How to Save a Peace Lily with Yellow Leaves

Overwatering causes peace lily leaves to turn yellow and droop, but too much sun can scorch the leaves and turn them yellow and brown. As the plant ages, the bottoms of peace lily leaves naturally turn yellow.

As a result of their sensitivity to direct sunshine, peace lily leaves quickly turn yellow and brown (depending on the extent of the sun burn).

The soil must be evenly moistened while still being able to drain. The leaves droop and turn yellow as an indication of stress in overly wet or too dry soil.

If peace lilies are replanted into a much larger container, the leaves will yellow following repotting. Greater soil capacity in larger pots allows them to dry out more slowly after watering, which can result in root rot and yellow peace lily leaves.

Find out why and how to keep your peace lily (SPATHIPHYLLUM X ‘WALLISII’) leaves by reading on.

Peace Lily Leaves Yellow and Droopy

Overwatering or underwatering are typically the causes of peace lily leaves becoming yellow and drooping. Peace lilies require evenly moist, well-draining soil. Root rot is brought on by soggy soil from excessive watering, and drought stress is brought on by dry soil, both of which cause the leaves to droop and turn yellow.

The best way to water peace lilies is to soak them thoroughly so that the water gets to the roots and the soil is evenly moist, and then let the soil surface dry out in between waterings.

To meet the watering needs and prevent root rot, peace lilies typically need to be watered every 7 to 10 days.

I must stress how crucial it is to consistently water liberally in order to guarantee that the water percolates through the soil and reaches the roots where it is needed.

When peace lilies are watered too sparingly, just the top inch or so of the soil remains damp, preventing the roots from getting the water they need and resulting in yellowing and drooping leaves.

Low humidity and erratic temperatures brought on by air conditioning and indoor heating can also dehydrate the soil too quickly and rob the leaves of moisture, causing them to droop and turn yellow.

Growing well at room temperature, peace lilies prefer temperatures between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 30 degrees Celsius) during the day and around ten degrees lower at night.

The temperature inside often rises at night during the winter because of indoor heating, which is against the peace lily’s preferred cycle of colder evening temperatures, especially if there is a sharp change in temperature from day to night.

The leaves may turn yellow as a result of this disparity in environmental conditions.

Long-term submerged peace lilies can develop hydrophobic (water-repellent) soil that bakes hard, causing water to run off the soil’s surface, down the side of the pot, and out of the drainage hole instead of properly penetrating the soil and reaching the roots, resulting in yellowing and drooping peace lily leaves.

The soil becomes too wet for the peace lily to endure if you water it more frequently than once every seven days, which is why the leaves start turning yellow and drooping.

Inadequate drainage holes in the pot’s base or saucers, trays, and decorative outside pots placed underneath the peace lily’s container can also result in soggy soil because water collects around the pot’s base.

(Read how often to water peace lilies in my article.)

How to Save a Peace Lily with Yellow, Drooping Leaves

Feel the soil to a finger’s depth at the top of the pot and feel the soil at the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole in the base to determine whether it feels damp or dry to determine whether your peace lily is turning yellow and drooping as a result of underwatering or overwatering.

The yellowing, drooping leaves are caused by the soil being dry, in which case:

  • Make sure the root ball is completely buried and submerge the peace lily for around 10 minutes in a bowl of lukewarm water. This enables the water to enter the dry soil effectively, hydrating it completely and giving the roots access to the roots they need to combat drought stress.
  • Every 7–10 days, water peace lilies liberally such that the surplus water can be seen trickling out of the drainage holes in the base. Always water thoroughly so that the soil is evenly moist after watering the peace lily. To maintain the proper balance of soil moisture, to meet the watering needs of the peace lily (to prevent yellow, drooping leaves), and to prevent root rot, always wait until the surface of the soil is dry before watering again.
  • To raise the humidity, periodically mist the peace lily’s leaves. By misting the leaves, you may simulate the tropical humidity of the peace lily’s natural habitat in South America and combat the dry indoor air that dries out the leaves’ moisture.
  • Keep the temperature between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 30 degrees Celsius) during the day and 10 degrees lower at night. Peace lilies thrive in warm environments and grow well at room temperature, but it’s crucial to keep them away from sources of interior heating, especially at night when they need the cycle of cooler temperatures to stay healthy and green.

The peace lily should start to recover from its droopy appearance once it has received adequate hydration and regular misting. At this time, you can clip the yellow leaves down to the plant’s base using a pair of sharp pruners.

Removing the fading leaves encourages the growth of fresh, healthy, green leaves and can help the plant feel less stressed.

The peace lily is more resilient and responds better to pruning when it is in recovery rather than when the plant is stressed and all the leaves are drooping, therefore always wait until the peace lily is showing signs of recovery before trimming any yellow leaves back.

To prevent adding to the plant’s stress, never remove more than one-third of a peace lily’s leaves at once.

You can test the soil to see if it feels damp. If so, then:

  • Reduce the frequency of watering the peace lily. Only water peace lilies when the soil’s surface has just begun to dry out. By establishing a balance between maintaining an evenly wet soil and preventing root rot, this aids in simulating the regular cycle of soil moisture in the peace lily’s natural environment.
  • Replace the soil and add perlite or grit if the potting soil is draining slowly. When potting soil is compacted, air is forced out of the soil, which slows the pace of soil drying. As a result, the soil drains more slowly. In order to reduce the possibility of root rot, the soil’s structure can be improved by adding grit or perlite, which also increases drainage. A excellent ratio for drainage and moisture retention is about 80% potting soil to 20% perlite.
  • Make sure the peace lily is planted in a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom, and make sure to frequently dump any saucers or trays that may have collected water underneath the pot. In order to prevent the leaves from becoming yellow and drooping, good drainage is essential.

Take a look at the roots after replacing the potting soil. When you reduce watering and improve drainage, the peace lily is more likely to recover if the roots are white and feel solid. This indicates that the roots are still healthy.

The peace lily is unlikely to recover if the roots are dark, squishy, and smell rotten, and the leaves are browning. This implies root rot or a fungal illness.

Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow and Brown (Too Much Sunlight)

Because they are scorched by too much direct sunlight, peace lily leaves turn yellow and brown. Because their leaves are so sensitive to direct sunlight, peace lilies must be grown in the shade. The leaves become yellow and brown when exposed to any quantity of sunlight.

Native to tropical rainforests, peace lilies grow on the forest floor shaded from the sun by a thick overhead canopy of trees.

Peace lilies’ leaves are very sensitive to any exposure to direct sunlight because they are specifically adapted to tolerate shade and harsh indirect light, which scorches the leaves yellow (the yellow leaves eventually turn brown after being scorched).

Short-term exposure to the sun usually causes the leaves closest to it to develop a burned golden hue, however longer-term exposure causes the leaves to turn brown and droop, which frequently occurs when peace lilies are put on window sills in South-facing rooms.

As the sun-burned portions of the leaf do not heal, scorched yellow leaves eventually deteriorate into brown color.

How to Save a Peace Lily With Yellow and Brown Leaves

  • The peace lily should be moved to a spot with shade or strong indirect light. This quickly relieves stress on the plant and mimics the cooler climate of the peace lily’s natural habitat.
  • Give the peace lily a good watering and mist the foliage. Tropical plants called peace lilies prefer a lot of dampness. Direct sunshine can increase the stress on peace lilies and cause their yellow and brown leaves by lowering humidity to adversely low levels. By misting the leaves, it is possible to simulate the humid conditions found in the peace lily’s natural habitat.
  • Keep the peace lily away from direct air currents, water it every 7 to 10 days, and keep the temperature between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 30 degrees Celsius) during the day and 10 degrees lower at night. Before you remove any of the sunburned, yellow or brown leaves, it’s crucial to rejuvenate the peace lily by giving it the best possible care.
  • When you notice fresh green growth developing, cut any yellow or brown leaves back to the plant’s root. It’s crucial to hold off on pruning any sun-damaged leaves until fresh, green leaves start to emerge. The peace lily may become more stressed if it is pruned right after getting sunburned. The peace lily is more resistant to trimming when there is new green growth. Use a pair of sharp pruners to trim any yellow or brown leaves, but avoid removing more than one-third of the leaves at once.

The peace lily has the ability to recover under ideal circumstances as long as not all of its leaves are burnt yellow and brown.

Peace lilies, however, can struggle to recover if they are burned during their Fall and Winter time of dormancy. Peace lilies are more likely to recover during vigorous development in the Spring and Summer (which is when they are most likely to turn yellow and brown due to sun burn).

Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow After Repotting

Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow After Repotting

Peace lilies prefer their soil to be porous, well-draining, and moisture-retaining rather than wet or muddy.

Too much moisture surrounding the roots prevents root respiration, which prevents the roots from absorbing the nutrients and moisture the peace lily needs, resulting in droopy, yellow leaves. This oxygen restriction in the soil also prevents root respiration.

Another cause of yellowing peace lily leaves is excessive soil compaction around the root ball, which removes all the oxygen from the soil and prevents the roots from functioning correctly, both of which lead to yellowing leaves.

Always plant peace lilies in pots with drainage holes in the bottom so that extra water can drain after watering. Your peace lily will develop root rot, which causes the leaves to turn yellow, if the new container does not have a drainage hole.

If they are not routinely emptied after watering, saucers, trays, and decorative outer pots placed underneath your peace lily can also lead to water pooling at the base of the pot, which encourages soggy soil and the development of root rot.

How to Save a Peace Lily With Yellow Leaves After Repotting

  • Repot peace lilies only to a pot that is one size larger than the previous pot. Larger pots dry out much more slowly since they have more soil volume and can keep moisture for a longer period of time. The chance of the leaves becoming yellow due to root rot is reduced by using a pot that is only marginally larger than the peace lilies’ last pot.
  • Instead of using plastic or ceramic pots, it is preferable to repot peace lilies into unglazed clay or terracotta pots. In spite of the fact that peace lilies can thrive in any container (as long as it has drainage holes), clay and terracotta posts are porous, allowing the soil to dry more uniformly after watering, whereas plastic and ceramic pots are impermeable and hold more moisture.
  • Reduce the frequency of watering to once every 7 to 10 days, and make sure the soil has dried out between applications. You should alter how frequently you water your peace lily to match the different rate of drainage, as larger pots dry out at a slower rate, to avoid the soil being overly wet for an extended period of time.
  • Repot the peace lily using potting soil that has had perlite or grit amended if you too compacted the soil before repotting. In order for the roots to breathe correctly and operate to prevent the leaves from becoming yellow and drooping, the potting soil should be porous and well draining. This can be achieved by adding some perlite or grit.
  • To avoid yellow leaves, always repot peace lilies in containers with drainage holes in the base. Remove extra water from saucers, trays, and decorative outer pots to avoid water collecting around the roots, which can lead to root rot.

It is doubtful that the peace lily will survive if it has spent too much time in moist soil and has developed serious rot roots.

Nevertheless, if you repot your peace lily into a pot that is more appropriate for the plant and reduce the watering, it’s possible that the peace lily can recover once it’s had a chance to get used to its new surroundings.

Before pruning yellow leaves using a good pair of pruners back to the root, wait until the peace lily is beginning to show signs of recovery. Cutting off too many leaves at once can stress the peace lily, so don’t remove more than one-third of them at once.

Yellow leaves can be pruned back to encourage the emergence of strong, green leaves.

Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow at the Bottom

The lower leaves of peace lilies naturally turn yellow as the plant ages or as a result of inadequate fertilization, which is why the bottoms of the leaves become yellow. The roots of the peace lily may deplete the soil of nutrients if it has been in the same container for a long period, which will cause the bottom leaves to turn yellow.

Yellowing leaves at the base of the peace lily may also indicate that it is not being watered frequently enough or that it is being watered too sparingly.

Peace lilies don’t need a lot of fertilizer, and with regular fertilizer applications, they can thrive and bloom for many years.

However, the amount of nutrients that may be used up by a peace lily’s roots during vigorous growth in the spring and summer will be reduced in a container, which will result in the bottom leaves turning yellow.

As the plant ages, the lower leaves likewise become yellow and brown. This is so that the peace lily may focus its energy on developing new leaves rather than maintaining the older leaves at the base of the plant, which eventually turn yellow.

How To Save a Peace a Peace Lily with Yellow Leaves at the Bottom

  • Apply fertilizer during the growing season if the peace lily has been kept in the same pot for a long time to prevent yellowing leaves. Because peace lilies are particularly susceptible to excessive amounts of fertilizer, which can cause the leaf tips to become yellow, always use a basic houseplant liquid fertilizer at half strength. Apply fertilizer only when the plant is actively growing, which is in the Spring and Summer rather than the Fall or Winter because doing so can hurt the plant.
  • Always fully water peace lilies so that any extra water drips from the pot’s base. A substantial watering ensures that the water permeates the soil and gets to the roots where it is needed. The peace lily suffers from drought stress and develops yellow leaves at the bottom if the soil is only moistified to about an inch deep. To achieve the ideal balance of soil moisture and drainage, water once every seven to ten days, making sure to wait until the surface of the potting soil has dried before doing so.
  • The bottom leaves turn yellow when the peace lily is mature and growing. The unusual yellow leaf at the bottom of the plant does not hurt the plant; this is a normal phase of the peace lily’s life cycle.

Should I cut back Yellow Peace Lily Leaves?

Use a good pair of pruners to trim any peace lily leaves that have yellowed at the base back to the plant. This enhances the peace lily’s look and encourages the growth of fresh, healthy, green leaves.

Peace Lily Leaves With Yellow Tips

Peace Lily Leaves With Yellow Tips

While growing throughout the day at room temperature, peace lilies prefer a temperature that is about 10 degrees colder at night.

However, because they are tropical plants, peace lilies cannot withstand a substantial nighttime temperature decrease. When the tips come into touch with the window’s icy glass, which can be considerably colder than the rest of the room, they become yellow.

Too much fertilizer can also cause the leaf tips of peace lilies to turn brown or yellow.

Because peace lilies are so sensitive to fertilizer, their leaf tips may become yellow or brown if it is sprayed too frequently or in excessive amounts.

Even if you have placed your peace lily out of direct sunshine, high temperatures, and low humidity can occasionally cause the peace leaf tips to turn yellow if the environment is exceptionally bright.

Since they like shade, peace lilies are acclimated to it, and brightly lit rooms can cause the leaf tips to turn yellow.

To keep a yellow-tipped peace lily alive…

Reduce the amount of fertilizer used, place the peace lily in shade or indirect light of a lower intensity, and make sure the leaves of the peace lily are not in contact with chilly windows. With a good set of pruners, remove the yellow tips.

Because peace lilies are so sensitive to fertilizer, use a standard houseplant fertilizer only when the plants are actively growing (spring and summer), and don’t use any fertilizer at all in the winter.

To keep the peace lily’s beauty, try to trim the leaf back with a natural leaf shape by rounding it off.

The peace lily should thrive if the environment is more hospitable and the yellow tips are removed.

To learn how to save a fading peace lily, see my post.

Key Takeaways:

  • Underwatering and low humidity levels are frequent causes of peace lily leaves becoming yellow and drooping. In their natural tropical setting, peace lilies are accustomed to growing in equally moist soil and high humidity. The leaves droop and become yellow if the soil dries up in between waterings.
  • Overwatering and inadequate drainage induce root rot, which causes peace lily leaves to turn yellow. Peace lilies appreciate somewhat dry soil on the surface between waterings and require well-draining soil. The peace lily develops fungal disease and root rot if the soil is persistently moist, which causes the leaves to become yellow and droop.
  • After repotting, peace lily leaves become yellow because the roots can’t handle the soil drying up quickly enough. Larger pots take longer to dry out, which makes it easier for root rot to develop, which causes the peace lily’s leaves to turn yellow and droop.
  • If peace lily leaves are exposed to too much direct sunshine, they will turn yellow and brown. Peace lilies do not tolerate direct sunlight because they are evolved to growing in the shadow. Even if the delicate leaves are only briefly exposed to bright sunshine, they might sear yellow or brown.
  • As the plant ages, the bottoms of peace lily leaves turn yellow, and they should be cut short to encourage new growth. Due to a lack of readily available nutrients in the soil and a lack of fertilizer, peace lily leaves can also become yellow at the bottom.
  • When trying to save a peace lily with yellow leaves, it is best to mimic the conditions of the plant’s natural habitat by watering it every 7 to 10 days, misting the leaves to increase humidity, placing the plant in bright indirect light, and pruning the yellow leaves back with a good pair of pruners.

FAQ

How do you fix yellow leaves on a peace lily?

The Answer You can either wait for the plant to organically lose these older, yellow leaves by pruning them off. However, you should always maintain proper gardening habits and clear away any plant debris and dead leaves from around the base of your peace lilies after they have dropped.

What does an overwatered peace lily look like?

Widespread yellowing leaves, brown leaf tips, generalized drooping, leaf spot infections, and brown, mushy roots are the principal signs of an overwatered Peace Lily. Major causes of overwatering include overpotting, soil that doesn’t drain well, and regular watering.

How often should you water a peace lily?

Around once every week

Will yellow peace lily leaves turn green again?

Will the peace lily’s yellow leaves turn green once more? Sadly, peace lily leaves can never turn green again once they have turned yellow. Any plant with yellow leaves is already in a vulnerable condition, and if you neglect them, they could invite pests and disease.

Why are leaves on my peace lily turning yellow?

The peace lily prefers medium-level indirect sunlight and will turn yellow if it receives too much or too little of it. Additionally, if the plant is exposed to direct sunlight, brown blotches and streaks may appear.

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