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Why Does My Peace Lily Have Yellow Leaves

Ask the Expert: Peace lily lower leaves turn yellow and then die?
I repotted my peace lily about 18 mos. ago. The lower leaves turn yellow and then die. At first I thought it was just the shock, but it continues to lose leaves. It was a huge plant and now is looking rather pathetic. HELP!!! I love this plant. It is in a south window, but gets limited direct sunlight. I have it in a self-watering pot. Any ideas would be appreciated. Linda

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert Rely: This peace lily problem is directly related to a water issue. Normally, I would assume too much water. With self-watering pots it is hard to tell. It could be getting too much or not enough.

Spathiphyllum clevelandii - Peace Lily

Peace Lily

Another issue could be that the plant was planted too deep when re-potted. The top of the root in the old pot should have been the top of the root ball in the new pot.

In other words, you should not have added any soil on top of the plant. If you think you place the plant deeper than it was, you might need to raise it up. This would be a good time to see if the roots are rotting.

Once you have taken care of the repotting issues, start caring for your plant by creating a humid environment. Mist the air around the plant with tepid water every day or at least every other day. Then make sure the soil is evenly moist (a self watering pot may not be the best for keeping the soil evenly moist.)

Usually a once a week watering will keep the soil moist but not soggy. If your plant is in really low light levels, you may be able to water your plant every other week instead.

Once you have evened out the water issue the plant should make of full come back.


  1. Karolyn MacLeod says:

    I have 2 Lily . What will I do ?plants in one pot. I received it for Mother’s Day. One of them has leaves that are yellow, dropping off and dying

  2. Karolyn,
    I would suggest planting them in separate pots. If they start growing to the point that their roots overflow the container, you will need to separate them anyway. As for the leaves that are yellow and dying, it could mean one of two things: 1. the plant isn’t getting enough water or 2. it’s too deep in the soil.

  3. Michele says:

    I am helping a friend with her peace lily and I know nothing about plants. Some of the leaves have yellow on them and then a dark brown brittle portion as well. Are they not being watered enough?

  4. Michele,

    I think you may be over watering your peace lily. Check the following – stick your finger into the rootball up to your first joint, if the soil feels moist, the plant doesn’t have good drainage, and too much water is likely the cause. If the leaves turn brown without any yellowing first, then I would say it is a lack of water. Hope this helps.

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