Peace Lilies: Top Reasons Why Their Leaves Turn Brown and How To Fix Them

Many of us adore peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) for their stunning white flowers. Still, these houseplants are attractive even when not in bloom, especially with their enticing glossy, elegant green leaves. A fairly common occurrence is unless the foliage begins to look less than stellar, just like when peace lily flowers turning brown.

peace lily flowers turning brown

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Peace lilies are tropical plants native to Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia, where they grow in warm, humid climates. They flourish in environments with at least 50% humidity, 60 to 85°F temperatures, and strong, indirect light. However, they’re pretty tough. They’ll be fine if the temperatures fall outside this range or your home’s humidity levels fall short. 

When conditions are less than ideal, the tips of the leaves may begin to brown.  Peace lily leaves with brown tips should have your care reviewed right away. Inadequate maintenance nearly usually yields brown peace lily tips.

Every type of indoor plant has certain needs in terms of things like soil, water, sunlight, and fertilizer. The plant will suffer if you mishandle even one of these requirements.

Let’s look at the causes of peace lily flowers turning brown (including care-related reasons), how to make them last longer, and how to remove faded blooms. 

What Causes Peace Lily Flowers to Turn Brown: Top Five Care-Related Reasons

What Causes Peace Lily Flowers to Turn Brown

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1. Too Much Water

When plants receive too much water, they are unable to get the oxygen they need. Likewise, your peace lily’s roots can’t breathe when the soil is too damp since they are taking oxygen from the earth’s air gaps. It’s tempting to believe that if oversaturated soil is the issue, all you need to do is water less frequently, but this may not be the case. 

Although peace lilies prefer moist soil, they cannot tolerate being waterlogged. This can cause the plant to die and lose its leaves or flowers. Overwatering can also occur if the earth does not drain quickly enough or if the plant is growing in an enormous container. 

Peace lilies perform best when they are slightly rootbound rather than grown in an overly large pot. This is due to the difficulty of providing enough water to the plant without oversaturating the surrounding soil. The extra soil in a large pot retains moisture and drains slowly, causing the roots to sit on wet ground. 

Allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings is recommended, but this isn’t always a reliable indicator. Even when the top inch of soil dries out, the ground below it can remain highly moist. Test the earth in the bottom half of the pot with a soil moisture meter. When the meter indicates that the soil is dry, you can add water. 

Repot your plant into a smaller container if your current one is too large or if you’re having difficulties maintaining the right moisture level. You can also repot in soil with added perlite or rice hulls. This will aid in drainage while still retaining water.

Related: The 25 Best Flowers for Hanging Baskets

2. Poor Drainage

If the container has poor drainage, the roots will likely sit in oversaturated soil for far longer than they should. There are many attractive containers without drainage holes available, and I understand how tempting it is to choose one of these for your peace lily.

However, in the long run, a container with at least one drainage hole in the bottom is preferable. Alternatively, a well-draining container tucked inside a decorative cachepot can be used. 

Even if your pot has one or more drainage holes, ensure they aren’t clogged. Simply raise your finger or a chopstick and move it around.

If you encounter resistance, take the plant out of its container and check if it is root bound. Loosen the roots and repot in a slightly larger container in this case. Remove any rocks and loosen any clumps of soil blocking the drainage hole before replacing the plant in the same pot if you don’t need to go up a pot size.

Furthermore, empty any saucer, pot, or catchment at the container’s base after watering.

3. Too Little Water

Just as damaging as over-watering, giving your peace lily too little water may result in brown flowers that do not fully form. When a plant is deprived of the moisture it requires, it becomes stressed, resulting in dry, crisp leaf edges and tips.

 If you notice drooping or wilting along with browning tips, you can be sure that a lack of moisture is the cause. This problem arises from repeated underwatering or allowing the plant to become dehydrated. Don’t feel bad if you occasionally submerge your plant. 

Simply check the top inch of soil every few days and add water if it feels dry. If the soil appears to be drying out too quickly, incorporate some rice hulls or perlite into the potting medium.

4. Extreme Temperatures

Peace lilies aren’t picky in general, but they, like all plants, require a specific temperature range to survive and thrive. These plants enjoy a toasty environment, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If it becomes too cold, they will suffer. Consistent temperatures above 80°F and below 65°F can stress the plant, causing the peace lily’s leaves to turn brown at the tips. 

If it’s too hot, move your plant to a cooler location away from windows that get direct sunlight or turn up the AC during heat waves. Plants should also be kept away from heat vents during the winter. It’s not only hot near the vents, but the forced air dries out the foliage and soil faster.

Although you don’t have to rely completely on heat, it’s a nice reason to turn up the thermostat in the winter if the weather is too chilly. In the summer, avoid placing the plants close to an air conditioning vent and think about moving them away from windows or doorways. 

5. Lack of Humidity

Do not expose the peace lily to cold air drafts or hot air blasts from heating vents. Both leaves and peace lily’s flowers may turn brown and drop off due to this. Peace lilies are native to warm, humid tropical climates. The tips of the leaves may become dry and brown if they do not receive the humidity they have evolved to thrive in. 

Fortunately, there are numerous methods for increasing humidity. You can relocate your plant to the bathroom or group a collection of houseplants together to improve the humidity level around them. 

Increasing the humidity surrounding your plant is simple and may be done using a tray filled with pebbles and water. Place the plant on the tray; the evaporation-produced moisture will help keep the leaves shiny and green as long as you remember to replenish the water frequently.

You can also spritz the foliage with a spray bottle once or twice a day, though this is a time-consuming option. If you go this route, consider purchasing a plant mister to make the job faster and easier. You can also buy a humidifier to increase the overall humidity in the room. 

Related: The Jazziest Flower: 11 Different Types Of Jasmine Flowers

6. Overfertilizing

Too much fertilizer applied to a plant can cause a buildup of sodium and other salts in the peace lily’s soil. Because peace lilies require very little fertilizer, avoiding this problem should be relatively simple – but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. As was already said, watering from the top rather than the bottom can assist remove extra salt from the soil.

Prudent fertilization practices are also beneficial. Fertilize your plants once a month during the spring and summer using an all-purpose indoor plant food, but dilute it by half rather than applying it to full strength. 

Fertilize nothing at all in the fall and winter. If it’s too late and you’ve already used too much fertilizer, remove the plant from its container and remove as much of the potting medium as you can. Re-pot in the same or a different container with fresh soil.

7. Sun Scorching

Because peace lily is a low-light plant, it cannot tolerate direct sun. To avoid stress, keep them 3 to 5 feet away from a window that receives natural light, or place them in a north-facing window.

Sun scorch may occur if your peace lily is kept in a location where it receives direct sunlight. This usually begins at the tips of the leaves, which turn brown and dry. The brown patches may spread further down the leaf unless you change the sun exposure. This is perhaps the most straightforward problem: simply relocate the plant to a location with less light. 

If you like where the plant is now, consider hanging sheer curtains over the window to reduce the amount of light that comes in. A window with northern exposure is usually acceptable. Still, any other window without a curtain or blind will likely receive too much sunlight for your peace lily’s benefit.

Saving a Peace Lily with Brown Tips

Saving a Peace Lily with Brown Tips - peace lily flowers turning brown

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Feeling the soil at the top of the pot and at the bottom through the drainage hole in the base helps to determine whether the cause of the peace lily leaves, flowers, and leaf tips turning brown are due to overwatering and poor drainage dry conditions due to underwatering. 

The soil should be moist all over. If the ground feels dry, this is most likely the cause of the browning of the leaf tips and leaves, in which case:

  • Place the peace lily in a water basin for at least 10 minutes, ensuring the root ball is completely submerged. This ensures that water can adequately absorb the soil, allowing the roots to access the moisture they require rather than trickling off the surface.
  • Every 7-10 days, give peace lilies a thorough soak. The peace lily prefers a watering cycle in which the soil is thoroughly watered and then allowed to dry between bouts. This ensures that the peace lily has access to enough moisture to meet its moisture requirements while avoiding root rot caused by wet soil.
  • Misting the leaves also helps to increase indoor humidity. To increase the moisture around your peace lily, mist the leaves or use a unique plant humidifier. Misting the leaves creates a humid micro-climate around the peace lily leaves. This simulates the humid conditions of its native environment and counteracts the effects of dry air indoors, which helps to prevent brown leaf tips.
  • Avoid placing peace lilies close to a heat source, in the air currents created by air conditioning systems, or in drafts. Keep your peace lily away from interior heating because it can considerably dry up the air, and peace lilies do best at room temperature.
  • Cut back on how often you water the peace lily. Peace lilies prefer an excellent soak to evenly moisten the soil, then wait for the surface to dry before watering again. These mimic the typical soil moisture conditions in the peace lily’s natural habitat. Watering peace lilies every 7 to 10 days is standard.
  • Plant the peace lily in a pot with drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to drain freely. Peace lilies require an evenly moist environment that drains well to avoid excess water pooling around the roots. Regularly empty any saucers or trays beneath the pot to ensure proper drainage.

How to Extend the Life of Flower

How to Extend the Life of Flower

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A peace lily does not flower until it is fully mature. On the other hand, commercial growers frequently use gibberellic acid, a natural plant hormone, to force immature plants to bloom. This allows them to sell them sooner and makes them more appealing to customers.

This means that when you bring a young peace lily plant home from the nursery, it is usually not fully mature. So when the flowers die, it may take another year or two for new blooms to appear naturally.

When your peace lily blooms, here are some care instructions to help your flowers last longer:

  • Warmer temperatures encourage the blooming of peace lilies. Keep temperatures between 65- and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 30 degrees Celsius) at all times to promote flowering and help the flowers last as long as possible.
  • Maintain Soil Moist – Water your peace lily two or three times per week to keep the soil moist. Because this plant is sensitive to the chemicals in tap water, always use spring or distilled water.
  • Keep the Light Low – Never place a peace lily (particularly a flowering peace lily) in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn the peace lily flower and leaves of this low-light plant. Indirect light is preferable to keep flowers alive for as long as possible.

The flowers will die regardless of what you do. But they never seem to last long enough! So enjoy them for as long as possible by providing proper care for your peace lily while it is in bloom.

Related: A Whole New World: 10 Different Types Of Jasmine Plant 

Getting Rid of Brown Flowers

peace lily flowers turning brown

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Remove brown flowers from your peace lily to keep it healthy. Follow the flower stalk to the plant’s base and cut it off. If you have a sharp pair of pruning shears, use them (but clean kitchen scissors will work in a pinch). Pulling on the flower stalk to remove it may cause damage to the plant. 

Depending on the plant’s health, environment, and cultivar, your peace lily will bloom again in a few months to a year.

Indoor peace lilies bloom in the spring or early summer, with some cultivars blooming twice a year. Each plant only has enough energy to support flowers for a short period before dying. Don’t be concerned! If you give your plant proper care, it will bloom again.

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Morgan Daniels

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