Lush shiny leaves, and stunning white flowers, this is always the goal with our beautiful Peace Lily (spathiphyllum) plants.
If this is your first Peace Lily, you might be wondering why does my Peace Lily have brown leaves? And, if you have had your plant for a while, I’m sure this isn’t the first bit of brown on your plant.
Well if it is, you’re lucky, it happens quite easily, but it is fairly easy to fix too, thankfully, as there is nothing nicer than a lush, green shiny Peace Lily in your home.
A Peace Lily gets brown leaves due to its current environment being dramatically different to its natural environment. Temperature, watering, light, humidity, direct sun & fertilizer levels all too dissimilar to what the plant needs will make your Peace Lily leaves turn brown.
Let’s clarify the perfect environment for a Peace Lily and sort out those brown leaves on your plant.
Furthermore, Peace Lily plants can be finicky but don’t worry, they bounce back well.
What Is The Ideal Environment For My Peace Lily Plant?
The interaction between house plants and humans has always intrigued me.
We take them out of their natural habitat, put them in a little bit of dirt, and then place them in a location that we like the look of.
Really, we should be working backward eg. I have this location, it has this much light, it is fairly humid, ok then what plant would love it here?
But, life doesn’t work like that, we get plants as gifts, we have preferences in looks and design etc. So, what is the next best thing?
Ask yourself, “What is this plant’s natural habitat and how can I recreate it as best as possible?”
People love to advise on how to do this or that, but really the plant is the teacher here; they always tell us something about their health conditions with their foliage, their flowers etc.
The best thing you can do with any plant, indoor or outdoor alike, is learn about their natural habitat and recreate that as best as possible. When you think about it, we are putting a plant into an environment where it doesn’t belong, so the question is how best can we help it fit in and survive?Jase BB
Before we jump into how to easily create the perfect environment for your Peace Lily, let’s sort out those brown leaves, please.
What To Do With Brown Leaves on a Peace Lily?
Get rid of them asap, they are an energy suck on the plant.
Easy, grab a pair of secateurs or scissors and cut the leaf’s stem as close to the soil as possible.
If you have brown leaf tips, that is another issue and one that you can read about in my article, Peace Lily Brown Leaf Tips.
Ok, now you have gotten rid of the dead leaves, time to get your Peace Lily flourishing.
How To Create The Ideal Environment for A Healthy Peace Lily
As I harp on about all the time, we need to recreate the natural environment of the plant and then work from there.
So let’s get to it.
What is The Natural Environment of a Peace Lily
You will find these beautiful plants on the forest floor in Central America and parts of Asia.
There will be many together, it will be humid, and they will be protected from direct sun from the canopy above.
These environments will get consistent rain and rarely dry out…. there is also no dust from cars and humans either.
Ok, so how can I replicate that in my home?
Sure some people have hard water and others have soft water, plus we don’t have control over the chlorine, fluoride etc
If you have a water filter on your tap, this is ideal; if you don’t, it doesn’t matter; let’s just get the amount right.
A Peace Lily should always be in damp, not wet soil.
How do you know if the soil is damp? 1) Stick your finger in an inch or so and feel it or 2) Grab yourself a water a moisture meter.
TIP: If you are unsure it is better to water the Peace Lily and drain all excess water out than underwater.
It’s all about the light, the filtered light that is.
Peace Lily plants will thank you for an abundance of filtered light. Just don’t let direct sun touch them otherwise they are in trouble and get sunburnt.
TIP: If you have shutters or blinds, be wary of small gaps where direct sun can peer through, even a little direct sun can damage and burn your plant.
Ok, so you are thinking, “how do I create humidity?”
Well we have to do our best here by giving the leaves a regular little spray every few days.
TIP: Every location is totally different; you need to get a feel for your humidity levels and adjust spray frequency accordingly. Air conditioning and heating really dry the air out, so be careful of this and spray the leaves more frequently.
There is no fertilizer in nature, there is no Miracle Gro in the the wild.
True, but there are natural forms, plants, animals degrading leaf matter, worms etc that all fertilize the plants in the wild.
Our little Peace Lily plants have none of this in their little pots, so you need to fertilize.
TIP: It is very easy to over-fertilize. Get a good quality indoor plant fertilizer and use half the strength of what it says on the label. Mainly fertilize in the growing season, but if you need to in the colder months, do so less frequently and at half strength, please.
This way, there is no risk of the fertilizer harming the plant’s roots.
5. Seaweed Solution
Something that is always worth having around for all of your indoor plants.
This is not a fertilizer, this is a concentrate made from seaweeds that, when diluted, provides the plants with minerals in a non-offensive way.
TIP: This type of solution can be applied regularly throughout the year, it is not as strong as a fertilizer for the plant and helps its root health.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants use sunlight to transform carbon dioxide to organic compounds for the root and health of the plant.
You might be wondering what you can do to assist here.
Wipe the leaves, please! Regularly.
Our household environments contain a lot of dust from the inside and outside eg cars, truck brakes etc.
Aside from this, helping the plant “breathe” if makes the leaf look shiny and beautiful too!
TIP: Use a damp microfibre cloth to do this and always support the leaves underneath with one hand to avoid any damage.
We don’t have a lot of control over the weather, but what we can do is control the location of the Peace Lily.
Place the plant in the warmer parts of your home that are light and away from direct sunlight.
With air-conditioning and heating, be careful to move your plants around accordingly.
TIP: Keep Peace Lilies away from glass windows; they can be too hot, too cold or have drafts that will shock the plant.
The Final Word
A brown leaf on a Peace Lily is not uncommon, at least you will now know what to do about it and how to minimize the chance of more appearing.
Remember, these beautiful plants are stunning but can be finicky and bounce back well.
Something that I highly recommend is putting an alert in your phone to remind to water, fertilize and check your indoor plants. It might seem obvious, but it is so easy to neglect them when life is hectic.
P.S Love white flowers? Check out my article on Gardenia Flowers here.