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Peace Lily Root Rot – How to Treat, Signs, What Does It Look Like

If you are searching for peace lily root rot problem, before that let me tell you that these are one of the popular houseplants all over the world due to their beauty and the ability to purify indoor air. Lets now find out the answer.

Peace Lily Root Rot

Peace Lily Root Rot – To treat peace lily root rot, pruning infected roots can lower the problem in roots. Overwatering causes this to happen and it encourages the fungal infection in the root section. To fix this problem, peace lilies are repotted with fresh soil, water.  There are several other issues that can happen due to root rot so in this article we have discussed about all of them to better make you understand about peace lily problem.

It gets difficult for plants to grow after the root rot. You can manage this problem by following the steps given to save your peace lily root rot plant. Lets now know more about this issue.

How do you know if a peace lily has root rot?

There are several questions in people’s minds. How do you know if a peace lily has root rot? Basically there are many signs in the peace lily leaves that are visible like yellowing, browning, sogginess and wilted foliage. And all these signs occur due to root rot problems in the plant.

I will discuss about all the possible signs of root rot in peace lily:

Leaf  Yellowing

Yellow leaves are the first sign that a peace lily gets about something wrong with its roots. A healthy leaf can be seen green while the damaged root rot plant will have their leaves turning yellow. It indicates a root rot problem that happens due to excessive watering in the pot. Sometimes this happens due to poor draining, blocked bottom hole or bad soil. When this problem occurs you should immediately see the root system and check if your peace lily has root rot problem. Solution to this problem is simple and you can read that in this article.

Leaves Wilting

This problem generally occurs in peace lilies due to low water but sometimes the issue can be due to overwatering. Leaves that feel droopy first are because of too much sun but if it’s not the case in your peace lily it will definately be excessive watering that caused the plant to root rot. When A plant wilts because of overwatering it has low air circulation in the soil and that makes it difficult for peace lily roots to supply nutrients properly. If wilting is happening for a few days then check the root system again for root rot problems.

Leaf Spots

There are few pathogens that cause the black spots to appear on leaves; it can be a sign of root rot in a peace lily. Initially we thought that it would disappear soon, or pruning would cut the infected leaves. If that doesn’t work then do root rot treatment at home and revive your plant. The black spots on leaves are gone when you prune the leaves but sometimes it needs a special liquid to make it disappear permanently. It is one of the problem in plant that can destroy the plant life.

Root Browning

Sometimes When you take out the peace lily roots , you will notice the roots turned brown, soft and weak. This means it doesn’t have much life and can break easily when you try to pull them. If that’s the case in your peace lily then saving your plant is difficult but remember if you still have healthy roots then cut off the infected roots and let the plant grow normally, this will save the plant. Also change the soil and watering schedule which will help the plant to recover properly.  Root rot occurs due to various problems and it majorly affects the plant roots. That’s why we need to cut off those roots to solve your problem.

Low Potential to grow

Sometimes with different climatic conditions your plant loses its normal growth pattern and is unable to grow properly which leads to root rot problems in peace lilies.

Root rot makes the whole plant weak, and may give signs like yellowing, browning of leaves. It also impacts the normal supply of food and oxygen to all parts of the plant which ultimately make it hard for the plant to survive. 

Bad Smell 

If your plant has root rot then the soil might have a foul or bad smell which can make us understand if its roots are affected or not. 

But before that you get other signs like yellowing, browning of leaves, sometimes it indicates the wilting due to initial root rot.

You can easily fix this issue by changing the soil, planting your peace lily in a well draining pot. Root rot is not a big problem in many succulents because they can tolerate it but for peace lily you need to be careful.

Stems are weakening

If a plant is having root rot, then its stem might dry first. A thin stem may not be able to supply water and nutrition properly which leads to yellowing or leaves turning pale. Stems are weakened due to overwatering or when using too much fertilizer. This leads to root rot problems in peace lilies. If you have multiple peace lilies you can easily determine which one is having problems while the plant which is good in conditions is termed as healthy. 

What are major causes of root rot in peace lily?

There are different reasons that cause your peace lily to root rot. Sometimes we think that it might be due to over fertilizing then we find out it was due to overwatering. Similarly there are various reasons and here we will discuss it. 

Most Common reasons for root rot due to poor drainage, bad soil or overwatering, there are more such causes i have explained in detail.

Bad Draining System

There are times when everything seems perfect like you are watering normally and still it feels like the peace lily has been rotted. This is because sometimes the drainage hole might be blocked due to bad soil, hardened soil at the bottom or smaller pebble may be blocking the water from draining. 

This leads to sogginess in the soil, roots may not find an air circulation because of excess water. They will start to decay with low oxygen. It is important for you to focus on the quality of soil and manage the soil from getting it hardened. You should not include any smaller stones, sometimes it is recommended for a few plants so they can provide a good support but it may lead to more drainage problems in pots.  

To fix this you need to check the drainage hole and see if it’s not getting blocked. If it is blocked then open the blocked hole and let the drain out. There are pots where you need to do the hole yourself, it is done for the first time when you purchase the pot. We also check and clear blocked holes every year so water can drain out for our succulents and many of the indoor plants. 

Overwatering

Overwatering is the number one reason for the peace lily root rot problem, because when you give too much water it makes difficult for roots to get air and that will make it hard for water supply to other parts of the plant.

a peace lily never water excess water, i mean no plants wants this until it is a water growing houseplant. They need the soil to be moist but not too soggy. It impacts the root system which leads to yellowing of leaves.

If the root is not able to provide nutrients and water then this will result in loss of pigmentation, leaf damage, spots and the plant may die soon.

Too much Fertilizer Usage

fertilizing your peace lily will give a nutritional boost in growing more bright and green leaves. But if you do it incorrectly or give too much fertilizer it leads to root rot. There should always be a balance of nutrition in the soil but if provided more than that it  leads to plants having problems while growing.

Do not over fertilize it, you should either read the instruction given in the packet or use the information provided on the internet first. Each fertilizer works differently that is why you need to know the use of fertilizer in plants and how much to use it. 

To fix this issue, you can change the soil or replant it into a new plant with fresh soil. This will save the plant but it works in the early stage otherwise the leaves are burnt due to excess fertilizing.

Poor Air circulation

As you know most problems are linked to overwatering so as air circulation that means the oxygen needs to be supplied to the roots. What happens is due to Excess water , the soil doesn’t have space to circulate air which makes the peace lily root rot. You need to focus more on when to water if the soil is dry then only water peace lily.

No airflow

If a place where you have placed a peace lily has no airflow then it will take a few days to dry the soil. If you watered the plant without checking the soil if its moist or not then it will create sogginess which might lead to root rot problem. The roots want air circulation if this is limited then most probably the plant may have symptoms like leaf tips brown or whole leaves turning yellow. You should shift your plant in an open area where the pot gets airflow and this will help the pot to dry. Excess water is a bigger problem and low water won’t hurt much but you should focus on the plants watering needs.

Low light

Peace lily is a houseplant that needs an adequate amount of indirect sunlight and it should not be placed in a low light area. For a peace lily, low light won’t give much benefits and the foliage may get less green. It is because whenever a plant gets light it starts to prepare food through photosynthesis but in low light plants don’t get full benefits of making food which leads to dim lighter foliage color. Photosynthesis and the plant growth would also be slower so you should place it in a good location where it can receive indirect light for 10-15 hours. 

Low light also leads to overwatering and that may invite some pests in our house. What you need to do is to place your peace lily plant to a good location of indirect light to recover from the low light conditions.

Incorrect Pot Size

If the peace lily pot is small then the water stuck on the soil for longer which leads to root rot.

If the pot is large then it requires more water to get moist. Larger pots will take too much time to dry which may lead to fungal infection and root rot in peace lily.

Too Cold Temperature

If you live in an area with a colder climate then it can be a problem for your peace lily because they need warm climatic conditions as they are tropical plants. They do not grow properly in low temperatures and need a warmer environment.

This may also invite various pests which can make the plant suffer. Cold climate won’t dry your pot soil and the soil might take a direct hit on roots. If your plant feels stressed more than it can lead to root rot problems.

Can a peace lily with root rot be saved?

The most practical way to save a peace lily plant from root rot you need to cut off the infected roots, may also change soil if the impact of root rot is bigger due to overwatering. If the rotted roots are less and others seem healthy then just use a fungicide liquid solution to avoid any future fungal infection that can easily happen to an area which has root rot problem. The solution will sterilize the soil from all the outside and inside infection.

Another way is to save your peace lily is to directly repot the plant to another pot with fresh soil. This will eliminate the infected soil but you also have to cut off those infected roots that are rotted. 

If your plant is 90% rotted then it is impossible for it to survive due to fungal infection and break of supply of food and water to other parts of the plant, the plant may not survive for long. This case you need to propagate it or just buy a peace lily plant from the nursery or online store.

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What do unhealthy peace lily roots look like?

An unhealthy peace lily root may looks like brown, darkish, have a bad smell and soggy. These roots in peace lily can be trimmed by using a sterilized pruner. From outside a peace lily looks like it has yellow or wilted leaves; it means something is wrong with the roots. Whenever roots are rotted, this rotting will reach to the leaf section and give signs like wilting so it’s an indication that your peace lily has root rot problem.

Solving these unhealthy roots by changing the pot soil completely. Cutting off the damaged roots and washing the healthy roots again and sterilizing it by fungicide solution will surely make your peace lily plant live a long life again.

How to treat root rot in peace lily?

Most effective way to treat root rot in peace lilies is by cutting off the unhealthy roots and changing the bad soil to the new soil. Whenever your peace lily looks like wilting or showing yellow leaves then it is most probably root rot problem.

A Spathiphyllum lives in a warm climate and it should be given proper water & care otherwise the rotting can happen to it. Lets now know the steps on how to treat root rot in peace lily :

  1. First your peace lily should be gently taken out from the pot so that we can see the rotted roots properly.
  2. Now separate the roots from the soil using your hand or a shovel.
  3. Take your whole plant and wash its roots in tap water. Gently do it so you do not harm any of the rooting’s.
  4. It’s now clear which root is damaged or infected.
  5. Now Cut off the damaged, unhealthy roots. Whichever tool you use for trimming it should be clean and sterilized so no infection can pass on to the plant.
  6. We are left with healthy roots that can be put into the new pot with fresh soil.
  7. Use a fertile and well draining soil for the peace lily & put your plant in it.
  8. Water your plant till it leaks out the water from the drainage hole of the pot.
  9. Initial days you need to make sure the soil is moist and it shouldn’t be dry.
  10. New roots will form again and your peace lily is revived.

You may ask how do you know if the plant is saved, it’s simple because the growth on leaves is back, the plant starts to grow greener again and more healthy. So the root rot problem has been fixed successfully.

Fungicide for peace lily

The use of fungicide in peace lilies is because whenever the plant has root rot problem which leads to fungal infection so to limit the fungus to grow, we use a good fungicide to avoid this infection from spreading.

An effective fungicide for peace lily can be something which contains Triflumizole or thiophanate-methyl. This liquid solution that is formulated for fungal infection is so powerful to counter the problem of any fungus in plants.

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Peace lily pests and diseases

Peace lilies may get infected by pests like spider mites and mealybugs. Diseases in peace lilies are Cylindrocladium Root Rot, leaf blight, Dasheen Mosaic Virus and Pythium Root Rot, Scale. For pests you can use pesticide solution while disease that can be fixed by using insecticide or fungicide.

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Aerial blight peace lily

Aerial blight in peace lilies occurs due to rain, insects, infected plants and animals because this fungus progresses in moisture so if there is the condition like leaves are getting wet and water stays there it can happen. The solution to fix the aerial blight in peace lily is easy because you need to prune the infected, damaged leaf to protect the whole plant. This infection which is called by fungus Rhizoctonia solani is a fungus and mostly stays on soil and can also spread to other parts of the plant.

There is no solution to fix this aerial blight other than cutting off the whole leaf. Try to change the location of your peace lily plant & check how its growing after cutting the infected leaf. If it grows perfectly then you have solved the problem otherwise you need to follow a different approach.

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Wrap Up

I hope you get the answer on “Peace Lily Root Rot” and if you like to read more such articles check below.

6 Jade Plant Problems – How to Fix(Root Rot, Limp)

Prayer Plant Problems – Yellow Leaves, Brown Tips(How to Fix)

Amelia Clark

Hi, I am Amelia doing gardening for 10 years and finding different ways to better care for most of the plants. I created this blog to help my readers to solve different problems by their own. I also created some garden plants based customized tees for women's and men. I hope you like it.

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