Caring for a peace lily is much like caring for a pet. There are so many things you need to do to make sure they continue to grow healthily. However, even when you do this, things can go wrong. For example, you may notice that your peace lilies leaves are turning black!
But don’t worry, in this article, not only will you find out why this is happening, but you’ll also learn what you can do to prevent it! So keep reading to find out!
A Quick List For Those Short On Time
Here is a quick list of all the different reasons if you’re short on time.
- They’re Shedding Old Leaves.
- Their Pot Is Too Large.
- They’re Not Being Watered Correctly.
- The Water Quality Isn’t Good.
- They Have A Fungal Infection.
- They Have Root Rot.
- There Are Pests On Them.
- They’ve Been Overfertilized.
- They Have Cold Injury.
- The Air Is Too Dry.
- Not Enough Or Too Much Light.
Why Is Your Peace Lily Turning Black?
Here are all the different reasons your peace lily may have started to turn black in a lot more detail. And more importantly, what you can do to fix it!
They’re Shedding Old Leaves
As your peace lily grows new leaves, they’re going to shed old leaves at the same time. You’ll notice this because the ends of the old leaves are going to start darkening at the end. Then eventually, they’ll just start to fall off.
There’s no real solution to this as it’s just a natural process. However, it is possible to prune the leaves on your peace lilies to get rid of the old black leaves. Just make sure that you’re using a sterile pair of scissors when you’re doing this.
The Pot Is Too Large
If you’ve repotted you’re peace lily, then placing them in a pot that’s too large could be the reason that its leaves are starting to turn black. Because when the pot is too big, it’s going to be harder for a peace lily to feed on all the nutrients in the soil as easily.
The solution for this is fairly straightforward. When you plan on repotting your plant, only go up one size at a time to make sure that the pot is going to be too big for them. Likewise, if you’ve already repotted your peace lily and its leaves are turning black, you can always move it back to a smaller pot.
They’re Not Being Watered Correctly
Another reason that your peace lily leaves my be turning black is that you haven’t been watering them correctly. It tends to happen more when they’re being underwatered, although you don’t want to overwater them either.
If your peace lily isn’t getting watered enough, then the roots won’t be able to transport water to the rest of the plant, eventually causing the leaves to change color.
However, remember this doesn’t mean you should overwater them either, as this can be even more disastrous. When you overwater them, the soil will become too soggy, and the roots will eventually suffocate.
Make Sure You’re Watering Consistently
The simplest thing you can do is make sure that you’re watering consistently. This way you’ll never have to worry about whether you’re underwatering or overwatering your peace lily.
If you’re not sure how much you should be watering your peace lily, about once a week should be enough, as long as you’re spritzing their leaves throughout the week as well to make sure they’re getting enough water.
And even if your peace lily leaves start to turn black or droop, don’t give up on them. Continuing to water them once a week can help revive them and bring them back to life!
Make Sure A Good Drainage System Is In Place
You should also make sure that there’s a good drainage system in place as well. Doing this will ensure the soil doesn’t get completely clogged with water. All you have to do is make sure the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot are working correctly and that the saucer the pot sits in doesn’t stay filled with water for too long.
Wondering whether your Peace Lilies are good air purifiers? Click here to find out!
You should also look at the drainage capacity of the soil you’re keeping your peace lilies in to make sure that it drains adequately.
The Water Quality
The water you’re using to nourish your peace lily may also be causing their leaves to go black, especially if you’re using tap water, as it’s often full of chloride, fluoride, bicarbonates, and other impurities.
All of these compounds can cause salinization in your peace lilies’ soil, which can definitely cause their leaves to turn black. This is because the salt tends to absorb water in the soil, so it will become unavailable to your plant.
Not only this, but they also displace essential nutrients in the soil, which will make it harder for your plants to absorb them. Potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous are some of the building blocks your peace lily needs to grow, and if they don’t get them, it’s entirely possible that the leaves will change color.
Filter Tap Water/Buy Bottled Water
The best solution to this is to make sure that you filter your tap water before giving it to your peace lilies. If you don’t want to filter it, you can also use bottled water to water them as well. Just make sure you aren’t giving them water straight from the tap, as you now know this can damage them.
In the worst-case scenario, you can even let water sit out for 24 hours before you water your plant, as this should allow all the harmful chemicals to dissipate.
Collect Rain Water
Another solution is to collect rainwater and use that to water your peace lily as well. As you can probably guess, rainwater is the best water for your plant is it’s literally what they’d survive on in the wild. If you want to start collecting rainwater, you can leave a big container in your garden to collect water if it rains a lot where you’re from.
Another reason that your peace lily leaves may be turning black is because of a fungal infection. If your peace lily becomes too moist, then it’s entirely possible that a fungal infection can occur. The cause of this is normally when the potting soil to foliage of your plant becomes too wet and stays wet for too long.
If this is happening, then it might not be that the entire leaf is black. In fact, most of the time, you’ll only notice black or brown spots on the leaves of your peace lily.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a great anti-fungal if you don’t want to use more powerful chemicals. It’s non-harmful and also non-toxic. To use baking soda, you should dissolve one tablespoon of baking soda into a liter of water.
Once you’ve done this, use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the infected areas of your peace lily. Repeat this every couple of days until any trace of the fungal infection has been removed.
If you want to use something a bit more powerful, you can also use a pathogen-specific fungicide to get rid of them as well. If you don’t use the right fungicide, then it’s not going to be effective.
As well as this, you should also only use the fungicide once; otherwise, the fungus may become resistant to it. When you’re looking for a fungicide, look for one for Cercospora leaf spot, as that’s probably what you’re dealing with. And make sure that you’re checking each leaf and removing any of the damaged ones to stop the infection from spreading further.
If you can’t notice any discernible reasons for your leaves turning black on the surface, then the problem may be underneath. Root rot can often cause your plant leaves to turn black, as well as cause the entire plant to wilt as well. This is a signal that a root has become moldy.
Once the roots have rotted, you’ll notice they’ve turned from white to brown and even black. This is most often caused by poor drainage and waterlogged soil.
When this happens, fungi known as Cylindrocladium are often the culprit of the root rot.
(Find out more about root rot in peace lilies.)
Stop Watering For A While
If your peace lily is suffering from root rot, then it’s because the soil is far too moist. So the best thing you can do is stop water for a little while, so you give the roots the time they need to heal and let the soil dry out a little bit as well!
And once you notice that your plant has started to heal again, all you’ll need to do is gradually start to water them, and they’ll be right as rain in no time! (No pun intended)
Check The Pot
You should also check the pot to make sure that water is able to drain through it properly. You should also check the saucer underneath to make sure it isn’t filled with water, as this can often prevent enough water from leaking through the soil.
Repot Your Peace Lily
If the root rot has only partially taken hold, then it’s entirely possible that you’ll be able to save your peace lily. But you’ll need to remove your peace lily from the pot, get rid of any excess soil, and place it in a new pot. You may need to use distilled water to gently remove some of the soil.
Once you’ve done this, cut off any rotten roots, and wrap the roots in a newspaper for several days so they can dry. Just make sure you’re ventilating them too.
Finally, once they’ve healed a bit, you can then repot them. Just make sure you’re using new potting soil.
Another reason that the leaves of your peace lily may be turning black is because of pests. Scales, mites, mealybugs, and aphids can all damage your peace lily. They are often all found on the leaves of your peace lily, which provides them with the resources they need to eat and reproduce.
Any areas where they chew on will then turn into a black spot on your plant.
Wash Them Off With Water
The easiest thing you can do is use a stream of water to remove any pests from your plant. However, make sure you’re being gentle as you don’t want to cause unnecessary damage to your plant.
Another solution is to use pesticides. Just make sure you’re using species-specific pesticides. However, when you’re using pesticides, make sure you don’t overdo it as they do contain toxic chemical compounds.
And lastly, if you are going to use pesticides, make sure you spray your plants outside the house where there’s enough ventilation.
Pick Them Off By Hand
You can also try picking the pests off by hand. This is generally the easiest solution, though if you’re squeamish, you may not want to do that. For pests that are too small, you can also try using tweezers to pick them off as well.
Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, dishwashing liquid are all great ingredients you can use in a homemade solution to remove pests. Simply mix them in a spray bottle with some water and then spray it on your plants. Neem oil, in particular, is a great way to kill pests on your peace lily.
Another reason that your peace lilies have started to turn black is that you’ve been using too much fertilizer. Not only is excessive amounts of fertilizer in your soil bad, but it also causes a chemical imbalance and which reduces the amount of mineral uptake in your peace lily, which can cause necrosis of the leaves.
On the other end of the spectrum, if your peace lily absorbs too much fertilizer, they’ll also suffer from nutrient burn, which can turn the leaves black.
If you’re not sure how much fertilizer to use, then about 3-4 feedings during the growing season are enough, especially when they’re in bloom.
Wash The Fertilizer Out
If you’ve overfertilized your plant, then you’re going to need to leech the soil with distilled water to wash all the fertilizer out. If you’re going to do this, make sure you’re using distilled water and that the soil and drainage system is adequate; otherwise, you may end up overwatering your peace lily.
Peace lilies are used to warm temperatures, so depending on your location, they may be suffering from cold injury. You should try to avoid keeping your peace lily in temperatures below 60°F as this can stunt their growth and increase the chance of cold injury.
At lower temperatures, the roots aren’t going to function as well, and the metabolism of the plant, in general, will begin to suffer. As the peace lily begins to thaw, you’ll then notice black spots starting to appear on the leaves.
Move Their Location
The easiest thing you can do to reverse the effects of cold injury is to move your plants to a warmer location. This is especially important in the winter when a cold injury is a lot more likely to occur.
And also, make sure you’re not removing the leaves of your peace lilies too early as they are going to provide a lot of insulation for the leaves that are still alive. The only time this isn’t the case is when the leaves have a bacterial or fungal infection.
Lastly, make sure that whatever room you keep them in is able to consistently remain at a warm temperature for your peace lilies.
The Air Is Too Dry
Peace lilies need humidity, so if the air is too dry, they’re going to begin to suffer. Air conditioners, radiators, and ovens can all dry the air out too much and cause your peace lilies leaves to turn black.
This is because the dry air increases the transpiration rate in the peace lilies leaves. Not only will the leaves turn black, but you may also notice that any flowers that have started to grow turned black as well.
Fortunately, there are a few solutions that can help make sure that your peace lilies are in an environment with enough humidity.
Group Your Plants Together
If you have more than one tropical plant, you can try grouping them all together. By doing this, they’re going to form their own microclimate, which will increase the humidity immediately around them. As well as this, it also makes the room look a lot nicer as well.
Mist The Leaves
You can also use a spray bottle to mist your peace lilies’ leaves. On top of watering them weekly, you can also do this 2 or 3 times a week to make sure that they’re receiving enough moisture.
Use A Humidifier
You can also pick up a humidifier relatively cheap off Amazon and use them to keep the temperature humid enough. Remember, if you plan on placing a humidifier in your house, make sure it’s near your plants to maximize the effect.
Finally, there might be lighting issues with your peace lilies. When it comes to lighting, they have quite specific requirements, so you want to make sure that they’re getting just the right amount. Too much or too little can both damage your plant and cause its leaves to turn black.
If your peace lily isn’t placed in an area with enough light, then it won’t get enough energy to photosynthesize, and it will begin to die. Conversely, too much light is also going to cause damage to your peace lily and can cause brown and black spots on the leaves.
Place Your Peace Lily In An Area With Bright But Indirect Light
The solution is actually fairly simple you should place your peace lily in an area with bright but indirect light. A great choice is to place it in a room where the windows are on the east side, as this should give them just the right amount of sunlight.
If you can’t get natural sunlight, using LED lights can be a great choice as they will increase the light level while not producing any excess heat.
How To Prevent Black Leaves In The Future
Prevention is better than treatment, so here are a few ways you can prevent your peace lily’s leaves from going black in the future.
Choose The Right Soil
If your soil has tiny grains in it, then it’s likely they’re going to clump together, making drainage harder. Likewise, clay soils will be even worse.
Peat and vermiculite are your best choice as they’ll help make sure drainage issues aren’t a problem.
Make Sure You’re Matching Temperature And Sunlight
You need to make sure you’re getting the right combination of sunlight and temperature. If the sunlight raises the temperature in the room, there’s going to be a problem. Likewise, if it doesn’t raise it enough, there’s also going to be a problem.
Try to get the balance just right to reduce the chances of your peace lilies’ leaves turning black.
As you know, you should be watering your peace lily weekly. However, this does depend on the temperature. During the summer months, the soil may need watering more often, and during the winter months, the soil may keep water in longer.
So adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
Here are some frequently asked questions that you may have wondered yourself!
Should You Prune The Black Tips Of A Peace Lily?
You should prune the black tips of your peace lily to reduce the chance of damage spreading to other areas of your plant, especially in the cases of black tips being caused by fungus. And if you’re going to prune your peace lily, make sure that you’re using a clean pair of scissors.
Why Are Your Peace Lily Leaves Turning Brown?
If your peace lily leaves are turning brown, it could be due to underwater/overwatering or because they’re not getting enough nutrients. Likewise, along the same vein, not keeping your peace lily in a room with enough light can also cause their leaves to turn brown.
Why Are Your Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow?
The main reason that your peace lily leaves could be turning yellow is when they’re not in a well-lit room. If your peace lily doesn’t get enough light, then it can’t photosynthesize, resulting in etiolated leaves (which is where the leaves turn yellow and pale).
How Can You Tell If Your Peace Lily Is Dying
The most obvious sign that your peace lily is dying is when the plant starts to become droopy. As well as this, it will also lose its color and become yellow, brown, pale, or black. However, even at these stages, it’s definitely possible to revive your plant.
How Can I Prevent An Aquarium Peace Lily From Going Black
If you have an aquarium peace lily, make sure that while some of the roots are in the water, some of the roots aren’t to make sure that they’re getting enough oxygen and don’t become too soggy. This is very similar to all hydroponic setups.
While on the surface it may seem like looking after a peace lily is difficult, the truth is, once you get the hang of it, it’s a lot simpler than you think! And if you follow the advice in this article, you can stop your peace lily leaves from turning black and even reverse the process when they have!
Lastly, if you enjoy this article, make sure to check out the rest of the website. Otherwise, have a great day!