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Why Is My Peace Lily Turning Brown?

Peace Lily turning brown may be caused by different anomalies in its care conditions.

Generally, the Peace Lily flower turns brown due to improper lighting, watering, and humidity, which worsens by bacterial infections. Besides, Peace Lilies flowers and leaves can naturally turn brown if they are old enough.

Keep reading to discover why your Peace Lily is turning brown and how you can help them survive.

Is It Normal For Peace Lily to Turn Brown?

If the reason is old age, it is completely normal for the Peace Lily to turn brown.

However, if the plant is browning when it is young, it could signify a much graver problem.

Whereas in the case of a flower of Peace Lily, it is perfectly normal for them to fade and turn brown in their nearing end.

However, premature browning of flowers or leaves of Peace Lily is not normal and should be given immediate attention before it worsens.

Therefore, if you feel like your Peace Lily flowers are going away too soon, it is time to analyze the situation.

What Causes Peace Lilies to Turn Brown?

Although there are several reasons behind Peace Lily turning brown, plant stress tops the list. 

However, problems like bacterial infections from improper humidity require immediate action to avoid unpleasant events.

peace lily
It indeed is nerve wreaking to see beautiful Peace Lily turning brown.

Regardless of the severity, Peace Lily can be revived back if intervened promptly with the right solution.

CausesSolutions
Improper WateringLet the topsoil dry slightly in between the watering schedule
Root RotReplant the Peace Lily into a new pot after removing rotted roots.
Excess Sunlight Place the Peace Lily in partial shade and use curtains to drop light intensity.
Fungal and Bacterial DiseasesPrune off dead leaves and apply fungicides to prevent further infestation.
Pest InfestationInsecticidal soaps, neem oil, horticultural oils, and pesticides.
Fertilizer Issues You can replace liquid fertilizers with slow-release pellets.
Low Humidity Misting the plant’s leaves with filtered or distilled water in the early morning hours.
Improper Potting MixRepot the plant to fresh new well-draining potting mix
Temperature StressMaintain your plant temperature around 60-80°F during the daytime and above 55°F at night.

Therefore, let us look in-depth at the culprits for Peace Lily turning brown.

1. Watering Issues

As Peace lily prefers moist but not soggy soil, watering Peace Lily once the top soil layer dries out would be ideal.

However, letting the plant wilt too much from dehydration causes premature Peace Lily flowers to turn brown.

Similarly, too much water in the soil invites root rotting problems, resulting in brown leaves and stems.

Solutions

  • If more than 50% of the leaves have turned brown, you can snip them off and repot them in fresh soil.
  • Place the pot in a location with abundant light and heat.
  • Inspect roots for potential rottings, prune off if present, and apply fungicides to cut ends.
    Water Quality
    Too much chlorine and fluoride in the water can damage the plant to the core.
  • For severely dehydrated plants, run water on the plant a few times till the water oozes out from drainage holes.
  • Submerge the plant pot in the water until the air bubble stops forming.
  • Ensure to place your plant in the shade to prevent further moisture loss.

2. Improper Lighting

Long exposure to bright sunlight can cause sunburn forming brown edges on the Peace Lily leaves.

Consequently, keeping Peace Lily in low light will cause no blossoms at all, and intense darkness can halt the plant’s growth.

Furthermore, light deprivation induces chlorosis in the plant, causing the color to fade in the leaf.

Here I have mentioned some other symptoms that your Peace Lily may exhibit upon poor lighting.

Lack of LightExcessive Light
Wilting of the plantThe plant's natural photoperiod will be disturbed
The plant will be leggy, and the stems will be etiolatedYour Peace Lily will look dull and pale
The plant will lose its color, and the patterns will fadeThe leaf tips will burn and be scorched with brown edges

Solutions 

  • Relocate your plant to at least 5 to 6 feet away from the window. Use sheer curtains or drapes to reduce the light intensity.
  • Cut off the leaves that have turned brown using sterilized pruners.
  • Ensure to use artificial grow lights for almost 12 to 16 hours to compensate for the absence of light.
  • Do not place your plant in direct sunlight, even during the winter.
  • Try to find a place where the sun shines indirectly for almost 2 to 6 hours.

Although not all, some Peace Lily owners prefer to keep their plants in slight darkness to encourage better foliage growth while compensating for blossoms.

In contrast, many place Peace Lily plants in indirect sunlight to encourage blossoms with a showy white flower.

You might want to learn more about which light color is best for your plants.

3. Overfertilization Issues

You should feed the Peace lily with a balanced fertilizer every two months during the active growth.

However, when Peace Lily is overfed with fertilizer, salt build-ups in the soil will cause browning leaves.

Generally, too much fertilizer causes the nutrients to stockpile, making the soil toxic for plants.

You can easily notice these salt formations with whitish powder-like on the topsoil layer.

Besides brown spots on leaves, flower color also slightly receives a green tint instead of creamy white around the gills from overfertilization.

Moreover, the main fertilizer nutrient that causes Peace Lily to turn brown is excess nitrogen.

Fixing Over Fertilization Issues

  • Remove the salt build-ups with the help of a controlled water stream.
  • Inspect the plant for any potential root burn and if the burn is severe, consider repotting your plant after removing all damaged roots.
  • Resort to Osmocote 14-14-14 or Nutricote 13-13-13 to neutralize the excessive salt build-ups.
  • Opt for organic foods for your plant with low to no chemical burn risk.

If you notice intense dark green foliage development, immediately change your fertilizer and use Potassium enriched fertilizer.

Pro Tip: Always remember to dilute your fertilizers to their half strength before applying them, and avoid direct contact with the plant base to avoid fertilizer burn.

Although Peace Lily does not go through dormancy, do not fertilize your Peace Lily during the winter season.

4. Temperature Stress and Low Humidity

Peace Lily prefers to stay warm temperature (68 and 85°F) at a moderate indoor humidity level of 50 to 60%.

If the humidity is too low, you can observe the formation of brown tips and edges of the leaves.

Furthermore, Peace Lily can withstand cold till 55°F but not anything below, inducing temperature stress.

brown edges of Peace Lily leaf
Do not keep the plant near heating appliances to avoid temperature stress and low humidity.

Generally, the humidity is low near the heating appliances, and keeping plants around them causes humidity issues.

Solutions

  • Mist your plant and place the plant pot over the pebble tray that is partially filled up with water to maintain the humidity level.
  • Make use of clear plastics to mimic a mini greenhouse with optimum humidity.
  • Use heating pads underneath the plant pot or use frost blankets to preserve plant temperature.
  • Place your plant a couple of feet under the incandescent grow lamp to provide both light and warmth during winter.
  • Increase watering frequency during the intensely hot summer seasons.

5. Pests Infestation

Some common pests that can invade your Peace Lily are Spider mites, Mealybugs, and Scales.

These pests suck up the nutrients from the plant, causing the premature browning of Peace Lily flowers and leaves.

As these pests feast on the nutrients of plants, their excessive invasion can halt plant growth with severely disarrayed brown foliage.

Here I have mentioned the signs and symptoms of pest infestations on Peace Lily.

PestsSigns and Symptoms
Spider mites

Spider Mites

Tiny yellow-orange with two dark spots

Webbings develop under leaves.

Leaf drooping, wilting, and brown spots.

Mealy Bugs

White, fuzzy, cottony masses.

Stunted plant, yellow leaves.
Scales Insect (Source: Unsplash)

Scales

Cottony, cushion-like insects.

Leaf drop, blemishes on leaves

Treatment Measures

  • Immediately isolate the infected plant to halt further spreading.
  • Trim off severely infected parts of the plant by using sterilized pruning tools.
  • Ensure to use alcohol or dish soap on the plant foliage to discourage pests.
  • Place yellow sticky traps around the plant to capture invaders and apply neem oil.
  • If nothing above seems to have an effect, try using Malathion or Pyrethrin spray as a final resort.
  • Discard the plant if the condition does not look salvageable.
apply neem oil
Spray Neem oil on the plant leaves to discourage pests’ invasion.

Here’s how you can identify insects’ eggs on the infected plants and how to remove them.

6. Fungal and Bacterial Diseases

Botrytis Blight, Ringspot virus, and Southern Blight are common diseases that Peace Lily are more prone to get affected, causing brown spots on flowers and leaves.

Therefore, keep your eye on early-stage signs of brown or yellow spots, wilting, and black veins on leaves.

Other than wilting and browning flowers and leaves, a fungal disease also results in root rot and stem decay.

Here is a table with brief information about common diseases and their symptoms.

Common DiseasesCausative AgentSymptoms
Botrytis BlightBotrytis elliptica and Botrytis cinereaOval-shaped reddish or brown spots on flower buds and leaves.
Bacterial Leaf SpotPseudomonas cichorii, XanthomonasAppear as black, tan, or dark brown small spots that may have a yellow halo
Ringspot VirusRingspot VirusBrown areas on the leaves
Southern BlightSclerotium rolfsiiWhite fungal strands can be seen on soil surface and plant stem.
Pythium Root rot diseasePhytophthora and PythiumPlant wilt even when soil is well soaked.
Cylindrocladium Root rotCylindrocladium spathiphyllumA soft, brown root that eventually dies.
Septoria Leaf SpotSeptoria lycopersiciFormation of brown spots on flowers.

Treatment Measures

  • Discard the helpless plant and immediately quarantine the plant to prevent further spread.
  • Prune off the infected parts of the plant and carefully discard them by burying them almost a foot down.
  • Spray neem oil and baking soda solution on the leaves where visible signs appear.
  • Apply fungicides rich in copper, benomyl, and sulfur to effectively control many fungal infections.
  • Use baking soda solution to control the leaf spots effectively.
  • Agri-Mycin helps to control and treat several fungus infestations as well.
  • Consider placing the infected plant in a less humid place and cut back on watering.

Note: Fungal infections like blights, leaf spots, and ringspot virus do not have hard and fast methods to treat them. Therefore, opt for preventive measures before your plant gets it.

Should I Cut off Peace Lily Leaves with Brown Tips?

You can regularly prune off decaying, old, or diseased parts of your Peace Lily during spring and summer.

Although pruning off all damaged or browned parts of the plant sounds best, you may overlook the slightly brown leaf to heal itself.

Here are some tips on properly cutting off brown Peace Lily.

  • Using sterilized pruners, prune off leaves and flowers that have gone completely or partially brown.
  • If you notice any stems turning brown, cut them at the nearest node to encourage healthy growth.
  • Make clean cuts at a 45° angle every time to encourage better growth.
  • Bury the plant residues to prevent any potential spreading.
  • Thoroughly water your plant after chopping off damaged or decaying parts of the plant to help them revive.

Conclusion

Peace Lily turning brown might be an initial sign of a serious issue, so it is best to find what’s causing them to turn brown.

Thoroughly analyze and grasp the condition of your Peace Lily and then only opt for solutions, as I have mentioned above.

Happy Gardening!!!

Here is an article on 20 varieties of Peace Lily, the amazing benefits of Peace Lily, and the propagation of Peace Lily.

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