Monday, October 5th, 2009...12:00 am

Saving a Sick Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum by PiccolaTerry

Spathiphyllum by PiccolaTerry

TheGardenLady received a question from Billie on her post  “Caring for Sick Peace Lilies”.

I have a peace lily that has sympathetic value.  And it looks awful. I have not moved it. It has been in same spot since april. The leaves are wilting and just hanging over the edge of pot and the leaves are starting to turn brown. It has been like this a couple months. I tried watering it, putting it outside under ashade tree and fertilized it. I recently re-potted it. But thats not helping. I dont know what to do. Please help

Peace Lilies, Spathiphyllum, like well-drained soils that are relatively acidic and like warm temperatures.  (see here) You should be fertilizing the Peace Lily plant regularly during the growing season to maintain a dark green foliage color.Usually the Peace Lily is a plant that is resistant to most problems. However, occasionally mites, scales, and/or mealy bugs may be a problem. So check your plant leaves. If you have properly cared for your Peace Lily and have ruled out any insect problems, a last try is to repot the plant in new soil. Try one of those brands of potting soils that have slow release fertilizer. (see here)

One problem for plants kept in pots is that there is so little soil in the pots that the soil might not be able to do its job after a while. For example salts can build up in the soil from the fertilizers that were used over the years. (see here)  Fertilizers are salts and if you do not water thoroughly, salts can become concentrated in the soil in pots. High soil-salt concentrations are toxic to roots and can kill a plant. Peace Lilies are one plant that cannot tolerate any salt build up.

When you repot the plant you might also want to add a product called SUPERthrive to the new soil. This is a product that some very fine nurseries recommend to help avoid stress to the plant. One blogster tested this product (see here),  and did notice a difference. It is a little pricey. But if you want to try to save some plant that has sentimental value, it is worth spending the extra money to help your plant. Get the smallest bottle because a small amount goes a long way.

Good luck with your Peace Lily. Let TheGardenLady’s readers know whether you can save it. But if you can’t, know that you did your best.

TheGardenLady wishes she could save everyone’s plants. Unfortunately all life dies- including plants. (and someday soon, even This GardenLady). Even with the best of care, death happens. My father-in-law thought that having a nursery was the best business to be in. He said that since plants always die, nurseries always will be in business selling more.

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2 Comments

  • Thank you for your article. I think I figured out what I’ve been doing wrong. More later…

  • I am having the same exact problem I have a peace lily that is sentimental to me and can’t figure out what’s wrong I would love to know what happen to yours and what did you do I would like to try what you did I did a NPK test and it says my plant needs the K part so I’m gonna try that

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