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Peace Lily Leaves Are Brown – Why?

Ask the Expert: My peace lily leaves have turned brown?
I transferred my peace lily to a larger pot and since then the leave have turned a dull brown and r really thin.  What can I do to save this plant? Courtney


A peace lily with brown leaves is usually the result of too much fertilizer, too much light or not enough water.  However, the transplanting process can also cause problems. When you transplanted your peace lily did you keep the top of the original root ball at the same level?  If you add a lot of new soil to the top of the root ball, the peace lily will decline instead of thrive.  New soil should only be added to elevate the plant in its new container and to fill in the gap at the sides.  So remove any extra soil place on the top of the root ball.

Also, when you finish transplanting you should saturate the soil and then proceed with normal watering practices.  If you only lightly watered the peace lily see if it needs more water.  This doesn’t mean just the very top layer of soil.  All of the soil needs to be moist.

Since fertilizer can cause issues, I wait until my plant has overcome transplant shock before I fertilize it.  If you fertilized immediately following the transplant, you might have more fertilizer than the peace lily can handle.  If this is the case and the plant is towards the dry side water it with fertilizer free water.

Last but not least, make sure that your light source is the same as it was before.  You don’t want intense light beating down on your peace lily.

We have a great peace lily information page.  It might give you other clues as to what is going on with your peace lily. Good luck and please keep me posted.


  1. Margaret Kelley says:

    I would like to know if it would be okay to prune my peace lily. I have had it for a year, and it has really gotten big, it has 6 lily’s on it now

  2. You can prune off old leaves and spent blooms any time. However, peace lilies are not a plant you can prune to contain size. To contain the size you would need to split the plant.

  3. shamekia Pratt says:

    I dont kno wat kind of flower i have but i got it at my father funeral and i dont want it to die…the leaves is turning brown and black like its drying out can some one please help me..

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    Can you send me a picture? If the leaves are turning brown, it may need water. Test the soil by sticking your finger down to the first knuckle. Pull out a little of the soil. If you can’t roll the soil into a ball, the plant needs water. If you can roll the soil into a ball and squeeze water out, it has been over-watered. If the soil will roll into a ball, but no water comes out when you squeeze it, it is fine.

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