Are you worried about the brown tips on peace lily? Is this making you second guess you could be having a black thumb. And that you are slowly losing your favorite indoor plant?
And is how to get rid of brown tips on your peace lily a question that you do not have an answer to?
Well, worry no more!
In this article, you’re going to learn why your peace lily tips are turning brown.
Moreover, we'll discuss what you can do to manage the situation and save your peace lilies from dying.
If this sounds interesting, then let’s begin:
Generally, brown tips on peace lily is commonly caused by overwatering. Good watering habits, will help you tackle this problem.
But this is not the only reason.
Common Causes for Brown Tips on Peace Lily and How to Manage Them
Salt build up through bad watering habits
Peace lilies like wet growing conditions but never soggy soils.
Therefore, water your peace lilies when you notice a slight wilting of the stalk. This can be at least twice a week.
Watering from below prevents your peace lily stems and foliage from getting wet and developing black spots. However, this promotes accumulation of salts in the soil.
The accumulated salts (dissolved solids in tap water and fertilizer solutions) make it difficult for your peace lilies to absorb water and nutrients – thus causing the tips to turn brown or black.
How to Properly Water your Peace Lily
The best way to water your potted peace lilies is from the top.
First allow the soil to dry down so the plant is nearly at the wilting point. Then using a watering can, water just enough to wet the soil, but not exiting the drain holes.
Leave it for about 10 to 20 minutes and water again this time allowing at least 20 – 30 % of applied water to exit the drain hole.
By doing this, you flush off the accumulated salts from the soil thus maintaining healthy roots and foliage.
Pro Tip: Peace lily leaves also enjoy a good misting, which you can do when you water throughout the summer. Making it a good choice for a bathroom plant.
Peace lilies are medium to high feeders.
Feeding is needed but you have to remember that fertilizer isn't really plant food. It just supplies some of the building blocks plants use to make their own food and to keep their systems orderly.
High levels of fertility tend to cause necrotic (burned) leaf tips and margins on peace lily.
Additionally, high fertility levels inhibit plants water uptake. This is the reason why feeding your peace lilies during winter is discouraged. The plant needs to move water to keep foliage hydrated.
However, if you really have to feed your peace lilies then it is advisable to use half dose of a liquid indoor feed like Miracle-Gro or a sea weed liquid feed.
Pro Tip: Make sure to water your peace lilies after feeding to distribute the fertilizer evenly around the roots.
Peace lilies love free- draining soil. The choice of the soil you use for your plants becomes by far the most important thing.
A free draining soil allows you to flush regularly without concern for salt build-up from fertilizers and tap water.
As we all know, roots are the heart of every plant.
If they are not in top shape due to poor drainage, then don’t expect to have a healthy plant.
How then do you improve soil drainage for healthy peace lilies?
Soil drainage can be explained as either water not flowing through the soil causing stagnation or when the soil cannot hold enough water due to excessive water flow with losses.
Let’s look at how you can deal with each.
Excessive water flow with losses means that your soil has high proportions of sand.
To solve this, add plenty of compost (Organic or ready - made) to the soil to minimize the spaces between the soil particles.
This solution also applies to soils that hold too much water like clay.
In this case the added compost helps in breaking the compactness of the fine textured soil particles thus improving water flow.
Other ways of improving drainage include; adding a course material such as sand or gravel to improve soil texture, choosing the right type of container, using a soilless potting mix.
Scorching by the sun
Peace lilies prefer bright indirect light. They can tolerate partial shade and fluorescent lights. Avoid exposing your peace lilies to direct sunlight as this might lead to scorching of the leaves.
Place the peace lily close to, but not directly under a window in a warm room inside where it will benefit from indirect sunlight.
Preferably North or West facing windows are best as these do not allow direct sunlight throughout the day.
Peace Lily Flower Turning Brown Instead of the Leaves?
Unlike the leaves and the stem, there are two reasons why your peace lily flowers might be turning brown.
1. Peace lily flower turning brown as a natural aging process.
Spent flowers and leaves - Sometimes brown tips on peace lily are perfectly normal which means that the spent flowers and leaves start to die as they age. This is manifested by the color change from greenish-white to brown.
The simplest way to deal with this is to cut off the browned and spent stalks (when the whole leaf and stem is dead) right at the bottom.
Prune the peace lily flowers - Make sure the cut is angled below the brown tip to keep the new tip from turning brown.
Additionally, deadhead the individual blooms as they fade. Make sure to use sterilized pruning shear or knife to protect your peace lilies from infections.
By doing this you encourage your peace lily to produce new foliage and re- bloom.
2. Sub-optimal growing conditions.
Survival mechanism - Ideally, your peace lily blossoms should last for at least a month given the right conditions. However, if the plant is deprived of essential nutrients and care, the flowers won’t last long. This is because when there’s a shortage of resources the plant speed up the aging process to allow the seeds to develop – which is a survival tactic.
Overhead watering – when watering, it’s always advisable to avoid spilling water directly onto the flowers, especially in the evening. Doing this will mean, the water stays longer on the flower buds. And that’s a recipe for flower rots which will appear as brown spots.
Prevention to peace lily flower turning brown
It’s important to note that you can’t revive peace lily flowers once they start turning brown.
Your best bet is to prune or deadhead them at the base. Besides, you can also improve the growing conditions to encourage subsequent blooms which will last longer.
A Check List on How to Get Rid of Brown Tips on Peace Lily
So here is a brief summary on how to get rid of brown tips on peace lily.
Step #1: Regularly flush your peace lily’s soil using rain/ distilled water
Step #2: Use a free draining soil/ potting mix
Step #3: Cut/ deadhead spent flowers and foliage
Step #4: Choose the right spot for your peace lily
Step #5: Do not overfertilize your peace lily.
There you have it.
If you've been wondering what causes brown tips on peace lily and how to get rid of them, this article has definitely come in handy.
You've read, 6 common causes of brown tips on peace lily and how to manage them.
If you follow the guidelines, you'll have a thriving flowering houseplant.
Back to you.
In case of any questions, clarification or input, please feel free to do so in the comment box below.
6 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Brown Tips on Peace Lily”
I always water my peace lily as soon as it begins to wilt, which is about one to two times a week. I use distilled water and I make sure to let the water drain but never to leave the plant with wet feet. I also keep it out of direct sunlight but the tips are still browning. What gives? 🙁 Maybe not enough humidity? It has sphagnum moss on the surface of the soil but perhaps that is not enough.
Can peace lilies survive in self watering pots.
The ones that have a water reserve inside the pot with no drainage?
Hello Josephine, thanks for your question(s). And yes, Peace lilies can thrive in self-watering pots as long as the planter is relatively bigger. This will allow the plants’ roots to aerate adequately. However, the optimal conditions would be to plant in normal pots that you can water at intervals. And, if you must use a self-watering planter make sure the plant is actively growing with well-developed roots to keep absorbing the extra moisture. A drainage tap on a self-watering pot would also help…
I hope this helps 🙂
I re-potted my peace lily. Before in the old soil I put water on and it popped right back up. With the new potting mix it stays drooped on 50 % of the leaves
Thanks, I have had this plant for 10 years
My peace Lily stays wet for a very long time and only seems to need water every 19 days or so. The tips on all the leaves are brown, and the last two flowers it produced were sickly, tiny, and green. They too quickly turned brown without ever whitening or growing larger.
my seem to be the same jennifer.. leaves turned brown and flowers just seem to be very small and go brown with in a day