Ask the Expert: Have I damaged my Peace Lily after transplanting?
I purchased 2-3 small Peace lilies about 7 years ago for my boss. She is not a plant person so it became my responsibility to keep it alive. It has been transplanted once from the pot it was originally in to a slightly larger pot and it has thrived increasing to 5 plants.
Lately it has been droopy and in need of water every other day. It has remained in the office in a relatively climate controlled environment until yesterday. I am in Florida and unfortunately my vehicles air conditioning went out. By the time I drove the 2 miles to home, the plant was all wilted and dying looking. I placed it in the shade as my houses a/c was not on and the inside temperature was almost as uncomfortable as my trucks.
I kept in in the shade and the ambient temp dropped due to an approaching storm. It was in the low 80’s to upper 70’s. I gently removed the plant from the pot and soaked it in water to try to loosen the dirt around the roots. My intention was to put it in 2 pots. I was afraid to cut or try to finger separating wasn’t working on the roots.
Carefully I put soil in the new pot and added a little water. I kept this up in layers and added the ‘mother’ plant in to the center. I added potting soil around it and added water to moisten it. I left is under my oak tree overnight in the shade and it appeared to be slightly recovering until the drive to work this morning. One of the plants in the mother plant has dark wilted green leaves and is majorly droopy. The rest of the plant is a little ‘depressed looking’ with slightly wilted leaves.
I have one of those watering globes and added it in once the plant was placed back in it’s home in the office.
Will my plant recover or have I done permanent damage to it? It really doesn’t appear to be loving life right now. Thoughts/help is greatly appreciated. Cheryl
Plant Expert Reply:
The short answer is give the plant time and it will be fine.
The long answer is:
When a peace lily or any other plant is in stress don’t add any more stress to it. After exposure to hot temperatures or a move, give the plant a day or two to recover before you re-pot, fertilizer or give extra water (unless the soil is dry). Move the peace lily to an area with a more acceptable temperature. The other thing you can do is give the peace lily a light solution of Vitamin B1 which you can find at your local garden center.
When you do repot, don’t be afraid to cut the roots. To divide peace lilies, I take the plant out of the pot and cut from the bottom of the roots up toward the plant. By dividing the plant this way, you ensure an adequate root system for the foliage. Cutting the roots in this manner will not hurt the peace lily.
When I repot any plant, I place the soil in the container and make a hole for the rootball. I place the rootball so that the top is at the same level as it was in the original container. I use the new soil to fill in the gap between the rootball and the side of the container. Notice I didn’t add any water in this process. Wetting the soil should be done after the plant has been repotted. Why? Becasue the water will eliminate any air pockets that have formed between the rootball and the new soil. You always want a thoroughly moist soil immediately after you transplant. then you want to keep the soil evenly moist for peace lilies.
Although your approach was a little different from mine, your peace lily should recover. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and add a little Vitamin B1 to help with the shock. Then give it some time. Remember peace lilies will be droopy for a couple of reasons: too wet, too dry; to hot and sometimes too cold. Keeping moisture and temperature consistent is important.
Good Luck and keep me posted.