Why do Peace Lily Leaves Turn Brown and How to Get Rid of the Brown Tips

Peace lily leaves turning brown are a nuisance to have. Here are the reasons why and how you get rid of these brown tips.

The beautiful peace lily plant has green glossy leaves with white porcelain-colored flowers. It’s an indoor plant that doesn’t need much sunlight, water, or nutrients to thrive. This can be explained by its tendency to thrive on thick forest floors with heavy canopies above it.

Peace lily plant

Whenever you observe the leaves turning brown, it could be one of many reasons such as too much or too little water, sunlight, fertilizer, or too little humidity. Too much heat and extreme temperatures, in general, have the same effect. At times, the plant could simply be at the end of its life.

Knowing the cause behind that brown hue on the leaves is a major step towards finding a solution and restoring the good looks of your plant. The good news is that unless your peace lily is completely dead, you can revive it quite easy once you identify the cause of the brown leaves.

Causes of brown leaves on peace lily

While the peace lily can thrive in the wild, it’s quite sensitive to changes in the air and the soil. Changes in the soil lead to the rotting of roots with the plant responding by browning or killing off some leaves to remain with only a few it can support with the reduced root system.

Peace leaves turning brown

The main causes of brown leaves on your lilies include the following:

1. Poor watering routine

Whether you give the lily too much or too little water, the effect will be brown leaves or even dropping leaves. With most indoor plants, the issue is usually too much watering with most people afraid of their precious plant wilting. They end up giving it too much water which may instead kill it.

The easiest way to know if the plant has too much, just enough, or too little water is by inserting a finger into the soil up to the second knuckle and then pulling up some soil with it.

  • If you can’t roll the soil into a ball, it’s too dry.
  • If you can roll the soil into a ball but can’t squeeze water from it, it’s the right amount of irrigation.
  • If you can roll a ball with it but can squeeze water from the ball, there’s too much water in it.

You then determine your course of action from this test.

2. Too many salts and fertilizers

Your peace lily deserves some love in the form of fertilizers every now and then. However, unlike other plants, peace lilies need only a handful of fertilizer after several months. When you give too much of it to the plant, the fertilizer will lead to brown leaves.

Besides the fertilizer, watering the lily with salty water will lead to brown leaves as well. The calcium in the water slowly builds up in the soil around the plant. The same occurs if you use a mineral softener in water although the buildup will be of other chemicals. Both items change the pH of the soil leading to drying and a change in color.

If you see any white deposits around the drain holes or the area where the soil meets the pot, it’s usually too much of some mineral you gave to the plant.

3. Too little humidity

In nature, the peace lily is found in humid tropical conditions. While it’s difficult to attain the same exact conditions indoors, you’ll need to make the area around it humid enough for the plant to thrive.

If not, the plant will either start wilting or turning brown on the edges of the leaves. Other leaf colors such as yellow may appear.

4. Extreme temperatures

The ideal conditions for the peace lily include temperatures between 68°F and 85°F. At night, it can do well with slightly cooler temperatures. That means that normal summer and winter temperatures aren’t an issue for the plant as long as it’s indoors.

The worst comes when you expose it to temperatures below 40°F for long. This will easily lead to the browning of the leaves and so will be exposing the plant to direct sunlight for long periods of time. In the latter case, it may also turn yellow.

5. Diseases and Pests

Some pests like spider mites can easily make your plant sick with their bites and infections. In such a case, the plant’s leaves may start off with a gray hue followed by brown tips.

6. New environment

At times, the plant may be simply acclimatizing to the new environment and nothing more. This occurs after buying the plant, changing a watering routine, or moving it to a different part of the house.

7. Aging

Eventually, the peace lily flower completes its lifecycle and dies. The first signs may be the browning of the leaves. A while after the plant flowers and the flower dries off, the dying process is likely to occur. Even if you’ve been doing the right thing, there’s nothing you can do in this case.

Simply keeping in mind your care routine for the plant will contribute immensely to identifying the cause of the brown leaves.

How do I get rid of brown leaves on my peace lily?

Getting your plant back to its natural shine is quite simple actually. You can take the following corrective measures for the paint:

1. Proper Watering

The first method is to correct your watering routine. For the peace lily, the right balance is waiting till the leaves slightly wilt then you give it water. You need to be careful with this one since waiting till the leaves are fully wilted may kill it.

When watering, ensure the plant’s pot has drain holes to keep the water below a certain level and avoid choking the roots and the plant itself.

2. Correct Fertilization

For the times when you’ve given the plant too much fertilizer or have used hard water for far too long, flush the soil around it with lots of clean soft water until its drainage holes run with it. After that, resume the normal watering routine for the plant. Only this time, don’t use too much fertilizer or hard water.

The other option is to transfer the plant to another pot with new and unfertilized soil. This may require a few days for the lily to recover but it eventually does recover.

Most peace lilies come with enough fertilizer for several months. You, therefore, don’t need to start fertilizing them right away.

3. Restore the Humidity

One way of preventing this and restoring the health of the plant is adding a saucer (or another wide container) with water and pebbles just under the lily’s pot. The water will evaporate and provide the needed humidity.

The other method, which should be combined with the first one for the best results, is avoiding heavy draught around the plant. This means keeping it in a location without direct winds, heat vents, or fans as these blow away the moist air around the plant.

4. Maintain Its Temperature Range

You won’t need to worry about this plant as long you’ve not placed it out of the way of heavy draughts or air conditioners. Also, don’t keep it on the balcony or directly below an air vent as it’ll be subjected to outdoor temperatures which dive deeply during the winter.

Keep the plant within sunlight but not directly. That means keeping it close to a window facing either north or south and not in the dark. Fluorescent light won’t harm it and instead helps it grow properly.

5. Control Pests and Diseases

Any pests and diseases on the plant will need to be eliminated at all costs. However, aim to use natural pesticides and mild ones which won’t harm the plant.

These are easy solutions that require little expertise. For pesticides and other chemicals, always consult with the person who sold you the plant before using them.

Should I cut brown tips on peace lily leaves?

You can cut the leaf with brown sections from the peace lily. This requires following the leaf all the way to the base of the stem and then cutting it off. For the leaves with very few brown sections, simply trim off the brown sections. Use only sterilized equipment for these exercises.

If the leaf browning is a few days or weeks after buying the plant and it isn’t much you’ve done with the plant, chances are that it’ll be simply dropping some leaves due to the changes in conditions. Indoor plants tend to drop the excessive leaves to acclimatize to the new conditions.

On the other hand, if it’s due to a cause that can be rectified, you should instead aim for the correction.