I have a Peace Lily from my grandmother's funeral seven years ago. I have kept it alive through cross country moves, but I forgot to water it before I left for a two week business trip, and when I came back it all the leaves were shriveled and dead. I watered it, but the leaves never revived. When I got back the soil was dry, but not hard. I keep it on the inside in indirect sunlight on a baker's rack.
Is it gone forever, or will new leaves sprout in their place? I have cut all the dead leaves off and now there stalks sticking out of what I think are roots at the surface of the soil. I really want to try and save this plant. It is great sentimental value. Please help!
Unfortunately it's hard to predict whether it'll come back or not. Plants can be pretty tough so it's possible it'll sprout some new leaves--all you can really do is wait and see. Also make sure you don't water it too much--you don't want to let it dry out, but since it has no leaves it won't go through water nearly as fast as it did when it was healthy. I'll cross my fingers it bounces back for you!
I would keep watering it. I moved mine once and it got frostbittten. All leaves died. I kept watering it and it did come back, but you will have to baby it and like ecrane3 said, don't water it too much or let it sit in water and don't let it dry out.
SOMETHING happened to cause the decline & collapse of your plant in the first place. It was either a cultural condition the plant didn't like, or possibly something related to your watering habits, but first you need to be sure it's not insect/disease-related. It would be wise to open a dialog to try to find out what's at the heart of the issue so you can either correct it or avoid the habits that lead to it. Going only by the odds, it's most likely that the collapse occurred as a combination of several things related to a poor soil. Those things would be a slow or collapsing soil that retains water for too long. This either rots roots, or forces you to water in small sips to avoid root rot. The problem caused by watering in sips is the accumulation of soluble salts in the soil from both fertilizers and tap water. This accumulation of salts makes it increasingly difficult for plants to take up water and nutrients.
There are other possibilities, but as I mentioned, the odds favor the scenario I mentioned. I would consider removing all the soil from the roots and repotting into a durable soil that drains freely so you can water correctly. If your plant isn't too far gone, and if it's not disease/insect-related, the issue should go away.
Thanks to the suggestions I got from this forum I think my Peace Lily has rebounded. I followed instructions I found on the site and cut all the dead parts from the plant, rinsed the roots in distilled water, and replanted them in a smaller pot. It has been six weeks, and today I saw six tiny green shoots coming out of the soil. You don't know how happy this made me!