nights here in Florida.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 14, 2018 8:41 PM CST
Natalya - There is no necessary reason to wait on removing cold damaged foliage. The plant doesn't care, but you are the one who has to look at it.

With Pothos (and other vining plants) it is best to prune back the stems that have lost many of their leaves.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

NatalyaGrowing
Feb 22, 2018 11:42 PM CST
Thought you guys might like an update! My plants are doing good. I pruned off the damaged leaves and I'm watering them as much as they want. They are growing new foliage and even new flowers. Thanks for your help guys!
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
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sallyg
Feb 23, 2018 6:41 AM CST
great! thanks for the update!
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)

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