Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) are hardy, but finicky and brown leaf tips are a common issue and, thankfully, easy to fix, both short term and long term.
Peace Lily brown leaf tips are caused by incorrect watering, temperature, location variables and allowing the plant to live in conditions too different from its’ natural environment.
So that you best understand how to get rid of the brown tips on your Peace Lily, let’s run through the common causes and how to fix them once and for all.
You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!
6 Major Reasons Peace Lilies Get Brown Leaf Tips (How to Avoid & Fix)
As previously mentioned, Peace Lilies can be tricky, or shall we say, a little finicky? But, on a positive note, these wonderful house plants also bounce back really well!
So get things right, create their natural habitat in your home (or close to it), and you will have an incredible house plant that keeps on giving, and purifying your air too!
Let’s look at the six major reasons these little brown tips appear and how to stop them from appearing again!
1. Over Watering – Problem
This is one of the most common problems for all house plants, especially in winter and the year’s colder months. Sure, Peace Lilies are found in humid climates and prefer to be damp than dry, but watering too much is a huge issue.
But thankfully, it’s something that they can bounce back from.
In fact, they will die much faster from overwatering than underwatering.
It truly amazes me that my sister’s Peace Lily gets totally neglected and forgotten about, yet a quick drink and slight prune and she is back!
Over Watering – Solution
It might seem obvious, but STOP watering the Peace Lily immediately and give the soil and root system a chance to dry.
Put the Peace Lily in a warm sunroom, out of direct light, or on a closed balcony where it is warm, and there is a breeze. You want to help things dry out as soon as possible.
You should prune any leaves back as low as possible to the soil that look like they are not going to make it.
Water again once the soil is nearly completely dry and minimize the water given to the plant for the fist two waters.
Before you water, this time and everytime, put your finger an inch into the soil and feel it. The soil should be damp and not wet.
Not as dangerous, but definitely an issue is underwatering.
2. Underwatering: Problem
Ok, I know it is easy to forget to water your plants sometimes, so I suggested using a google calendar reminder in this Peace Lily article so that you don’t forget.
A Peace Lily will bounce back much faster if you underwater in comparison to overwater, and generally, if you catch the plant within a day or so, it will be absolutely fine.
Let’s look at what to do here.
If you have forgotten to water the plant, and it is bone dry and wilted, the first thing you must do is submerse the pot in the water, the bath, a bucket or the sink.
Let it sit there for 10 mins before bringing it out. This will give the soil and root system a very thorough soak.
Then get into a regular watering routine, depending on the time of the year.
Again, as a failsafe, stick your finger in the soil about an inch and feel for light dampness; any drier than this, then water it, please!
Put your watering schedule in the calendar on your phone and adjust the timeframe after each time to make sure you are in touch with the seasons.
Remember, even though it can be winter, if you have your heating on, the air is going to be warmer and drier thank you think.
As I have previously mentioned, although finicky, Peace Lilies bounce back, so don’t be afraid of cutting the dying leaves back at the soil level, or as close as possible to there.
TIP: When trimming leaves or flower stems, be very careful not to damage other leaves in the process; watch where the end of the scissors are going.
3. Sunburn: Problem
Yes, plants get sunburnt too! Especially the leaves on a Peace Lily.
Peace Lilies love light, but not direct sun. It does not even have to be a full window of sun; direct sun peering through the shutters and hitting the leaves can burn them and make the tips go brown.
Ideally, a location such as a window sill or ledge or table in a light room away from any direct rays is perfect for these plants
Remember, the key to indoor planting is recreating as best we can the natural environment in which the plant comes from.
Move the plant out of the location where that sneaky sun peers in immediatley. Prune, give it some seaweed tonic and if in the growing season a fertilize too.
TIP: You can fertilize a plant outside of the growing season; just do a half strength of what is says on the label, the plant will love you for it, and it won’t be too much for its root system.
4. Lack of Humidity
Peace Lilies love a humid environment and brown tips can occur because of this. It is pretty clear if you are in a humid location, are you sweating right now? Haha.
Lack of Humidity – Solution
Instead of trying to create humidity in the home, the best way to assist the Peace Lily is to give the leaves a spray with water.
Before you do this, make sure to give them a good wipe to get rid of any dust, then spray away.
Be sure to use this opportunity to prune any dead leaves off and give the plant a little seaweed nutrient solution too.
5. Temperature Too Hot – Problem
Where is your Peace Lily located in your home? Is it in your sunroom? Your study? Does the room that it is in get really hot in the afternoon or morning sun?
Think about the day as segments, morning and afternoon.
Many people say “It gets a lot of morning sun, but apart from that the room is perfect” Well maybe it is the direct heating of the morning sun that is too much.
Also, air conditioning. Is there a vent right near the plant? Has it got warm air being pushed upon it? this is also a risk.
Temperature Too Hot – Solution
As mentioned, think about the day in segments of morning and afternoon.
When and how is the plant exposed to the heat, is it too much either from the sun or is the air conditioning playing havoc with it.
You will have to move the plant in a location that suits it better; remember it might not suit you as much, but you need to recreate the natural habitat of the Peace Lily.
6. Temperature Too Cold
Peace Lilys are mainly found indoors, although I have seen the odd incredible display outdoors too.
The main issue with the plant getting too cold has to do with drafts and glass windows.
We often forget that windows themselves can get really cold, even though we have the heating on and it is pleasant indoors.
This is one of the easiest ways to minimize brown leaf tips risk.
Temperature Too Cold – Solution
Feel around the plant for drafts coming from outside, under doors and especially windows.
Check to see if the plant is close to a glass window, feel the glass window, how much cold is coming in? Are the Peace Lily leaves touching or really close to the glass?
A slight move forward away from the glass will correct this issue.
Ok, so now you have a better idea how to correct these common issues, but what about those cheeky brown tips?
How To Get Rid of Brown Tips On Your Peace Lily
This is a technique I have successfully been using for years, it is easy, it works and it does not take long to do.
I’ve broken this down to 3 simple steps.
- Wipe: wipe all the leaves to remove the dust, preferably using a clean microfibre cloth. This, as opposed to cotton or other fabrics, picks up all the dust to help our plants breathe easy.
- Cut: This step is amazing; it is simple and effective. You just need to cut the brown tips off, following the natural lines of the plant.
- Drink: Give the plant a drink of a seaweed solution to revitalize. Also, lock in the diary a reminder to give it a fertilization the following week.
In the growing season, follow the label. Out of the growing season, half the strength of the fertilizer solution just gives the plant some power to recover.
Check out my pic below to see the cut I made and how much better the plant looks!
How To Make Sure Brown Leaf Tips Don’t Come Back
We all love our Peace Lilies, sure they can be finicky, but the below tips will give you the best chance of eliminating brown tips once and for all!
- Always put yourself in the plant’s position, not literally, don’t stand on the shelf! Just think about what they like naturally. Humidity, lots of light, no direct sun, no extreme temperatures, damp not wet soil. Try and create this as best as possible in your home.
- What is the biggest risk in your household? Run through the above points again and make sure you have them all ticked off, so that you minimize your chance of getting brown tips.
- Put reminders in the diary, create a recurring event, even put notes in there. I do! eg. “Water Peace Lily, check soil, look for signs of ill health and fertilize.
- Pick up on vital signs before the happen. If you notice one leaf tip going brown very slightly, analyse and do something about it before things get worse. Look for warning signs!
- Signs of rain? Peace Lily needs a drink, put the plant outside. The plant will “love you long time” The rain has no chlorine, no fluoride and no heavy metals like lots of tap water. I even put a bucket out and collect the rain for my indoor plants, yes I am plant obsessed!
- Wipe regularly, help the plant to breathe deep!
Follow the above advice, and both you and your plant will be happy!
Have other issues at play with your Peace Lily, check out my other article HERE.
Also, have you ever thought of growing vegetables at home? You might like my review on the Vegepod Raised Garden Bed.
Enjoy your Gardening!