Main factor causing peace lily leaves to ‘turn yellow’

How to care for a peace lily

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Peace lilies like to be watered once a week and will usually indicate they need watering by dropping their leaves. In the winter months, when the plant is likely dormant, they only need watering fortnightly. A well-maintained and happy peace lily will live for an average of three to five years. However, indoor peace lilies can live for two decades or more.

Despite their popularity, peace lilies are known to look droopy and sad if they’re unhappy. Although it may look like all is lost, it is easy to revive the plant with the correct care tips.

One of the first things peace lily owners need to look at is the plant’s roots. Assessing the plant’s roots will reveal whether there’s root rot.

Plant expert Kate Lindley at Baby Bio explained: “If you find the roots are soft and brown, your plant may be showing early signs of root rot – a result of being left to sit in waterlogged compost.”

To check the plant’s roots, remove the peace lily from the pot by tipping it to the side and gently detangling the plant’s roots.

Once removed from the pot, put the plant on a clean surface and remove any compost that’s gathered around the plant.

Kate added: “If there are still some healthy roots, the plant can be saved by trimming off any dead or dying roots back to where the root becomes firm and white again but be sure to use sterilised scissors when doing so.”

Use clean, sterilised sharp scissors to remove any dead roots before repotting the plant using fresh compost.

Discoloured or crispy leaves can be commonplace with peace lilies but this doesn’t mean they’re dying.

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Brown or yellow leaves showing early signs of disease need to be removed with clean scissors.

“Some plant species are particularly susceptible to diseases such as leaf spot, black leg, or sooty mould, so making sure your scissors are sterile is important,” Kate said.

Over time, a plant’s compost loses its nutrients which is why it needs to be fertilised and enriched with nutrients. This allows the plant to grow “stronger roots, brighter blooms, and more leaves”.

Kate explained the “rule of thumb” to follow when it comes to adding nutrients to plants. She said: “Most plants need a mix of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium for optimum growth, so invest in plant food that can provide the perfect balance.

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“We recommend using an all-purpose feed every time you water. Simply add a few drops to water and pour at the base of your houseplant.”

Bright, indirect light is the best condition for peace lilies. They also dislike cold draughts so it’s best to choose a spot away from doors and windows.

In the winter months, when there’s less natural light in the day, it may be necessary to move the plant to a spot where there’s more sunlight during the day.

Another particularly important aspect of plant health is humidity. Kate suggested increasing humidity levels by placing peace lilies next to a tray of pebbles in a shallow layer of water. Misting the plant regularly will also help to keep the plant healthy.

To bring a drooping peace lily back to life, houseplant owners need to ensure the environment the plant is in can accommodate healthy growth.

Dani Turner, an expert from Bunches said: “Think about the temperature of your home, how much natural light you get, and the levels of humidity in the space you are looking to fill.”

Dani added: “If the leaves on your peace lily are turning yellow, there are a few factors that may be causing this.

“Your leaves may simply be ageing; a way to see if this is the case would be to see if they dry up and fall off; alternatively, you could prune the yellowing leaves.”

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