Why are my peace lily leaves turning brown? – A PUZZLE

We all love peace lilies because they are easy to grow and maintain. They are also some of the best houseplants for purifying the air with their beautiful flowers. But you should be aware of indoor peace lily problems when growing.

So why are my peace lily leaves turning brown? The main causes are insufficient watering, direct exposure to the sun, excessive fertilization, low humidity and extreme temperatures. Browning of peace lily leaves can occur in several ways.

Identifying the exact cause behind the brown leaves will provide a clue to finding the best solution. We wrote this article to help you discover the exact causes and possible solutions to fix them.


Reasons for peace The leaves of the lily turn brown

Peace lilies are evergreen tropical plants that thrive both indoors and outdoors. But these rainforest plants are sensitive to changes in soil and air. Golden leaves are signs of adapting to changes or an inadequate care routine.

It is vital to determine the source of the problem with your peace lily. The information will help prevent misdiagnosis and save your plant. Below are the possible causes of darkening water lilies.

underwater problem

Inconsistent watering is the main cause of brown leaves on the peace lily. These tropical plants can tolerate a dry state, but if left in drought for an extended period, they can weaken.

Brown leaves occur due to lack of nutrient supply medium. The plant then does not receive enough nutrients, which causes brown spots on the leaves. Too little water will make your peace lily not only thirsty but also hungry.

We recommend testing the moisture content of the soil to see if it is dry. Soaking the potting mix will hydrate your peace lily and get the elegant green leaves back on track. Be sure to use rainwater or distilled water to hydrate your houseplant.

Remember that peace lilies need more water in the spring and summer due to their active growth. Reduce watering frequency during fall and winter seasons due to dormancy effect.

too much water problem

Peace lilies thrive in moist soil that never becomes soggy. Too much water will create a swampy environment that will ruin the peace lily’s chances of survival. Wet potting soil prevents the roots from accessing oxygen, causing them to suffocate.

The marshy environment can also weaken and damage the roots, causing them to rot. Damaged roots inhibit the supply of essential nutrients to the whole plant, leading to darkening of the leaves. Other signs of an overworked peace lily include leaves turning yellow, dropping, and curling.

We recommend examining your houseplant and soil for signs of mold growth by sniffing around the potting mix. The best solution is to transplant the peace lily into a new container and fresh potting soil.

Effect of water quality

Many peace lily enthusiasts focus on the right amount of water to promote graceful green leaves. Neglecting the quality can cause the leaves of the plant to turn brown, as peace lilies are sensitive to minerals.

Tap water contains harmful chemicals (chlorine and fluoride) that burn peace lily leaves. Blackening of the leaves occurs as a result of excessive accumulation of these harmful substances around the plant.

Chlorine and fluorine often block stomata and leaf edges to prevent transpiration. The scenario then hampers photosynthesis and causes the leaves to darken. But don’t panic, the effect of water quality is reversible.

Avoid using tap water to water your peace lilies to prevent the leaves from turning brown. We recommend leaving tap water on overnight to allow harmful minerals to solidify and settle before watering houseplants. (Character font: Pacific Northwest Pest Management Handbook).

Distilled water and rainwater are the best alternatives to tap water. The water type is devoid of minerals that will ruin or damage beautiful, lush peace lilies. Be sure to check with your local water authority to verify its quality before using it on your houseplants.

direct sun exposure

Peace lilies thrive in indirect sunlight to promote lush growth. Too much or too little light can damage them. Artificial or natural light will help the plant undergo photosynthesis to promote healthy growth.

Exposing your peace lilies to direct sunlight for an extended period of time will cause them to burn. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause leaves to brown, drop and curl. The condition will also weaken and even kill your peace lily.

We recommend moving the peace lily to a location with direct and indirect sunlight. Make sure windows have sheer curtains to reduce the intensity of sunlight. Artificial light is the best option for natural light while growing peace lilies indoors.

Be sure to trim sunburned foliage to direct nutrients to growing regions. Pruning also helps improve the overall appearance of the plant after the effects of sunburn.

pest infestations

Peace lilies are vulnerable to insect infestation whether grown indoors or outdoors. These little creatures can attack and damage your indoor plants. Examples of insects that attack peace lily leaves include spider mites, scale insects, scale insects and aphids.

These insects suck cell sap and damage vital leaf tissue. The poison released on the leaves promotes the growth of fungi that inhibit photosynthesis. Peace lily leaves turning brown are signs of a severe insect infestation.

Rinse your peace lily plant with mild soap and water to control pests. To eliminate pests, clean the affected leaves with a cotton swab soaked in an alcoholic solution. Be sure to isolate the houseplant from others to prevent spread.

low humidity

Peace lilies are native to the rainforests of Central America and Southeast Asia. These regions receive average humidity which promotes healthy growth among peace lilies. Low humidity is responsible for leaf wilting and browning.

The brown leaves of the peace lily come from faster evaporation than water absorption. Due to the rapid loss of water, the plant dries out and the leaves curl and turn brown. We recommend increasing the indoor humidity to prevent the leaves from turning brown.

Install an electric humidifier to increase indoor humidity, which is good for plants and people. Provide adequate air circulation to prevent insect infestation and fungal growth around the plant.

Extreme temperatures

Peace lilies prefer a temperature range of 65-75OF (18-24.)OC) during the day and as cool as 10OF (-20OC) at night. (Character font: University of Vermont).

High temperature will increase the transpiration and respiration rate of indoor peace lilies. Plants lose water faster than they absorb it, causing the leaves to turn brown.

Low temperature, on the other hand, will cause frost damage to your peace lilies. Ice crystals around the plant damage vital tissues that inhibit photosynthesis.

Low and high temperatures have a detrimental effect on indoor plants. We recommend keeping peace lilies away from heat sources and cold drafts to prevent the leaves from turning yellow.

plant diseases

Peace lilies are less susceptible to plant diseases. But that doesn’t make them invincible to common leaf problems like browning or yellowing.

If you notice your peace lily leaves turning brown, it could be due to petiole diseases and bacterial leaf rot. (Source: The Journal of Pharmaceutical Innovation).

We recommend pruning affected foliage to prevent it from spreading to other houseplants. Apply fungicide to light-affected plants and discard severe counterparts.


I hope the factors mentioned in this article will help you understand what causes browning of water lilies. Please take the time to read the information and examine your houseplant to determine the exact cause before troubleshooting. Feel free to share your experiences or ideas in the comments section below.

Readers reading this will also read:

  • Peace Lily crashes (how to fix)
  • Peace Lily has advice on brown leaves (causes and tips for solving)
  • Yellowing Peace Lily Leaves (Causes & How to Fix Them))

Leave a Comment