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What Causes Black Leaves On A Peace Lily?

Ask The Expert:
I have a Peace Lily and I am noticing that some of the leaves (at the tips) are turning black. What is causing that?  I have been cutting off the black parts, is that OK?
Thank you for your time.  bfh

Plant Expert Reply:

There are 3 things that can cause peace lilies to turn black.

The first is a water issue – too much or too little.  With water the leaves turn brown first then black.

The second is exposure to an extreme temperature change.  Exposure to extreme cold will turn the peace lily leaves black.  Exposure to extreme heat or sunlight usually causes a yellow/brownish discoloration before it becomes black.

The third is a fungus called Phytophthora (aerial blight).  With this  fungus you need to keep water off the foliage – that is how the fungus spreads.  You may need to treat both the soil and the foliage with a fungicide.  Check with your local nursery & garden center for the appropriate fungcide.

This plant disease discussion was brought to you by Flower Shop Network.

Comments

  1. Francis Sealover says:

    In reading your advice I should have not mist my leaves. Would it hurt to use plant shine on the leaves to make them shine. It seems to loose it’s luster. Thank you
    Francis

  2. Francis,

    Yes there is a variety of commercial leaf shining products that you can purchase at your local nursery or retailers. Remember to wipe down the leaves once a week to get rid of dust. You can use a soft washcloth, warm water and soap to clean the leaves.

  3. ginnie cates says:

    i have had my lily since 2009 she has split into 4 separate stocks in a giant pot but her leaves are looking burned ripped and crumbly I keep her shaded she is very very special to me as she was gift after cancer removal I am desperate to get her healthy and happy again

  4. Jamie Woods says:

    Ginnie,
    Has you lily been exposed to any sudden temperature changes? This can sometimes cause issues until the plant acclimates. How frequently are you watering your lily? Over-watering and underwatering can both cause issues. Check your soil and make sure that it is evenly moistened, but not soggy. Chlorine in the water can also cause problems with Peace Lilies, so make sure to always use distilled water, or tap water that has set out for 24 hours to water your plant. There is also a fungus called Phytophthora that can cause the leaves to turn. If this is the problem, you need to keep the water off of the foliage because this is how it spreads. If the fungus is your problem, you may need to treat the soil and foliage with a fungicide. This can be found at your local nursery.

  5. I have the lily plant since Christmas 2016″ The plant was very healthy and growing nice until about two weeks ago. I watered when I feel the top soil is dry about once a week. I keep the plant in the living room..no change in temperature. Around the edges off the leaves stated turning black. I cut the black off. Shortly after seeing the leaves turning black agaiin I’m changing the soil and rinsing the roots under water for about an hour just in case it is fungus.

    .

    ust have to wait a

  6. Jamie Woods says:

    Have you checked the water farther into the soil to make sure your plant isn’t getting too wet or dry? Instead of just feeling the top of the soil, stick your finger down into the soil to the first knuckle. Pull our a little soil and try to roll it into a ball. If it rolls into a ball and water comes out when you squeeze it, then it is getting too much water. If you can’t roll it into a ball at all, the soil is too dry. If you can roll it into a ball, but no water comes out when you squeeze it, then your water level is good. Also, make sure it has good drainage.

    If it is a fungus, most likely aerial blight (Phytophthora), you will need to treat your plant with a fungicide from your local nursery. Make sure to keep water off the leaves, because this is how aerial blight spreads.

  7. I recently reported my peace lilly and at the same time split into two.it was growing fine for the first few wks with new shoots growing,then then the ends of the leave started to turn black and wilt.I don’t think it’s from over waterin.But I’m woundering weather the soil is to rich or
    Weather it is from a fungle,as I used a compost that I made my self from organic matter.?

  8. Jamie Woods says:

    Have you checked the water level of your soil? Underwatering can also cause the leaves to turn black. If you think that it is a fungus, check with your local garden center or nursery to get the appropriate fungicide.

  9. I have two peace lilies, one each from my parents’ funerals. I want to keep them alive. I have gotten to the point, after both nearly died, where each are producing new leaves. But once the leaves emerge and unravel, they are only health for a few days before they begin turning brown both at the tip and in the middle (spots). What can I do?! I have purchased a moisture meter and only water them when indicated by the meter and that is what I think led to them producing leaves again. I can’t remember the last time either produced a bloom. Anyone that can help?

  10. Jamie Woods says:

    Kristen,
    Have you been fertilizing your peace lilies? Sometimes overfertilization can cause browning of the leaves. It is also possible that they may have a root rot or fungal disease. You can find more info on treating those here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/houseplants/peace-lily/diseases-spathiphyllum-tips-treating-peace-lily-diseases.htm

  11. I have not been fertilizing them, though I have considered it. However I get varying opinions on what kind and how much. I have not considered root rot or fungal problems. I will read the article. Thanks!

  12. I bought my peace Lilly just over a week ago and watered it with too warm water (I think) and some of the leaves have started to turn black. Could you advise what I should do please, she is my first ever house plant and I’ve already nearly killed her!

  13. Rosetta Johnson says:

    James Woods I want to thank you I believe that I was doing my plant wrong.

  14. Billy bob says:

    One of my peace Lily flowers turned brown then black and I cut it off and it’s been wilting, what is wrong with it?

  15. Amanda Bates says:

    Please help!!! My grandmother who is in very bad health just gave me this peace Lilly last weekend. She lives about 2 hours away in East tn I am in middle tn. The leaves are already turning black she had it on a covered porch so I put it on a table with one of those big umbrellas so it would have some shade as it did at her house. I’ve watered it every other day like she did. The only thimg different. Ive done is put a very small amount of seven dust on the soil around it but not on leaves because I noticed my other outdoor plants were getting eaten by some kind of bug. It has proper draining i did not water it the past 2 days because it started getting brown leaves which are now black so what can I do to save it? It’s really big shes had it for years. I just can’t let it die.

  16. Aynsley Broom says:

    If it’s wilting, it could be from over or under watering it. We have a great resource here: http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/peace-lily-drooping/

  17. Aynsley Broom says:

    If it has changed locations, it could be in shock due to the change of environment. Here is a resource of what to do to help a peace lily in shock: http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/blog/peace-lily-in-shock-what-to-do/

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