Written by Ivy
Feb 15 2023
If you've been a long-time reader of Indoor plants for Beginners, then you know Regarding many of the common problems you encounter when growing peace lilies, I've written a number of articles. In this article I'm dealing specifically with the browning of the peace lilies leaves including the browning of leaf tips.
So why are your peace lily's leaves turning brown? Peace lily leaves turn brown due to these 5 common issues:
Lack of Humidity
Your peace lily's browned leaves could be caused by a wide range of factors. Low humidity, overwatering, underwatering, and too much sun are the main causes of browning peace lily leaves. You don't want to sit by and watch your browning leaves suffer now if you followed my advice in any of my earlier articles and were able to nurse your peace lily flowers back to health. Read on to discover more about the cause of your peace lily's browned leaves and what to do about it.
Peace lilies are tropical plants that hail from warm, humid areas of Mexico, South America, and Southeast Asia. They thrive in areas with at least 50% humidity, bright indirect light, and temperatures between 60 and 85 °F.
That said, they're pretty robust and they can survive just fine if the temperatures wander out of this range or if your home's humidity levels leave something to be desired.
The tips of the leaves, however, may begin to turn brown in less than ideal conditions. Sadly, once this occurs, the tips won't turn green once more.
If the brown tips bother you, you can either remove the entire leaf and wait for new foliage to grow in its place, or you can remove just the tips.
Let's look at the top five causes of brown leaves for advice on how to revive your peace lily.
Hydration issues are a frequent reason for brown tips on peace lilies.
Too much water prevents plants from getting the oxygen they require. The roots absorb oxygen from the air spaces in the soil, and if the soil is oversaturated, your peace lily's roots can't breathe.
It's simple to assume that if oversaturated soil is the issue, all you need to do is water less frequently, but that may not be the best course of action.
If the soil doesn't dry out quickly enough or if the plant is growing in an excessively large container, the plant may also be overwatered. Peace lilies tend to do better when they are slightly root bound rather than growing in a pot that is too large.
This is due to the difficulty of giving the plant enough water without flooding the surrounding soil. The roots sit in consistently wet soil because of the extra soil in a large pot, which holds water and drains slowly. Read more: Peace Lily Root Rot - Signs & How to Save
Although it should be allowed for the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, this isn't always a good indicator. Sometimes, even as the top inch of soil dries out, the soil beneath can continue to be extremely moist.
Use a soil moisture meter to test the soil in the bottom half of the pot as well. When the meter indicates that the soil is getting close to being dry, you can add water.
If you're having trouble maintaining the right moisture level, consider repotting into a smaller container, if yours is too big, or repotting in soil with added perlite or rice hulls. This will retain water while assisting in improving drainage.
Even if you are giving your plant the right amount of water, it's likely that the roots are sitting in oversaturated soil for much longer than they should be if the container has poor drainage.
I understand how alluring it is to choose one of the many attractive containers available that lack drainage holes for your peace lily. Believe me, I've tried more times than I care to admit to get away with growing houseplants in sturdy containers.
In the long run, a container with at least one drainage hole in the bottom is actually better for you. Instead, you could use a well-draining container concealed inside a pretty cachepot.
Check to see if the drainage holes aren't blocked, even if your pot does have one or more of them. Move it around with a chopstick or your finger by sticking them there. Remove the plant from the container and check to see if it is root-bound if you run into resistance. In this case, loosen the roots and repot in a slightly larger container.
Before replanting the plant in the same pot if you don't need to use a larger one, get rid of any rocks and loosen any soil clumps that might be obstructing the drainage hole.
Additionally, after watering, make sure to always empty any saucers, pots, or other catchments that are located at the bottom of the container.
(Read More: Peace Lily Turns Black - 10 Causes & How to Solve)
Your peace lily can suffer from dehydration just as much as it can from oversaturation.
Lack of moisture will cause the plant to become stressed, which can result in leaf tips that are dry and crisp. If you see drooping or wilting along with the browning tips, you can be fairly confident that too little moisture is the problem.
Don't feel bad if you occasionally submerge your plant because this issue only arises after repeated underwatering or letting the plant become dehydrated. Just be sure to periodically check the top inch of soil and add water as needed.
Try incorporating some rice hulls or perlite into the potting medium if you feel like the soil is drying out too quickly.
Bottom watering can be an effective way to hydrate your plants, but this method can also result in a buildup of sodium in the soil. When you water from above, sodium is flushed out as the water drains through the potting medium.
When using the bottom watering method, be sure to water your plants from above every fourth or fifth time to remove any extra sodium.
Give the soil a good, deep soaking and then dump the catchment saucer after 10 minutes and again in another 30 minutes, if necessary. It ought to be sufficient to prevent the sodium from amassing in the soil if you do this on a regular basis.
Never use softened water to water your plants, and replace the soil in your container every few years to further prevent an excess of sodium buildup.
Peace lilies generally aren't fussy, but like all types of plants they require a specific temperature range to survive and thrive.
Although these plants do enjoy a warm, cozy environment, there is such a thing as too much good. In contrast, if it gets too cold (I understand how they feel), they will suffer. Read More: How Long Do Peace Lilies Last
The plant may become stressed and begin to lose its leaves at the tips if temperatures are consistently above 80 and below 65°F.
Moving your plant to a cooler spot away from windows that receive direct sunlight or turning up the air conditioning during heatwaves are two options if it's too hot outside.
Be sure to keep plants away from heat vents during the winter, as well. The area around the vents is not only hot, but the forced air also dries the soil and vegetation more quickly.
Although you don't have to rely solely on heat, it's a good excuse to crank up the heat in the winter if the temperatures are too low. Avoid leaving plants close to an AC vent during the summer and think about moving them away from windows and doorways.
Tropical regions that are hot and humid are where peace lilies originate. The tips of the leaves may become dry and brown if they don't receive the humidity that they need to thrive.
Fortunately, there are lots of ways to increase humidity. You can relocate your plant to the bathroom so it can benefit from the warmth and moisture of your daily shower, or group a number of houseplants together to increase the humidity level in the area around them.
Use a tray with water and pebbles to add more humidity to the area around your plant. Put the plant on the tray, and the humidity from evaporation will keep the leaves glossy and green as long as you remember to replenish the water frequently.
Although it is a fairly time-consuming option, you can also use a spray bottle to mist the foliage once or twice daily.
If you choose to go this route, you might think about spending money on a plant mister to make the process quick and simple.
Then, turn humidifying time into your personal recharging time by slapping on some headphones, turning on your favorite music, and enjoying the process!
To increase the humidity in the room overall, you could also buy a humidifier. Why not, it can even help your skin retain more moisture?
A buildup of sodium and other salts in the soil can happen when a plant receives an excessive amount of fertilizer. It should be relatively easy to avoid this issue because peace lilies require very little fertilizer, but that doesn't mean it can't.
As discussed, watering from the top, rather than the bottom, can help flush out excess salt from the soil. It also helps to fertilize carefully.
Fertilize once a month during the spring and summer using an all-purpose indoor plant food like Miracle-Gro's Indoor Plant Food, which is available at Amazon in two-packs of 21-ounce bottles.
Do not fertilize your plants during the fall and winter. Instead, dilute the fertilizer by half and apply it sparingly.
You'll need to remove the plant from its container and remove as much of the potting soil as you can if it's too late and you've already applied too much fertilizer. Then, repot peace lily in the same or a new container with fresh soil.
Your peace lily might get sunburned if it's kept in a spot that gets direct sunlight. Often, this begins at the leaf tips, which will dry out and turn brown.
If you don't change the sun exposure, the brown patches might continue to spread further down the leaf.
The solution to this issue is probably the simplest: just move the plant to a location where it will receive a little less light.
If you like the plant's current location, consider hanging sheer curtains over the window to reduce the amount of light coming in.
Any window without a curtain or blind receives too much sunlight to be beneficial for your peace lily, with the exception of those with a northern exposure, which are typically fine.
Feel the soil at the top of the pot and at the bottom through the drainage hole in the base to determine whether the reason the peace lily leaves, flowers, and leaf tips are turning brown is due to overwatering and poor drainage or dry conditions caused by underwatering. Read More: Why Is My Peace Lily Not Blooming
The soil should feel evenly moist. If the soil feels dry then this is likely the cause of the leaf tips and leaves turning brown, in which case:
If the soil feels boggy at the top and base of the pot then overwatering and poor drainage are the causes of the leaf tips turning brown in which case:
If your area has particularly hard water, water your peace lilies with rainwater, bottled water, or filtered water to prevent turning the leaf tips brown.
Additionally, you can water peace lilies with water that has been left in a bowl overnight so that fluoride and chlorine can vaporize, making the water safe to use for watering the peace lily.
Cut any brown leaf tips back with sharp pair of pruners. Trim the leaf back with a natural-looking, rounded leaf shape to restore the appearance of the peace lily's leaves and to encourage new green growth because the brown tip does not turn green again.
The peace lily is unaffected by this, and if the root of the browning leaf tips has been addressed, it should continue to grow in a healthy green state.
Overexposure to sunlight is the most likely cause of peace lily leaves turning yellow and brown. Native to tropical forests, where they thrive in the shade, are peace lilies. The leaves are consequently extremely vulnerable to direct sunlight, which causes them to scorch and turn brown and yellow.
The leaves that are exposed to the most sunlight typically turn yellow when the peace lily has been lightly scorched, but leaves that have been severely scorched turn yellow along with dying, brown leaves. Read More: Why Is My Peace Lily Dying - 5 Reasons & How to Revive
Direct sunlight can also sap moisture from the leaves and dry the potting soil quickly which further exacerbates the stress and promotes the conditions for drooping, curling leaves.
Therefore, if your peace lily is in direct sunlight on a South-facing window sill, this is the cause of the leaves turning brown and yellow and appearing scorched.
Sunlight can turn leaves brown and yellow even after a brief exposure.
If the peace lily's leaves have turned brown and yellow, they won't turn green again, but you shouldn't trim them back while the plant is under stress.
Give the peace lily the ideal surroundings (high humidity, room temperature, evenly moist soil). and ideally wait until you see new green growth emerging. Peace lilies are more resilient to pruning when you can see active growth but even then, only prune up to 1/3 of the leaves even if they are scorched.
Trimming the dying leaves back to the plant's base enhances its appearance and encourages the growth of new, wholesome green leaves. When in active growth, peace lilies can bounce back very quickly. Read More: How To Grow Peace Lilies Outdoors
Your peace lily's leaves can turn brown for a whole laundry list of reasons, including overwatering or underwatering, using water that's overly hard or soft, adding too many minerals, and failing to provide adequate humidity and lighting conditions.
Even though caring for peace lilies isn't always simple, you'll feel so accomplished once their white faux flower blooms!