The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) has long been a staple in the world of houseplants. Its exotic dark green foliage and contrasting delicate white flowers make it an awesome addition to any space.
That being said, these stunning plants are not invincible and can sometimes present brown leaves or brown tips – an indication of potential issues.
This article elaborates on ten possible reasons behind this common problem and provides solutions to nurse your Peace Lily back to health.
Why Your Peace Lily Has Brown Leaves
Here are 10 potential reasons why your Peace Lily has brown tips.
Overwatering is a frequent mistake even experienced plant parents make. Peace Lilies, native to the tropical rainforests of America and Southeastern Asia, favor environments that are moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering hinders oxygen flow to the roots, potentially causing root rot and subsequently leading to brown leaves.
Fix: Overcoming overwatering involves regular checks of your plant’s soil moisture levels. Soggy soil is a clear indication of excess water. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, not drenched. After watering, ensure that the excess water can drain away. If root rot has already set in, it may be necessary to repot the plant. This process involves removing the rotten roots and replanting in a fresh, well-draining potting mix.
On the opposite spectrum, underwatering can lead to similar symptoms (I know, confusing). Peace Lilies enjoy moist conditions, reflecting their natural habitat. Persistent dryness leads to water stress, causing leaves to wilt and turn brown.
Fix: Regular moisture checks can help identify if your plant is receiving enough water. The soil should never be completely dry. When the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water again. Be sure to provide a thorough watering each time, soaking the soil completely.
3. Low Humidity
Peace Lilies, being tropical plants, thrive in humid conditions. Low humidity environments can lead to transpiration stress, resulting in the brown tips as they lose moisture faster than the roots can supply.
Fix: Increase the humidity around your plant by using different techniques. Misting your plant with water creates a humid microclimate, but this may need to be done several times a day, especially during the drier months. Another method is to place a tray filled with pebbles and water under your plant’s pot, or using a room humidifier.
4. Direct Sunlight
Peace Lilies prefer bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight can be harsh on the leaves, causing them to scorch and turn brown or yellow.
Fix: Find a spot in your home where your Peace Lily can enjoy bright but indirect sunlight. East or north-facing windows are usually ideal for this purpose. If these aren’t available, consider using a sheer curtain to protect your Peace Lily from direct sun rays.
5. Temperature Stress
Like most houseplants, Peace Lilies enjoy stable temperatures. They do best in a range between 65-80°F (18-27°C). Any sudden or extreme changes in temperature can stress your Peace Lily, leading to brown leaves.
Fix: Ensure that your Peace Lily’s environment maintains a stable temperature. Avoid placing the plant near air conditioners, heating vents, or drafty windows that could cause temperature fluctuations. Gradual changes in temperature are easier for your Peace Lily to adapt to than sudden shifts.
6. Poor Nutrition
Peace Lilies need a balance of certain nutrients to maintain growth. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are crucial, but they also require trace amounts of other nutrients. A deficiency can result in weak growth and browning leaves.
Fix: Feed your Peace Lily with a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the growing season. Remember to follow the recommended dosage on the package, as over-fertilizing can cause nutrient burn, leading to the browning of leaf tips.
7. Pest Infestation
Most of the common houseplant pests can infest Peace Lilies. Aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are common culprits that suck sap from the leaves, weakening the plant and leading to brown leaves.
Fix: Regularly inspect your Peace Lily for signs of pests. If detected, use an appropriate insecticide or wipe the leaves with a solution of mild soapy water. It can also be beneficial to remove heavily infested leaves and isolate the plant to prevent the pests from spreading to other plants.
8. Fluoride Toxicity
Peace Lilies can be sensitive to fluoride, commonly found in tap water and some fertilizers. High fluoride levels can lead to toxicity, causing the leaf tips to turn brown.
Fix: Use distilled or rainwater for watering your Peace Lily. If you have to use tap water, let it sit out overnight to allow some of the fluoride to evaporate. Moreover, opt for a fluoride-free fertilizer to prevent any buildup in the soil.
9. Poor Water Quality
Not all water is created equal. Some tap water contains high levels of chlorine, salts, or minerals, which can contribute to the browning of Peace Lily leaves.
Fix: Rainwater and distilled water are typically safer options for Peace Lilies. If tap water must be used, leaving it out overnight can allow some harmful components, like chlorine, to evaporate.
10. Transplant Shock
Transplant shock can occur when a Peace Lily is repotted or moved. This sudden change can cause stress, leading to browning leaves.
Fix: Only repot your Peace Lily when necessary, such as when the plant has outgrown its pot or the soil is depleted of nutrients. During the process, be gentle with the roots and use a high-quality potting mix designed for indoor plants. After repotting, give your Peace Lily time to adjust to its new surroundings.
In summary, while browning leaves can be an alarm bell, it is usually an indication of suboptimal care conditions rather than a serious disease. By keeping a close eye on your Peace Lily’s environment, water, and nutrition, and adjusting as necessary, you can ensure your plant remains healthy and beautiful.
Make sure to leave us a comment below if you have any questions!