Peace Lily Brown Leaves ( Top 12 Reasons & Remedies )

Spread the love

Have you ever looked at your vibrant peace lily, only to find its leaves gradually turning a dismal shade of brown? It’s a common sight that often triggers worry among plant enthusiasts. In this exploration, we delve deep into the enigmatic realm of peace lilies and their perplexing phenomenon of brown leaves. Let’s uncover the secrets behind this botanical mystery, understanding the causes and unraveling the solutions that can restore your peace lily’s former glory.

If you want to show off your peace lilies then my personal recommendation is to use a liquid leaf shine Click here to check it out on

What Causes Peace Lily Brown Leaves

Peace lilies, with their lush green leaves and elegant white blooms, are a favorite choice among indoor gardeners. Yet, even these hardy plants can succumb to the unsightly problem of brown leaves. So, what leads to this perplexing transformation? If you are about to buy your first peace lily then check out my recent article Peace Lily Buyers Guide ( In 4 Steps ).

Moisture Stress

Imagine a hot summer day when you forget to drink water, and your throat feels parched. Plants, like humans, require adequate hydration to thrive. When a peace lily experiences moisture stress, its leaves protest by turning brown at the tips and edges. This stress can arise from irregular watering, either too much or too little.

Temperature Extremes

Peace lilies are native to tropical rainforests, where the temperature remains consistently warm. When subjected to extreme temperature variations, especially cold drafts, these sensitive plants retaliate by displaying brown leaf edges. It’s akin to humans shivering in the cold; the lilies react in the only way they know how. If you want to know the difference between peace lilies and cast iron plants then check out my recent article Peace Lily Vs Cast Iron Plant.

Lack of Humidity

Peace lilies adore a humid environment. In dry indoor spaces, especially during winter when heating systems deplete moisture from the air, these plants suffer. Their leaves turn brown as a plea for more humidity, a cry for the lush conditions they crave.


Fertilizer is plant food, but like any food, it should be consumed in moderation. Overenthusiastic plant parents might drown their peace lilies in a sea of nutrients, unwittingly causing harm. Excessive fertilization leads to salt build-up in the soil, disrupting the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. Brown leaves become a distress signal, indicating an overdose of good intentions.

Sun Scorch

Peace lilies thrive in shaded areas, away from direct sunlight. When exposed to intense sunlight, their leaves scorch, turning a crispy brown. It’s comparable to humans getting sunburned. Peace lilies prefer the dappled sunlight of their natural habitat, and anything more can be detrimental. If you want to know the difference between peace lilies and birds of paradise plants then check out my recent article Peace Lily Vs Bird Of Paradise ( 10 Differences ).


In the natural course of life, peace lilies, like all living beings, age. As they mature, their older leaves gradually turn brown and wilt. This process is natural and not a cause for concern. It’s akin to humans greying with age; the lilies embrace their golden years gracefully.

Lack of Moisture

Peace lilies, although resilient, require consistent moisture to thrive. If they’re left parched for too long, their leaves lose their vibrancy, turning an unappealing shade of brown. Think of it as the plant’s way of signaling distress, akin to a human’s body craving hydration.

Lack of Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for peace lilies. When planted in pots without drainage holes, water accumulates at the bottom, suffocating the roots. In such situations, the leaves reflect the plant’s agony, turning brown. It’s akin to humans feeling suffocated in a closed room; the lilies suffocate without access to fresh air.

Incorrect Soil

Peace lilies demand well-draining soil rich in organic matter. When planted in unsuitable soil, their roots struggle to breathe, leading to stress and, you guessed it, brown leaves. Consider it similar to humans attempting to run in ill-fitted shoes; discomfort and distress are inevitable outcomes.

Using Tap Water

Tap water, although seemingly harmless, might contain chlorine and minerals detrimental to peace lilies. When subjected to these impurities, the leaves respond by turning brown. It’s akin to humans consuming contaminated water; the aftermath is never pleasant. Opt for filtered or distilled water to ensure your plant’s well-being.

Excessive Sunlight

Peace lilies adore bright, indirect light. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. Excessive sunlight, akin to a relentless spotlight, scorches their leaves, turning them brown. These shade-loving plants need protection from the harsh sun, much like humans shield themselves with sunscreen on a blistering day.

Bottom Watering

While bottom watering is a popular technique, it can backfire if not executed correctly. When peace lilies are bottom-watered excessively, waterlogged soil suffocates the roots, leading to brown leaves. It’s similar to humans being stuck in a flooded area; the outcome is invariably unpleasant.

How To Save a Peace Lily with Brown Leaves

Now that we’ve deciphered the myriad reasons behind peace lily brown leaves, let’s explore how to nurse your ailing plant back to health.

Assess the Situation

Begin your rescue mission by assessing the plant’s environment. Investigate the watering routine, sunlight exposure, and soil quality. Identifying the root cause is crucial before administering first aid.

Adjust the Watering Routine

Peace lilies thrive on consistent, moderate watering. Ensure the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged. Water the plant thoroughly and allow excess water to drain away. Stick your finger an inch into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Think of it as providing a refreshing drink to a thirsty traveler.

Control the Lighting

Move your peace lily to a spot with bright, indirect light. Shield it from direct sunlight, especially during the scorching afternoon hours. Consider it as providing a cozy, shaded nook for your plant to relax and rejuvenate.

Repot with Care

If your peace lily resides in a pot without drainage holes or in soil that doesn’t promote airflow, consider repotting. Choose a pot with proper drainage, and transplant your plant into well-draining, high-quality potting mix. It’s akin to finding the perfect home; the right environment can work wonders.

Trim with Precision

Trim the brown, damaged leaves with clean, sharp scissors. Pruning not only enhances the plant’s appearance but also redirects its energy towards healthy growth. Imagine it as getting a haircut after a long, tiring day; the rejuvenating effect is palpable.

Increase Humidity

Peace lilies adore humidity. Boost the moisture around your plant by misting it regularly or placing a humidifier nearby. Grouping plants together can also create a micro-environment of increased humidity. Think of it as pampering your plant with a spa day; the rejuvenating effect is immediate.

Choose the Right Fertilizer

When fertilizing, opt for a balanced, diluted liquid fertilizer. Feed your peace lily once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce the frequency during fall and winter. Balanced nutrition ensures your plant thrives, akin to humans maintaining a balanced diet for overall well-being.

Patience is a Virtue

Finally, exercise patience. Plants, like humans, need time to heal and recover. Monitor your peace lily closely, ensuring it receives the right care and attention. With time and proper care, your plant will reward your efforts with vibrant green leaves and perhaps, a triumphant bloom. Remember, the journey to recovery is often slow but incredibly rewarding.