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How Do You Save A Dying Peace Lily? (Identifying Problems+Solutions)

Peace lilies are popular when it comes to indoor plants. Peace lilies are easy to care for but still require proper growing conditions. Improper care and unfavorable conditions are the most common reasons for dying peace lilies.

Inadequate watering, improper light, overfertilization, cold temperatures, pests, and diseases can stress your plant and lead to wilting of your peace lily. You can revive your peace lilies by providing indirect light, adequate water, nutrients, and maintaining an ideal temperature.

This article will comprehend all the problems that can cause your peace lilies to die and revive them with proper care.


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Signs of a dying peace lily

There are various signs with which you can identify that your peace lily is dying. It is essential to understand all these symptoms to take the necessary action to save your plant.

If you notice any signs mentioned above on your peace lily, the next step is to find the causes behind these so that you can work on fixing them.

What are the causes of your dying peace lily?

Different causes lead to different problems in your peace lily, and we will discuss all those that lead to a dying peace lily.

Overwatering

Overwatering is the most common cause of your dying peace lily. These plants need a good level of moisture in the soil but to a certain limit.

If the soil is soggy, it will eventually starve the plant because it limits the oxygen supply, and the peace lily will not get enough oxygen to grow properly and stay healthy.

Excess water can cause fungal problems to peace lilies, such as root rot which damages the plant’s roots.

Symptoms

  • Black-tipped and weak roots
  • Brown edges on leaves
  • Brown tips on leaves
  • Yellowing of leaves
  • Wilting of leaves
  • Falling of leaves
  • Stunted growth

Solution

  • It would be best to stop watering immediately.
  • Provide at least 6 hours of indirect sunlight to the plant.
  • Cut off affected leaves with sharp pruners.
  • Place your peace lily in a well-aerated area. 
  • Remove the dead and dying roots and keep the healthy roots.
  • Don’t fertilize the plant before recovery.
  • Water the peace lily when the topsoil is dry.

Prevention

  • Water your peace lily only after checking the moisture level of the soil.
  • Make sure your plant’s pot has a sound drainage system so that the excess water drains out.
  • Avoid watering your plant at night.
  • You can use a water sensor for measuring the water level of the soil.
  • If you don’t have a water sensor, you can also put your finger into the soil, pull it out and check the moisture.
  • You must change your water schedule according to the changing season.

Also read: How To Save An Overwatered Peace Lily? (Signs, Problems & Solution)



Underwatering

If the soil gets less water, the peace lily will not grow properly due to a lack of moisture and nutrients. It is vital to water them adequately.

Due to underwatering, your peace lily will not get enough water and nutrients, which could be the reason behind your dying peace lily.

Symptoms

  • Falling of leaves
  • Brown edges
  • Slow growth and smaller leaves
  • Droopy leaves
  • Leaves turning both yellow and brown
  • Stressed leaves

Solution

  • Water your peace lily whenever it needs it.
  • Ensure to thoroughly soak the soil when you water your peace lily and wait for the excess water to drain.
  • Avoid excess heat as hot conditions or warm drafts can significantly increase evaporation from the soil and make the soil dry faster.

Prevention

  • Don’t expose your peace lily to direct sunlight, as it can dry the soil only after a day or two.
  • Monitor the soil every few days to understand if your peace lily needs water.
  • You can check the moisture level by using your finger.
  • You can also check the moisture with a moisture meter.
  • Use soil with high organic material. Peace lilies need soil that will retain the required moisture to prevent underwatering.

Also read: How Often Should A Peace Lily Be Watered? (Peace Lily Water Requirements)

Low temperature

Low temperatures can also kill peace lilies. Peace lilies cannot tolerate cold, and they mostly thrive in warm and humid climates.

For this plant, the temperature should be between 68-85°F. But if the temperature drops below 45°F, the health of the plant begins to decline.

It becomes difficult for peace lily to grow well in low temperatures as it experiences many problems.

Symptoms

  • Brown tips or edges on leaves.
  • Leaves are eventually turning black.
  • Root Rot
  • Slow growth
  • Leggy growth
  • Leaf drop

Solution

  • Reduce watering significantly. Your plant will need water only if the soil is dry.
  • Remove all the damaged roots and leaves.
  • Provide a full day of indirect sunlight.
  • You can also provide artificial light.
  • Avoid fertilizing when it is still recovering.

Prevention

  • Try to maintain an ideal temperature between 68-85°F.
  • You can keep a thermostat device for measuring the temperature.
  • Peace lily needs water when the root zone is dry. You should check before watering.
  • Lack of humidity creates a huge problem, and you can use a humidifier to add humidity to the air inside your home.
  • Remove old blooms and leaves from the plant to keep them healthy.

Also read: Where Should Peace Lily Be Placed? (Ideal Spot+Placement Tips)

Improper lighting

If peace lily is getting too much light or low light, it may die.

If your peace lilies are not getting enough light, it will stunt their growth. And on the other hand, too much light can dry the plant completely, which can kill them.

An adequate amount of sunlight is vital for your peace lily’s overall growth.

Symptoms

  • Yellow leaves
  • Brown spots on leaves 
  • Droopy leaves

Solution

In case of too much light:

  • Avoid placing the peace lily in direct sunlight.
  • Move your plant to an area with low light.
  • Water your peace lily to keep it moisturized.

Prevention

  • Choose your plant location carefully.
  • While choosing the location, ensure that the light intensity is moderate, not more, not less.
  • You should provide the peace lily 6 hours of indirect sunlight.
  • South or west-facing windows are the best locations for peace lilies.

Also read: What Kind Of Light Does A Peace Lily Need? (Peace Lily Light Requirements)

Poor soil

Soil structure affects the root’s ability to grow and supply the leaves with water and minerals.

If your peace lilies are not growing well and the growth is slow even after watering them properly and providing them with adequate sunshine, there is some problem with the soil composition.

Due to wrong soil composition, peace lilies can suffer from poor drainage, which can cause root rot.

Symptoms

  • Leaf drops.
  • Wilting and drooping of leaves.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Yellow and burnt leaves on tips and margins.

Solution

  • You should add organic matter to improve the soil. It will make the soil well-draining and also help to retain moisture and nutrients.
  • You should get a soil test to include new organic amendments for increasing the nutrients.
  • You can mulch the soil surface of your peace lilies. It will increase the fertility of the soil.

Prevention

  • Choose a nutrient-rich soil that contains plenty of organic matter.
  • Peace lilies prefer slightly acidic soil with pH levels between 5.8 and 6.5.
  • The pH value should not be above 7.0 because it can create toxicity and become poisonous to peace lilies.

Also read: What Kind Of Soil To Use For Peace Lily? (Peace Lily Soil Mix)

Root rot

Root rot is a common disease, and it is mainly caused by waterlogging.

Due to overwatering, various fungi infestations and the pathogens in the soil grow leading to root rot.

Root rot is one of the primary causes of your dying peace lilies.

Symptoms

  • Falling of leaves
  • Yellowish and pale leaves
  • Wilting of leaves
  • Small leaves
  • Brown and black roots
  • Slow and stunted growth

Solution

  • Prune all the damaged leaves.
  • Take the peace lily out of the pot and remove the soil from the root ball.
  • Wash the roots and cut all the damaged and diseased roots with sterilized scissors.
  • To kill the fungus or bacteria from the pot, wash it with a bleach-water solution.
  • To prevent the roots from further damage, dip the roots in a fungicide solution.
  • Replant your peace lily in a new cleaning pot using fresh and sterilized soil.

Prevention

  • Water your peace lily only when required.
  • Make sure the soil is not soggy.
  • A proper drainage system should drain the excess water from the soil.
  • Repot your peace lily in a larger pot and replace the used soil with a new one.

Also read: How To Treat Root Rot In Peace Lily? (Signs, Identification & More)

Nutrition deficiency

Nutrients in the soil create a significant impact on peace lilies. Peace lilies are light feeders. They don’t need fertilizers much, but if they are not getting enough nutrients from the soil, they will not grow and might die in the long run.

Peace lilies grow best using a fertilizer that contains potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorous.

Symptoms

  • Curling leaves
  • New leaves and roots have stunted growth
  • Brown tips on leaves
  • Abnormal foliage
  • Holes in leaves
  • Yellow and brown spots on leaves

Solution

  • To cure nitrogen deficiencies, use organic fertilizers.
  • For phosphorous deficiency, add some bone meal to the soil as they are rich in phosphorous.
  • Ensure you feed nutrients to the plant in the right amount as too much nitrogen and phosphorous is not good for the plant.

Prevention

  • Add organic compost to the soil.
  • You should add a fertilizer with a 3:1:2 ratio.
  • Fertilize peace lilies every six weeks to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
  • When the peace lily starts to recover, switch the fertilizers, lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorous.

Overfertilization

Peace lilies don’t require a lot of fertilizers. Too much nitrogen can kill these plants. Too much fertilization can burn the root tips of a plant and weakens the plant ultimately.

The fertilizers should be perfectly balanced for the proper growth of a plant.

Symptoms

  • Brown tips on leaves
  • Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves
  • Brown and black roots
  • Growth stops completely
  • Black spots on leaves

Solution

  • Remove the damaged leaves.
  • Flush the soil to remove the excess fertilizer.
  • Soak the soil with water until it drains out in the bottom of the container and let the water run for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat this drain cycle 1 to 2 times.
  • Water it again when the top 2 inches of soil gets dry.
  • You can also replant peace lilies in a new pot with new fresh soil.
  • Don’t fertilize your plant until the peace lilies look healthy again.

Prevention 

  • It is essential to have your soil tested before applying any fertilizers. Do not add any fertilizers unless the soil needs them.
  • Instead of using chemical fertilizers, you can mulch the soil with decomposed leaves or bone meal to improve the soil.
  • While using liquid fertilizers, add enough water to them to avoid over-fertilization.
  • You should use fertilizers to a specific limit and not regularly.

Also read: What Kind Of Fertilizer Does A Peace Lily Need? (Peace Lily Fertilizer Ratio)

Pest infestations

Pests make the plant weak as they suck out sap from the plant. They damage the entire plant and make the plant weak.

Pests attack the plant and cause injury to them. Pests on peace lilies are rare, but aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites can attack the peace lilies.

Symptoms

  • Yellow, black, and orange spots on leaves.
  • Curling of leaves.
  • Discoloration
  • The plant fails to grow.
  • Distorted leaves
  • Leaf decay.

Solution

At first, remove the damaged and affected plant parts.

To get rid of aphids:

  • Wash peace lily with a strong spray of water to remove aphids.
  • You can use horticultural oil and insecticidal soap while spraying.
  • You can also buy lady beetles as they feed on aphids.

To get rid of spider mites:

Mix ½ cup buttermilk and 4 cups of wheat flour with 4 to 5 gallons of water and spray on the top and bottom of the peace lily leaves.

To get rid of mealybugs:

  • Dip cotton balls in alcohol and remove all the mealybugs with it.
  • Mix 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol, add few drops of dawn dish and 946 ml of water. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
  • Spray the entire plant, which includes leaves and stems, to get rid of mealy bugs.

Prevention

  • Check your plant frequently to find any issue in the plant and to get rid as soon as possible.
  • Use neem or horticultural oil spray every month to prevent the peace lilies from pests.
  • Avoid overwatering and over-fertilization.
  • Provide your plant with enough air circulation and try not to keep them in humid conditions.

Also read: Do Peace Lily Attract Bugs? (Identification+How ToGet Rid Of Them)


If you are looking to buy a lot of houseplants to brighten up your space and that too on a budget, try out Cellardoorplants. They offer a wide variety of plants, delivered right to your doorstep, and that too for every budget. If you haven't checked them yet, Try them now!


Final words

Peace lilies are low-maintenance houseplants and can quickly revive to a healthy state with proper care. So do not panic if you feel that your peace lily is dying and try to find what is wrong. Once you know it, start the treatment.

You should adequately water them and provide proper lighting to them. Make sure you don’t fertilize them when they are recovering. Always prune the dead leaves and flowers to keep them clean and healthy.


Ref: ScienceDirectNCBIUniversity of VermontNationalgeographicNC state universityUniversity of FloridaThe University of ArkansasQueensland Government.