House Plants/Peace Lilly

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Question
My dad passed away in July 2012, I received a big, beautiful peace lilly.  It was in a 1 gallon plastic container that sat in a basket like casing with a bow in it.  I brought it home and replanted in a 2 gallon planter with miracle grow moisture control potting soil.  It is in my living room where I have a sky light, it does not get a lot of direct sunlight but it is very bright in that room all day.  The leaves on the plant began to turn brown at the tips, it was putting out new growth like crazy but the new leaves also turn brown at the tips before opening up.  It has not bloomed once since I brought it home and repotted it.  I have cut it back and it continues to put out new growth but almost immediately the tips of the new leaves turn brown before they even begin to open.  I only water maybe once every two to three weeks.  I really want to save this plant but don't know what to do.  I have a smaller one that I have had for almost 10 years and the leaves are beautiful but rarely get one bloom per year on it.  Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much for your time.

Answer
Melanie,

Peace lilies hate too much water and brown leaf tips say it is too wet. Because it is not getting much sun it does not use much water. The soil it is in holds water for a long time. When you water it it should never have water sitting in the basket an hour after you water it.

If grown under low light, they may need water just once ever month or two, so monitor the soil carefully. To monitor water closely insert a bamboo skewer or a dowell rod into the soil all the way to the bottom of the pot and cut it off 1/2 inch above the soil line with scissors or wire cutters. When you think the plant needs water pull the skewer out and see if the top half of the skewer is dry. If it is not put the skewer back in the pot and wait several more days and check again. If it is dry give it enough water so most of the soil in the pot gets moist but very little if any of the water goes into the drain tray. An hour later empty all the water out of the drain tray so the plant is not sitting in water. If you can't lift the plant to empty the drain tray use a turkey baster to suction it out. That would rot those fine roots. You should only need to water it once every two weeks or less. This plant is nearly a succulent and should never be watered till it is wet. You should get blooming plant fertilizer and water it with that every time you water following the instructions on the box. This plant is a heavy feeder and will produce more blooms if fed more. If starved it will not bloom. Iff you have more questions feel free to write again. Good luck!

Darlene

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Darlene K. Kittle

Expertise

I have been an Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years and I raise around 300 houseplants and bonsai trees a year including tropicals, succulents, and cacti. I have also been a professional plant care person for businesses in the Fort Wayne, IN area and currently professionally care for bonsai trees for my customers.

Experience

I am also studying the Japanese art of bonsai with tropical plants and is President of the Fort Wayne, IN Bonsai Club.

Organizations
Fort Wayne, iN Master Gardeners. President of the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Allen County Master Gardeners

Education/Credentials
I am not a hortculturist. I am a Purdue University Advanced Master Gardener for 24 years. I have studied plants on a personal level by growing hundreds of plants annually for the last 35 years. I have also studied under several nationally known American Bonsai experts.

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