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Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow: Why & How to Fix

Peace lilies are important houseplants with low maintenance requirements. Overwatering and exposing them to direct sunlight will halt their growth and won’t flourish. Being hardy plants with unique adaptations does not mean they are immune to the consequences of improper care.

Note that those older leaves will naturally turn yellow, gradually one by one. Then wither and dry. This is normal and shouldn’t worry you. However, if a few more of them do so persistently, your peace lilies signal issues.

Are Your Peace Lilies Turning Yellow?

What does it mean when peace lily leaves start to turn yellow? Here are common reasons why:

Yellow peace lily houseplant leaves
Yellow peace lily leaves

Overwatered Peace Lily

Watering infrequently is the most common source of growth problems for most houseplants. And the peace lily is no exception. 

Yellowed and brown leaves are signs of over-watering your houseplant
Leaves of a spathiphyllum curled up with yellowing and browning

If you love to water your peace lilies without figuring out or checking the need, you’re likely to overwater them. When the roots sit in water for longer durations, there’s limited oxygen. This means the roots are very likely to suffocate. Prolonged flooding of the roots for consecutive days can result in yellowing leaves.

Don’t worry if you’ve identified just spotted one or two yellow leaves on your peace lily. Check if the leaves are drooping. If they are not, wait to see when they are likely to drop off naturally. In that case, then, it is a sign of the leaves aging which is OK.

One yellow leaf on your houseplant is normal with age
Healthy peace lily vs one yellow leaf |Image courtesy: Daily Express|

Improper Lighting              

Light is an essential resource for any green plant that depends on itself. Peace lilies don’t require too much light. Neither will they thrive in very low-lit rooms. Indirect bright light is what they need to be happy. You expose your peace lily to too much or very little light and the leaves will start to yellow.

Peace lily yellow leaf edges
Why peace lily plant leaves turn yellow (Photo courtesy)

If the light is too much, they’ll not only lose leaf quality but are also likely to burn. They’ll turn brown as a result.

Under Watering

Yellow peace lilies are also a signal that you are under watering them. Though not common, yellow leaves are characteristic of crispy leaf edges. The yellowing is likely to happen when the soil becomes extremely dry.

Underwatered peace lily signs
Dry yellowing leaf tips can be a sign of underwatering (Image Credit: Gardeningetc)

Fixes to Peace Lilies Turning Yellow

If you want to have a happy peace lily growing, you ought to correctly identify the problem or the reason why.

Find More Suitable Locations

It is as simple as picking a spot with sufficient light lumens per day. Identify a south-facing window where light is filtered. A more ideal location is where you cannot see very clear shadow movements behind while facing the window. Don’t worry since your peace lily won’t get leggy even in a little shade.

Two of the lovely spots to situate your peace lily are the kitchen and bathrooms. Your kitchen and bathing spaces should be properly ventilated. In essence, don’t place the plant where it will constantly be showered more often than not. Avoid placing it near spots with direct heat vents and cold drafts.

Often wipe the leaves regularly with the help of cotton balls. Use distilled or cool settled rainwater. Alternatively, you can mist them early in the morning, once in a while. Doing so should take care of dust that may start to accumulate on leaf surfaces.

Fix Watering Issues

How often, amount and quality of water are key aspects to fixing watering problems. Don’t stick to a strict watering schedule. Water your peace lilies only when the top ½ inch of soil dries out. Before you water, try to assess soil moisture. Poke your finger into the pot to detect how wet or dry its soil is.

Another good fix to watering your peace lily is to monitor the status of leaves. So, be keen on any signs of droopy, or crinkled ones.

Ensure the pot has good drainage holes to help prevent roots from sitting in water (flooding). If you live in a humid climate, water your houseplants fortnightly (or weekly at most) in the summer. Reduce the amount of water in winter and autumn. Additionally, water them a bit less (once a month) in winter.

Will your peace lily recover after overwatering it? If you correct and fix the problem, your plant leaves will quickly pick up and turn green again. However, if you don’t notice any improvements or changes, you need to start saving overwatered peace lily plants.

Strike Balanced Indoor Conditions

Essentially, solving this plant problem isn’t all about water or light problems. Other plant issues may have a hand in it. For instance, shifts in indoor conditions. Here are additional diagnostic steps to make:

  • Track the temperature and moisture changes in your indoor garden
  • Try turning it around once in a while keeping it in the same spot
  • Examine the leaves for signs of pests/pest infestation
  • Trim your peace lilies – removing 2 or 3 yellow leaves won’t harm them in any way
  • Cut off fading leaves and flowers
  • Finally, reposition your peace lilies if they receive light for less than 6 hours – just find them a different spot within your indoor garden

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