peace lily with yellow dying leaves

Peace Lily Is Dying? Let’s Find Out Why (Top Solutions & Fixes)

We all love our Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) plants for many reasons.

They have beautiful green leaves, the flowers are stunning and abundant, and they are easy to look after, well, most of the time.

But why is your Peace Lily dying and how can we help it survive?

Your Peace Lily could be dying from too much or insufficient water, intense direct sunlight or cold temperatures. Let’s work out the exact reason why and fix it.

Let’s find out why!

peace lily with dying leaves

Main Reasons That Your Peace Lily is Dying & How to Fix It

The following are the most common reasons that your Peace Lily is dying, look for these signs in your plant and follow the preceding instructions to bring your Peace Lily back to great health.

Are the leaves on the plant drooping?

Why Does My Peace Lily Have Drooping Leaves?

This occurs when the plant is too dry and drought-stricken.

The questions are, how often have you been watering, and how much water?

Peace Lilies are tropical plants. I mean, we grow them in our homes, but we have to remember this is not their natural environment.

Often, we humans put indoor plants around our home where we like them and then water them when we think they should be watered or when it fits in our schedule.

The reality is we need to better understand the plants themselves.

Let’s clarify this and show you how to revive your Peace Lily.

How to Revive a Peace Lily With Drooping Leaves

As I have discussed, replicating their natural environment is the key to success with all indoor plants. While not always possible, plants like Peace Lilies are fairly forgiving.

Sure, sometimes they can be a little finicky, but achieving close to their natural habitat will be sufficient.

So let’s get our drooping little baby back, so it looks great to impress your guests and bring joy to you, of course.

Now, depending on the severity of your drooping Peace Lily, please try the below.

Starting from the least invasive and dramatic.

  • Wipe & Spray
    Plants breathe like us, well, kind of similarly breath, Peace Lilies breathe in through their leaves and purify the air

    Clean, dust-free leaves are absolutely essential to good plant health.

    Grab a damp clean cloth and wipe the dust of the leaves, c’mon I know there is dust on there, then using a spray gun, give the plant a good mist on its clean leaves.

    Also, mist the soil and soak it too.

  • Prune & Soak
    Things looking a little worse than the above, well then you need to get serious. Time to prune and soak.

    Look for those leaves that are not going to bounce back; yellow and even brown leaves are to be cut off as close to the base as possible.

    Now time to soak. Put the whole plant in a bath, sink, or bucket where you can completely submerge the soil. Put a timer on for 10 mins or until the soil is absolutely soaked through; remove, drain, and you’re done.

  • Add Soil
    Soil sinks, compresses, drys out, and needs a refresh over time. Squeezing in some fresh, well-drained soil near the base of the Peace Lily will do it wonders. Try to mix in with the older soil for the best results.

    Make sure to soak the plant before and after adding soil. You will find after watering the Peace Lily after adding soil that the soil level will lower; this will allow you to add more soil too.

    Your plant will love you!

  • Re-pot
    Peace Lilies can and will thrive in root-bound indoor pots, but there comes a time when there is no soil and they just need more space.

    Stick your fingers in an inch or so, and look around the base of the plant, is the soil looking really minimal, time to find a bigger pot and re-pot.
  • Throw It Out: Have you completely forgotten about your Peace Lily for many weeks? Is it stone dry with brown hard leaves, and the soil is like concrete?

    It is time to throw it out. This happens. It’s sad, but consider it a life lesson.

    Ideally, put it in a compost bin.
peace lily leaves in abundance from birds eye view

Top Tips to Revive Your Dried Out Peace Lily

Use the below helpful tips to achieve optimum health for your Peace Lily:

  • If it is raining anytime soon, put the Peace Lily outside, it will love the fresh rain, which will help it revive much faster.
  • Based on your environment, put a reoccurring alert on your phone to water the Peace Lily and any other house plants, too (this has saved many of my house plants over the years).
  • Wipe your Peace Lily’s leaves regularly, and keep the soil moist for best results.
  • Find an indoor plan seaweed tonic and fertilizer to use, sure these plants are hardy, but they will love you for the extra love.
  • Talk to them as you tend. Sure, you might seem a little mad to your spouse or your neighbor, but your plants will love it. It’s proven!

Ok, so maybe your Peace Lily is looking great apart from brown spots or streaks; let’s fix that too.

Brown Spots or Brown Marks on The Leaves

This can be a less common problem, but still something you will find happen to your beautiful little Peace Lily plant.

Can you see brown spots or streaks, are the leaves starting to curl and really dry out at the tips?

Chances are your Peace Lily is sunburnt.

As we have said, you really need to ask yourself the question, “What is the natural habitat of the Peace Lily, and how can I replicate this best as possible in my home?”

We now know the signs and how to cure the Peace Lily from underwatering; let’s look at helping your Peace Lily bounce back from sunburnt leaves.

brown leaves of peace lily

How To Revive a Peace Lily With Sunburnt Leaves or Brown Spots

Peace Lilies are native to tropical parts of The Americas & Southern Asia. This means they love humidity, moist soil, and filtered sunlight.

Sure, we can’t easily control the humidity so much, depending on where we live, but this issue is about the light, well, the direct sunlight, in fact.

All of the above symptoms indicate that the Peace Lily is sunburnt.

Yep, it happens to these hardy little plants, and there is a way to help them.

  • Move the plant immediately. Put it in a different location out of the direct sun. Even if you have shutters or blinds, you must ensure that the rays are not peering through and the intense sun is hitting the leaves.
  • Put the Peace Lily in a bright location with indirect sunlight.
  • Trim dead or burnt leaves off very close to the base of the plant and give the plant an indoor plant tonic to help it. A seaweed solution is best. Note: this is not a fertilizer.
  • Feel the soil and make sure it is damp, not wet.
  • Give the plant a couple of weeks in its new location to settle after the trim, tonic, and change of location.

Now your Peace Lily is back on track, but what about if the leaves turn yellow?

Read on.

peace lily with yellow leaves

Why are my Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow?

Peace Lily leaves generally turn yellow for one of two main reasons

  • Overwatering
  • Nutrient deficiency

These are tropical plants and like water and humidity, but there is also a limit. If your soil is overly wet and has been for a consistent period of time, this works against the plant.

How To Revive and Heal a Peace Lily With Yellow Leaves

Ok, so we know these leaves are turning yellow for one of two reasons; let’s start with overwatering.

It is easy to overwater plants. If you’re like me, watering is part of the fun of caring for a plant. It feels good, it feels like you’re doing a good deed.

But as you now know, often you can be watering too much, eg. Overwatering.

Follow the below steps to get your Peace Lily back on track

  1. Stop watering the plant NOW; feel the soil; is it really damp, yep I thought so, so stop it, ok, haha. Let the soil dry out to a lightly damp state and keep it at this level.
  2. Put the plant in a breezy location, a dry location, or both; just remember, no direct sun! You can bring it back to its original location, but you need to dry the plant out for now asap.
  3. Analyze your pot. Are there drainage holes? Nope, well, there should be. Otherwise, you need to be extra careful when watering. Stop watering as regularly and as much. Put your finger in the soil an inch or so, it should be damp but not wet.
  4. Does your plant have a saucer under it? Saucers are great in theory; they catch the excess water, I get it, but just make sure that your Peace Lily is not sitting in water. Well, that goes for every indoor plant.
  5. Cut off the yellow leaves at the base and discard them.
  6. Use seaweed plant food tonic to give the plant a boost.
  7. If it is the growing season for the plant, eg, the warmer months, use an indoor plant fertilizer too.

Okay, so you know how to come back from this situation, but follow the below steps to ensure this never happens again.

How To Make Sure You Do Not Overwater A Peace Lily

Following the steps below will ensure you don’t get in this situation again.

  1. Always feel an inch into the soil before watering; you want it to feel lightly damp, not wet
  2. Use a pot with drainage holes.
  3. If using a saucer, make sure water does not sit in it.
  4. Remember that plant water needs will change as the seasons do, so after a hot summer, you need to tone down the watering coming into Autumn and Winter.
  5. Put a recurring reminder on your phone “Check the indoors” that way, you will never forget, and the chances of you under or overwatering will be minimal. There are apps available, but Google Calendar is great for this.

Is My Peace Lily Nutrient Deficient? How Do I Know & What Can I Do?

Yellow leaves can also be a sign of nutrient deficiency.

Is the soil damp but not wet? Is the plant not sitting in water? Have you been conscientious with feeling the soil before watering?

Chances are the plant is lacking nutrients, which becomes more common as the plant gets older, spreads out, and then the soil becomes jam-packed.

peace lily in pot

How To Revive a Nutrient Deficient Peace Lily

  1. Prune back dying or dead leaves, remember Peace Lilies are hardy and bounce back from a prune, even if they can be a little finicky sometimes.
  2. Repot if the plant is overly root bound and mix a slow-release fertilizer with the soil.
  3. Fertilize with an indoor plant fertilizer; just be cautious and use slightly less than the label suggests initially. Why? Because you can always strengthen the concentration or add more, but you don’t want it to be too intense and damage the roots. Note that plants will require more fertilizer in the growing seasons, Spring & Summer.
  4. Seaweed Solution is great to add to the regular maintenance of all plants. A good seaweed solution will add minerals to the plant, such as potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and nitrogen.
  5. Wipe the plant leaves with a damp cloth to allow the plant to breathe.

So, you have a good idea of getting your nutrient-deficient Peace Lily back there.

Do you have any black leaves? This can be a different issue.

burnt dead peace lily leaves

Why Does My Peace Lily Have Black Leaves

Black leaves occur for several reasons, including:

  • The plant is too cold, usually from cold drafts, especially in colder climates during the winter period.
  • You have fertilized too often, or with a solution too strong, which will shock the plant.
  • There is a type of fungal infection in the plant ( although this is rare).

So, here is what you can do to get rid of these black leaves.

What to Do When I Find Black Leaves on a Peace Lily

Recovering from black leaves is generally quite easy; check out the below steps.

  1. Trim the black leaves with a sterile set of pruners (use a disinfectant solution to wipe in between cuts to ensure any potential fungal infection does not spread). Cut as close to the base as possible, but often you will find the leaves pull straight out too.
  2. Make sure the Peace Lily is away from cold windows, drafts and ideally in a location that is over 50°F (10°C)
  3. Slow right down on the watering, don’t let the plant completely dry out, but get close to dry before you water again; this will help inhibit the growth of fungus.

The Final Word

Peace Lilies are beautiful. They are one of my favorite indoor plants, sure they can be finicky, but follow the below, and they should be fine:

  • Always test the soil with your finger to ensure it is slightly damp, and add or lessen your watering frequency and amount to adjust.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight. Peace Lilies love light, but not directly on them.
  • Place away from cold drafts and open windows. Peace Lilies prefer temperatures over 50°F (10°C).
  • Use a seaweed plant tonic to provide minerals to the plant throughout the year.
  • Use a quality indoor plant fertilizer in the growing seasons of Spring & Summer.
  • Cut off dead leaves and flowers.
  • Put reminders on your phone for both watering and fertilizing.

Happy Gardening!