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Beginner Houseplants: Reviving a peace lily

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twojps
Smithville, OH

February 23, 2008
9:42 PM

Post #4578644

I took at peace lily home from my sister's funeral 2 years ago. I have about killed it. Everywhere I look online it talks about how easy they are to care for, but mine is not thriving. The leaves turn brown and now it's just down to a few short leaves, most of which are browning. I was cutting off the leaves and stems when they died, so I don't know if that was the right thing to do. Is there anyway to save this? I don't put it in direct sun & try to keep watered, letting it dry out between waterings. It hasn't flowered in a long time and I don't really care if it blooms, as long as the leaves stay green and it looks full & healthy. Should I repot it into a smaller container until it comes back to life? If so, how do I do that? I'm desperate to save this. Please help!!!!!! Thanks!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 24, 2008
1:12 AM

Post #4579435

Can you post a picture of it? There are lots of things that can cause the leaves to look like that--could be overwatering, underwatering, fertilizer burn, salt buildup, low humidity, etc, etc.
Anaid
San Antonio, TX

February 24, 2008
7:30 AM

Post #4580806

My younger brother passed away last week and we obtained what I think are 3 of those Peace Lilys. I do want to make every effort to keep these in the best condition due to obvious sentimental reasons so Im including pics and requesting any help that can be provided.

This is the biggest one; it's prettyf full and so far seems to be ok

Thumbnail by Anaid
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Anaid
San Antonio, TX

February 24, 2008
7:31 AM

Post #4580808

The 2nd largest

Thumbnail by Anaid
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Anaid
San Antonio, TX

February 24, 2008
7:33 AM

Post #4580809

and the smallest.

Thumbnail by Anaid
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NatureLover1950
Vicksburg, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2008
12:19 PM

Post #4580967

I have one from my step-daughters funeral. I knew nothing about them (wasn't even in DG at the time and had no one to ask). Through trial and error, I managed to get the poor thing to survive. Cats tore the leaves up, one-year-old granddaughter tore whole leaves off, had it in the wrong light, cheeesh, just about everything I could do wrong I did (obviously a pretty tough plant, lol). But, now I have it on a wall where it only gets indirect light from an east window and water no more than once a week. I also take it to the shower every couple of weeks and use the shower spray to wash the dust off the leaves (this counts for a watering too). This seems to do wonders for it. I don't dry the leaves after I wash it--just leave it sitting in the shower and let it drip dry. This probably helps with the humidity factor. I fertilize lightly every couple of months. It's return to a normal, healthy looking plant is nothing short of a miracle! (There were a few prayers sent up for this plant since, like y'all, it has sentimental value.) There may be others who have better advice--this is just what worked for me. Sure hope y'all can save your plants too. Good luck.
WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 25, 2008
12:33 AM

Post #4583774

Naturelover has all the answers right there, these plants dont like direct sun, that burns the leaves and causes them to go brown, as does Ecranes trouble shoot, they dont want over watered to the extent the bottom of the pot is sitting in water, they like the foliage to be misted/showered to keep humidity high and they like a liquid feed every few weeks in the growing season, keep in mind, this is winter for a lot of indoor plants to take a rest from flowering, but these plants keep there leaves, they flower best when the pot is not too large and the roots almost fill the pot size, remember that if you have these plants in a very warm central heated room, they dont like that, they prefere cooler conditions without being in a cold room, some areas, you can put them outside in a light shaded area if the temp is nice and warm, then bring them back indoors before winter temps start. Good luck, hope this helps you all out and you have many years of memories watching your plant flourish. WeeNel.
Jieroque
Manila
Philippines

February 29, 2008
6:01 AM

Post #4603883

Same predicament here, only I think we had it worse. The peace lily was left out in the - scorching equatorial sun - for more than 2 weeks without water. We didn't notice it since the househelp moved it to a corner in the porch. It dried up, and nothing remained green of the plant it used to be. Even the soil became rock hard.

One day, instead of throwing it out, I dug up the roots by flushing out the soil, and then cleaned up the rot / dead roots gently with running water. I dug up some three or four large roots, that still had some white parts. Then I let them sit in some distilled water for an hour or so, and then I replanted it in moist compost soil. I kept it out of the direct sunlight for a time, and the system I made (recycled bottle self-watering pot) kept the roots and soil in prime condition.

Well, in 1 week, I had shoots from all the roots, and it's been 3 weeks since, and I got some nice foliage going on... well, they're like 3 - 4 inches high, and when they've grown nice and fluffy, I'm planning to transfer them.

What I kept in mind was... No Direct Sun, Plenty of Light, Plenty of Humidity (Hot and Moist areas) and some nice compost. And yes, Misting helps! But don't keep the soil wet!
cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

February 29, 2008
6:56 PM

Post #4605418

Mabuhay, Jieroque! What a shock to see a post from someone all the way from Manila! I was born there but haven't been home in nearly 30 years -- I was 10 the last time I was there!

Anyway, how do you make a self-watering pot from a recycled bottle? I'm kind of assuming that you're using a plastic 2-L bottle. Can you share your secrets?

BTW, I salvaged my boss' Peace Lily last summer. It only had 3 long stems left and they were all very yellow. She had kept them in a jar of water and they obviously weren't doing well. Anyway, I planted them in well-draining soil and, although the original stems are long gone (cut off by me), I now have a beautiful plant with 14 stems and counting!! Don't give up on those plants, they really are quite tough!!
Jieroque
Manila
Philippines

March 5, 2008
12:54 AM

Post #4623291

Oh hi!!! Kamusta?! :D

Actually, they're not self-watering (well, that's what people call them) - just sub-irrigated. You do have to water when the reservoir gets dry, and you don't water from the top, you water it from a hole on the side, so the water travels upwards directly to the roots. Some schools actually teach this in their science classes. It's the same way gas or kerosene travels up a wick to light a torch. I think this system is perfect for African Violets (which I hear you have to avoid the leaves in watering, though I have none of these), but it works for virtually any plant, especially houseplants - even cacti.

You basically create this little greenhouse inside the pot, and the plant simply takes in water when it needs it, so overwatering is minimized (It's still possible, when the soil is still moist, and you add more water to your reservoir to full).

The one thing great about this system is that I've left my plants untouched for 3 weeks (+days) straight (after a full reservoir - usually the reservoir carries 2 weeks worth of water). The bottles are placed inside decorative containers and pots, so my friends are quite amazed how the heck am I not watering the plants, the pots have NO HOLES in them, and of course no water plates beneath them - and they still thrive.

I did a websearch, and I think this is the most comprehensive, easiest way to do it:

http://www.toppers-place.com/pop_bottle_pots.htm

Now, that's my little secret :)

(On actual lawn or ground gardening, well... I need a dummy book there.)
cruz4him
Toronto, ON
(Zone 6a)

May 16, 2008
7:57 PM

Post #4960885

I finally found my camera (well, my dad's really) and took a picture of the plant I rescued. It is truly my pride and joy right now! It even bloomed for a few weeks just recently -- too bad I didn't have the camera then!

Thumbnail by cruz4him
Click the image for an enlarged view.

growgirl59
Saint Louis, MO

May 16, 2008
8:14 PM

Post #4960967

Peace lily is sensitive to fluoride in tap water. Over time, it can cause the leaf edges to turn brown. I would do everything jieroque did to revive it. From now on, you might want to let the water for this plant to sit out for 24 hours in a container with a wide opening (do not cover). The fluoride and chlorine in the water will dissipate.

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