Peace Lily Leaves: Common Problems And Tips

Written by Em Casalena
Updated: December 28, 2022
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Few indoor plants can as easily create a calming, tropical atmosphere as the peace lily. Even though this tropical perennial is quite hardy, there are certain frequent peace lily issues that you could run into, particularly with its leaves.

The most frequent issues with peace lilies include insect infestation, withering foliage, browning leaves or leaf tips, yellow leaves, and the inability to bloom. The most likely causes of trouble include poor soil, sunlight, and watering. Peace lilies are tough and the majority of issues are resolvable.

This article will explore some common peace lily leaf issues, problems, and tips for success. We’ll also look at a few peace lily leaf color variants for you to consider.

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Peace Lily Leaf Color Varieties

A typical peace lily features white blossoms called spathes and dark green, oval-shaped leaves. However, there are a number of variegated cultivars that have green leaves with various white designs on them.

You may also be familiar with the alleged red or pink peace lilies. However, this plant is actually a species of anthurium and not a true peace lily. Such anthuriums are very closely related to peace lilies, but they are not considered peace lilies at all. That being said, they make excellent companion plants.

You can also choose a variegated peace lily, like the domino peace lily, the picasso peace lily, or the white stripe peace lily, if you want something a little more unique or ornate. A domino peace lily is recognized by the white splotches of variegation on its leaves. Although the variegation varies and is unexpected, it typically resembles small white paint flakes.

The picasso peace lily is so named because it has been compared to the famed painter Pablo Picasso’s distinctive style. Its leaves have broad, uneven white splotches on them; frequently, the variegation fills the full leaf.

The name of the white striped peace lily was chosen for a good reason, too! Each leaf has a single white stripe that runs down the center of it. The matte sheen of some variants, as opposed to the usual glossy appearance of peace lilies, is another distinction from other types.

Last but not least, your typical peace lily may have green blossoms, black dots, or yellow or brown foliage. All of these indicate that there is a problem with your plant. You may need to review your care procedures if the peace lily leaves are not the usual shade of green.

A Spathiphyllum Wallisii or peace lily plant being delicately touched by hands

Peace lily leaves (pictured) should be a vibrant green hue when healthy.

©iStock.com/perfectlab

What Determines a Peace Lily’s Leaf Color?

The indoor gardening community adores peace lilies because they’re not only gorgeous but also quite simple to take care of. You only need to watch out for the telltale droop. They are quite forgiving and will even let you know when they need a drink. They are also highly popular as office plants since they don’t worry too much about the quantity of light they receive and may still do well with shoddy maintenance. Although they are laid-back, you could discover that their leaf cover is not what you anticipated. The leaves of your peace lily can change color due to a number of factors.

Brownish, Dead Leaves

Your peace lily’s vibrant green leaves turning brown might be a sign of a few different issues. There’s a chance the plant is receiving more direct sunlight than is necessary. Another severe possibility is a serious lack of humidity. The margins of the leaf may become brittle and brown from underwatering. Another factor that causes foliage to become brown is overfertilization.

There are several solutions to this. The peace lily develops in a humid area with dappled light in its natural habitat. Place the plant in an area with medium to bright indirect light to mimic these circumstances. To increase the humidity, you might also combine it with other plants, use a humidifier, or even a humidity tray. When the dirt is dry to the touch, water the plant. Never let the ground dry out fully. By thoroughly cleaning the soil and applying a balanced fertilizer once every six to eight weeks during the spring and summer, you may also revive over-fertilized peace lilies.

Brownish Leaf Tips

Even with proper watering, brown leaf tips might still be the result of excessive fluoride or chlorine in the water. Additionally, hard water may be the cause. Mineral accumulation in excess is the cause of this.

Overfertilization is another element that affects peace lily leaves. Tips that have received too much fertilizer might turn brown.

Allow the water to stay in the tank for the entire night to solve the brown tips problem that chlorine causes. Chlorine will be eradicated, but fluoride cannot. Additionally, you may water peace lilies using well, rain, or distilled water. When soft water is available, use it. As an alternative, you might boil the water and use it to water your peace lily when it has cooled.

Carefully and with a little dosage, fertilize. Flush the soil if overfertilization signs appear. Pour four times as much water into the pot as it is tall. For instance, four gallons of water would be required for a one-gallon pot. Regular soil rinsing will also aid in avoiding issues brought on by hard water deposits.

Yellow Leaves

Overwatering is one of the primary causes of pale, yellow leaves. The plant is also stressed by changes in location or temperature, which causes the leaves to become yellow. The leaf of the peace lily might become yellow or pale because it dislikes cold winds and temperatures below 40 degrees F.

Root rot may result from overwatering and wet soil. If you see excessively soft, yellow, withering leaves, stop watering and let the topsoil dry. In addition, the peace lily does best in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees F. Therefore, avoid keeping it in an area that is excessively hot or cold. In order to protect your peace lily plants from chilly drafts throughout the winter, keep them away from non-insulated windows and doors. Keep the plant away from heaters and air conditioners.

Why is my Peace Lily Losing Its Color?

If your peace lily is specifically becoming pale, there are a few things that can cause this problem. You may be experiencing nutrient insufficiency or too much light or heat if your peace lily’s leaves are pale rather than vibrant green.

The peace lily leaves will get chlorotic and grow more slowly than usual if there is a nutritional shortage. You must fertilize the plant with a balanced fertilizer that contains trace elements to solve this problem. Consider applying a fertilizer that is neutral or high in nitrogen and micronutrients. It will have everything required to make up for the nutritional shortfall. Make sure the fertilizer is diluted properly for your peace lilies. After that, just continue taking care of your peace lily plant as usual.

The leaves may be chlorotic, pallid, and curled when there is a temperature or light exposure issue. The leaves might drop off too soon. You must prevent the plant from being overexposed to direct light in order to solve this issue. Additionally, make sure that air vents are not blowing unusually hot air onto the plant. Perhaps you should also spray the area around the plant. Simply shifting your potted peace lily is typically the simplest remedy for pale leaves brought on by temperature problems.

A peace lily being watered in a pot

Peace lily (pictured) leaves will often droop if they are overwatered or underwatered.

©iStock.com/Liudmila Chernetska

Common Peace Lily Leaf Problems

In addition to the problems we mentioned above, there are also some other peace lily problems that can affect the appearance and health of their leaves.

Leaf Drooping

The true problem behind leaf drooping is actually leaf wilting caused by a lack of water or possibly root issues. Give your peace lily a drink and watch it come back to life. Peace lilies are fairly theatrical and will make sure to let you know when they are thirsty.

You have a couple of additional options if your peace lily is still drooping. Your soil may be compacted, to start. If this occurs, water just runs over the pot’s edges and out the drainage hole rather than really reaching the roots. Regularly loosen and poke the soil of indoor plants to aerate it.

Underwatering and overwatering sometimes present identical symptoms. You must remove the plant if the soil is saturated yet it is still growing even if it is wilting. Its roots could be decaying and unable of absorbing water as a result. The deteriorating parts must be removed.

If your peace lily was freshly planted, it can also droop. Even if we take caution while repotting a houseplant, we still risk damaging the plant’s delicate hair roots. After a repotting, your peace lily may droop for a period while it concentrates on its roots rather than its foliage.

Spathes and Flowers Dying

This is a leaf issue because that big white “flower” that peace lilies have isn’t actually a flower. They are spathes, which are special leaves that grow around the small yellow flowers of the peace lily.

There are a few reasons why this part of the plant is dying. You may have just acquired this plant, which might be one of the causes. Most of the time, peace lily blossoms fading soon after purchasing the plant are not a reason for alarm. Since plants don’t like to be relocated, your peace lily may be losing its blossoms to concentrate on adapting.

The blossoming season could already be gone, which is for the best. Although the flowering seasons of indoor plants aren’t usually highly predictable, most peace lilies do begin to bloom in the spring and sometimes even in the fall. It’s rather typical for peace lily blossoms to wither throughout the winter, and you might have to wait until spring for them to bloom again.

Tips for Growing Healthy Leaves on Peace Lilies

If you need a few tips for growing healthy leaves on peace lilies, you’re in luck! There are quite a few ways you can improve the appearance and health of your peace lily’s leaves.

Peace lilies can get damaged leaves due to pests like aphids, mealybugs, and mites. By occasionally washing the leaves without skipping the undersides, you can protect your peace lily plants from these unpleasant bugs. Neem oil or an insecticidal soap solution can also be used to get rid of pests.

It will take a very long time for the soil to dry out if you are planting peace lilies in a container that is considerably larger than necessary. Overwatering will induce root rot and result in waterlogging.

In a pot that is too big, the plant will also put more of its energy into root development than top development, which results in fewer blooms. Healthy leaves and blooms will result from a container that is the right size.

Peace lilies are definitely easier to care for than most tropical houseplants. That being said, a lack of proper care can affect the way their beautiful foliage may appear. As long as you stick to good maintenance and care, you’ll have a lovely peace lily with vibrant green leaves for years to come.

Want to learn even more about this amazing plant? Check out our complete guide to peace lilies here.

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The photo featured at the top of this post is © armifello/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What do peace lily leaves look like?

Peace lily leaves have a long and deep green appearance that tapers at the tip. They grow directly from the soil.

How can I take care of my peace lily's leaves?

Regularly weekly waterings, damp soil, and liquid plant food can help keep your plant’s leaves healthy.

Should brown bits be trimmed off of peace lily leaves?

Removing dead leaves can help promote peace lily leaf growth. Make sure to cut the stalk near the base of your plant.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. NCSU Staff, Available here: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/spathiphyllum/
  2. Daniel Iseli, Available here: https://plantophiles.com/plant-care/peace-lily/
  3. Marijke Puts, Available here: https://houseplantcentral.com/problems-with-peace-lily/