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Peace Lily In Shock: What To Do

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 to 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? Because 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.


  1. Gene krauss says:

    I have had a peace lilly for about six mounths looking nice till this last couple weeks. Yellow leaves brown tips fertlize with you merical grow dont know what to do. Help

  2. First, consider what happened to cause the peace lily to go south? Increased heat from summer? Forgot to water it a few days? Recent fertilizing? During summer, plants need extra water because it evaporates more quickly. Also, if you’re plant is close to a window or vent, you might consider moving it away. Next, make sure you are maintaining a healthy watering schedule. Peace Lilies prefer an evenly moist environment. For plants grown in soil, drainage is important; your peace lily pot should have drain holes. Testing the soil before watering by sticking finger in soil up to first knuckle can help you determine the need for water – if soil is moist don’t water. Misting you plant will also help. Hope this information is helpful.

  3. clothilda n shalang says:

    hi. i don’t now how old this page is, bit i need help.
    this Sunday my way to church i purchases very beautiful and fresh peace lily of which I left in the car for about 3hrs, i came back to find them very sad with the flowers dry and some of the leaves dry and brownish. i believe it was due to the heat as well as them being in direct contact with the sun. the first thing I did was to give them a little bit of water.is there a way to recover them back. do i have to cut off the dry flowers and leaves?
    thank you very much for your help.

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    You may need to cut the leaves off, but give your plant some time to recover. It is experiencing shock from the change in its environment, and also the heat and light exposure.

  5. Hello ….my mother repotted my peace lilies on Monday and they are still droopy….some leaves are yellow. I have given them water and they just ain’t thriving. Please help!!!!

  6. Pauline,

    The plant is going through transplant shock. Don’t over water them. Just give them some time to recover.

  7. Michelle Garman says:

    I’ve had my peace lily for about 4 years now. It’s been transferred into new soil multiple times. I transfered it over 2 week ago. It was thriving as usual until this transfer. The following day it was drooping really bad. The tall stems have broken in half due to the weight of the leaves. It’s had plenty of water, the soil stays moist but not drenched, no direct sun involved, I placed it back in the same area of the house its been in before this happened. It’s not gotten any better at all. Now I I notice that 3 other plants are having issues (I’ve had them for multiple years as well)
    I don’t know what else to do to help it but I’m afraid to do anything else that will cause it to get worse

  8. Jamie Woods says:

    If you have several other plants being affected, it sounds like a possible pest or environmental issue.

  9. We live in Louisiana and temps are now hot ..it feels like in the hundreds our peace lily sits in shade most of day and it was doing good until the temps and heat index went up .. my house ac is at 70.. is there anything I can do. It’s looking pretty sad wilted and droopy

  10. Jamie Woods says:

    Is your peace lily still potted or did you plant it outdoors? If it’s still potted, I would consider bringing it back indoors. It’s probably experiencing shock from the extreme temperature change. If you are wanting to leave it outdoors, you might need to water it more frequently. Otherwise, it will be a matter of wait and see on if it will perk back up.

  11. Candy Dupuy says:

    I can’t bring inside we have cats..it is repotted in a bigger pot.. was done and doing well until hot weather.. will give vitamin b and water it more frequently

  12. Karen Gordon says:

    Hi: I have a peace lily that “was” absolutely gorgeous. I knew that it needed to be repotted and probably split (though I didn’t want to split it). So I repotted it into a bigger pot and every leaf except for 2 have dropped tremendously; the flowers are stunted; when I water it the water immediately comes out. What happened to my plant? What should I do to help it survive? PLEASE HELP!!!

  13. Aynsley Broom says:

    If you have just repotted your plant recently, it could be in shock, and you are going to want to give it time. If the soil for your lily is moist and water is flowing out of it as soon as it is watered, then you are overwatering your lily.

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