House Plants/Peace lily

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Question
My mother has two potted peace lilies and both are experiencing black curling leaves. She has had them both for about six months and were only repotted from the store container to her own.  They have both bloomed in the past and are just now getting the black leaves.  Can you tell us what might be causing this and if she can save her plants.  Not all of the leaves are affected.

Thank you so much.

Debi

Answer
Hi Debi,

Black leaves are usually a good indication of root damage. With Peace Lilies, the most common cause of root damage is root rot, which in turn is caused when the soil around the roots does not dry out sufficiently between waterings.

This may be related to the repotting that was done 6 months ago. I don't know the details of the repotting, but few people know how to do it properly. It is quite possible that some of the tiny root hairs were damaged during the repotting. In addition, the added soil absorbs and retains water for a long time and keeps the soil and roots from drying out frequently enough. This is particularly true if the new pot is larger than the old one.

There is not much you can do about the repotting at this point. However, you can control the watering. No water should be added until the leaves start to wilt just a bit. Then, add just enough water so that the plant reaches the wilt point again in about a week.

If there is no drainage hole in the new pot, then the accumulation of water in the bottom of the pot could be a serious problem.

Make sure the Peace Lilies are protected from direct rays of the sun, but otherwise as much indirect sunlight as possible.

I have written detailed articles on repotting and on Peace Lily care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com. I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Regards,
Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed

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I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.

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I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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