Ask a Question forum: Need Help Bringing Peace Lily Back to Life

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New York, NY
dckrannich
Mar 6, 2018 12:36 PM CST
I received a peace lily from a flower shop from my mother-in-law. Originally, my peace lily was doing really well. When I moved to a new apartment, it started to struggle and die quickly. I realized after a few months that the pot it was sent in was not draining properly so I ended up drowning the plant. From there, I poured out all excess water and let it dry out, and now the soil is always moist and it's still not back to normal. I even fertilized it a month or two ago and still haven't seen much change. It will start producing new young green leaves but after a few weeks they will turn brown and shrivel up. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I do use tap water but I live in Manhattan and NYC tap is supposed to be some of the cleanest. My other plants are doing well just not this one.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Mar 6, 2018 1:10 PM CST
Hellodckrannich, applying fertilizer on an already distressed plant will not improve its conditions. It will just aggravate its situation actually, causing root and leaf burn.

If are really up to it, you can try and repot, so it will allow you to see condition of the rhizome, if there are roots forming at all. Remove all old soil since it may just have too much fertilizer for its needs. Get a new soil, repot in well draining container, keep the plant in a warm area with indirect light, and be patient. The plant likes to be kept moist but not too soggy.

It takes a bit of patience to see if it will bounce back, but it can do it provided adjustments to its cultural growing conditions is made.

Good luck on your plant! If all else fails, don't feel sad, just get a new Peace Lily and learn from previous mistake.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 6, 2018 2:48 PM CST
A photo would be helpful in determining just how dire the plant is. It may be the roots have rotted in which case recovery will be difficult at best.

NYC water is fine and not the cause of the problem, except when used in such quantity as to suffocate the roots.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
New York, NY
dckrannich
Mar 6, 2018 7:42 PM CST
Here is a picture- I will try new soil!
Thumb of 2018-03-07/dckrannich/f8b9fa
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 6, 2018 8:01 PM CST
I don't think the problem is the soil. It was the damage done to the roots when they are suffocated from the excess water.

It looks like the soil has dried out pretty well now and there are enough healthy roots to support one of the two remaining plants. I suggest that you just water lightly - enough to keep it from wilting. I time you will see a slow, gradual recovery of the surviving plant. The other one probably will not make it.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
New York, NY
dckrannich
Mar 6, 2018 8:15 PM CST
The small one was the new growth that sprouted and only got to that size then shriveled up. Not sure why that one didn't keep growing
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Mar 9, 2018 11:14 AM CST
Your plant is weak because the root system has been compromised. That means there is little margin for error with watering. Plants sometimes make one last effort to produce new growth before dying back.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
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
Mar 9, 2018 12:08 PM CST
Hello dckrannich, in my initial suggestion to repot, that was my suggestion because you did mention you have applied fertilizer. I do not know how much fertilizer is still in that set-up of yours, so it continues on to leech to the soil every time you water. Then as it dries out the fertilizer salts remain, so it continues on damaging the fragile root system it has.

Peace lilies for the most part are quite resilient My peace lily before seriously dried out, almost no leaves, but it bounced back after several months of careful nurturing. The difference with your plant, I never applied fertilizer though. So that is the reason I am suggesting to repot, do it carefully. The remaining rhizome/roots of your plant will be very fragile since the plant is either too dried out and being damaged by the fertilizer. I do not know how else to determine if there is still fertilizer left in your distressed plant, other than to totally change the media to a new one

I have here photos of my Peace Lily, when it was badly dried out. Seeing your plant photo, there is still a lot of hope there. It is actually in much better condition than mine before. In my plant's case, since I know I did not apply any fertilizer, it ably bounced back as soon as I carefully resumed watering, keeping it warm and with indirect light access. But yours have got fertilizer, so it is possibly affecting the new growth, hence continues on to flop.

Thumb of 2018-03-09/tarev/a7a719

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