Identification: what is wrong with my Peace Lilly?

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by trini, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. trini

    trini Member

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    I received a Peace Lilly about 1 month ago from a friend and now the lower leaves have turned yellow. I have kept it in low light in side the house and watered once a week.
    Do I need to fertilize the plant? Do I need to replant in a bigger pot?
     
  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Even though peace lilies can grow in low light, it will grow much better and healthier with a little more.
    The bottom leaves could be yellowing for a few reason. Try giving it a little more light. Peace lilies don't mind a little direct sun or dapple sunlight, or "brighter" indirect. You'll want to keep the soil moist, not wet at all times. If your unsure when to water, let the top inch almost dry down a little first. Keep it on the root-bound side with a pot no larger then an inch bigger around then the roots. and make sure the soil is well draining. If the soil becomes dry, or too dry for it's liking, leaves can also yellow.
    In the mean time, you can cut off the yellow leaves and stems since they won't ever green up again.
    You should start to see new growth with a little more light and the right watering (if it needs it that day)
    I like giving the one I have a very small diluted amount weekly.

    Good luck!
     
  3. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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  4. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    To add to the post, the yellow leaves could be old and the plant is naturally shedding them.
     
  5. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    True, Bluewing.

    In re. the light level:
    I take care of the plants at my workplace. Among these are 2 spaths, one white-spathed, the other pink. These abide on a high windowsill, where they get direct light (through tinted and thermo-pane glass) for most of the day. They have thrived---both have inflorescences at all times, and the pink has grown so enthusiastically that it resembles a BUSH. Huge! Plan to divide it this summer.

    Soil: good-quality potting soil mixed with a generous amount of orchid bark. This latter provides excellent drainage---in fact, I have found that most of my plants benefit from its presence.

    Water: a couple of times a week with water I bring from home (fill a gallon jug and let it sit for a day or two---water at work is of dubious composition. Smells funny, and not in an amusing way).

    When I have the time, and the weather is warm, I take the plants outside, set them in the flowerbed outside the back door, and thoroughly drench 'em, washing the leaves and flushing the chemical buildup from the soil. Due to the massive size of the plants, I have to choose a moment when the coast is clear, so as to avoid knocking down a coworker!
     
  6. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Hey Togata,

    Pink spath? That sounds really nice. I Have never seen a pink one. Maybe it's the high light it gets?
    Some people find these plants hard to care for but, once you get the basic care down, they do very well. I have had an all green one for 21 yrs, and two variegated "Dominos'" for more then 5 and plan to get the larger leaf one when the it gets warmer here. The darn thing winked at me the other day at one of the box stores, soooo, I better get it:) Where there's a will, there WILL be a way!
     
  7. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Did you read what bluewing said, or check the link togata57 provided ? Chances are high your lily is desperate for more food, more water and more light ! Despite what you read most places, these plants grow in very wet places in bright light and full sun, in the tropics. They need regular feeding, Osmocote time release works well. They need well draining soil, lots of water, and much more light than they usually get. They don't want to sit in a puddle, but they do want lots of water, feeding and light. Cut off any yellow leaves, remove any dead flowers, and give the poor thing what it needs. If the soil in the pot does not drain reasonably fast, repot it and mix in plenty of bark or orchid mix, to make the mix coarse so it will drain, and put in some peat or coir so it will hold some water. I know it sounds a bit contradictory, but they need air in the roots, so if the mix holds too much water, the roots can suffocate. Don't let it dry out on top.. keep it moist, so it can keep breathing. It works, since I've been doing this my spathes have done so much better than they used to.No more dark corners for them !
     
  8. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    I have a Domino too. I love the way it looks and just hope it does not lose the variegation with time. Since I started treating it better it has really taken off. I just hope it won't outgrow my space. Love to see a pic of that pink spathe... never heard of one before.
     
  9. mrsubjunctive

    mrsubjunctive Active Member

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    My personal experience has been that my peace lilies want considerably less water than I feel like I should give them: whenever I've tried to keep them moist, I've wound up with burnt tips and margins, yellow leaves, and (occasionally) root rot. It may be that they need a lot of water in their natural, warm, environment, but indoors, mine do better if I let them just barely begin to wilt, then soak the soil thoroughly, drain off the excess water, and wait for it to just barely begin to wilt again.

    I'm also curious about the pink one; I don't think I've ever seen the spathe any color but white (and green, eventually) before.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The plant with the pink spathe might actually be an anthurium. In one of my plant books there's a picture of one that looks strikingly similar to a peace lily. The spathe is white with a pinkish hue while the spadix is pink/maroon with much less pronounced protrusions. The leaves are not the typical heart shape but narrow like those of a peace lily.
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Will take, and (attempt to) post, photo of pink spathiphyllum.
    Spathe is coral in color, spadix lighter.
     
  12. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Yes, looking forward to seeing the pink spath!
    The spaths on my Domino unfortunately aren't pink, but the flowers smell just like Bazooka bubble gum.
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Here are the photos!
    The plant currently has 5 inflorescences.
     

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  14. saltcedar

    saltcedar Rising Contributor 10 Years

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  15. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Well, OK!
    Saltcedar's word is good enough for me.
    Anthurium it is.
     
  16. mrsubjunctive

    mrsubjunctive Active Member

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    It's a gorgeous Anthurium, though.
     
  17. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you, Mr. S.

    Just goes to show that it doesn't do to make assumptions!
    Both this plant and the white spath were purchased by my manager---at the same time, at the same place, in identical pots. I was (clearly) ignorant of the fact that spaths did not come in pink. Also, I thought of anthuriums as having bright red spathes and cream-colored spadices. Well, how long ago was that stereotype implanted in my brain, and how many new cultivars have been developed over the intervening years??? Whew! My computer is not the only thing that is in need of an update!

    I thank the ever-knowledgeable Forum members for their forbearance, and for their wisdom.
     
  18. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    If you look you will find that cultivated anthuriums now come in a host of colours.. from scarlet shiny 'plastic' reds, variegated red/green, to snow white, purple, many pinks & even orange. Leaves and the spathe size can vary a lot, some look miniature, some much larger, but I gather from peeking at the Aroid forum, most if not all cultivated anthuriums are descended from one species, 'andreanum',[ hope I spelled that correctly]. I have seen one or two that have much narrower leaves than most others, but none that truly look like a spath, so far anyway. No matter what you thought it was, it's a beaut !
     
  19. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    Hmm.
    Why such a range of color in anthuriums, but not in spaths...?
    Why are there white anthuriums, but no pink spaths?

    ...And I wonder if the other plant is really is a white anthurium!
     
  20. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    One difference I notice is that anthuriums typically have the coloured spathe lying more or less horizontally, away from the spadix, while spaths have it wrapped partly around the spadix vertically, sometimes almost hooding it. Anthurium spadixes are usually the same colour as the spathe too. Spaths are always white or green. Also, anthurium spathes are usually rather thick, with a satiny to almost plastic looking shine, while spaths will be a bit thinner than the leaves on the plant, and more 'leaf' like, and I've never seen one that was shiny like anthuriums are. Plus, spaths have their leaf petioles coming pretty much straight up from the soil, while anthuriums have the base of the petiole on a very short stem. Often with newer plants you can't see the stem but as they get older and drop a few leaves, or if you just don't grow them very well, [ that would be me ], you'll see the stem start to show up. Spaths never develop a stem, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  21. mrsubjunctive

    mrsubjunctive Active Member

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    They do, but it takes a really long time to be apparent. They'll even branch from them, eventually.
     
  22. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Spathiphyllums do develop stems with age but they tend not to be upright as they're weighed down by the upper growth.
     
  23. Furballs

    Furballs Active Member

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    Thanks for the info mrsubjunctive and Junglekeeper! I've never kept a spath alive long enough to see a stem, though I have hopes now I'm growing my Domino with much more light and water. It is doing ever so much better.
     
  24. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Even though it's not a Spathiphyllum, your Anthurium looks VERY healthy & happy!
    The red Anthurium I had, only made it for (whatever reason) a couple of years.
     

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