Brown tips on a Peace Lily – “it’s not in direct sunlight” – House Plant Journal

Brown tips on a Peace Lily – “it’s not in direct sunlight”

Plant Parent

I don’t know my plant’s name. It has started getting dry tips of leaves. It’s in the kitchen, I water it approximately once a week, the temperature in the room is around 21-22°C and it is not in direct sunlight.

Darryl

This is a lovely peace lily. Could you please show me the overall space where the plant lives? I will help you assess the lighting situation more closely.

Could you also please tell me exactly how you water? I’ll do my best to help!

Plant Parent

I water it with 60ml of stale water once a week. Here is the overall space:

Darryl

My guideline for “bright indirect light” is this: put the plant where it can SEE as much of the sky as possible and if the sun will shine directly on the plant for more than 2-3 hours, shield it with a white sheer curtain.

From the place where you’ve put the plant, it cannot see the sky at all. Therefore, it is getting barely any light – do not think of “light” the same as “direct sun”. You should move the plant to be right in front of that window so it can see the sky. If you have a larger window elsewhere, I would move it there.

Once you have moved the plant, the plant is working (doing photosynthesis). When the plant is working, you can water it. Pouring a small amount of water according to a schedule is not the best way to water. Again, given that the plant is now getting the right light, you should check the dryness of the soil every day (I just lift the pot) – once you get accustomed to how quickly water gets used up, you won’t need to check every day. Once it is about half as heavy as when fully soaked, you should fully soak the soil – that is, you water thoroughly and EVENLY and let the excess water drain away. If you let a peace lily’s soil get much drier, it will dramatically wilt. Just give the soil a thorough soaking IMMEDIATELY and it will bounce back – avoid letting it wilt like this.

There is nothing you can do to completely prevent browned tips – this happens to all older leaves on a peace lily. The problem is your light situation was not capable of producing new leaves so that’s why you were noticing that most of your leaves had browned tips.

If you need me to help you with plant placement, feel free to show me your other windows and we can find a better spot for your peace lily!

KEY LEARNING: when people read traditional houseplant care instructions on light, the wording often doesn’t convey the correct meaning. People read “bright indirect light” and interpret that to mean they should absolutely avoid direct sun. But if you hear me saying “put the plant where it has the widest possible view of the sky and, if the sun does shine on the plant for more than 2-3 hours, then block it with a white sheer curtain” – although it’s a mouthful, you won’t make the mistake of thinking you’ve satisfied the requirement of “bright indirect light” by simply placing the plant where there’s no sun. Getting the best possible light (view of the sky) is the prerequisite for houseplants to work!

Tired of your houseplants dying on you?

One response to “Brown tips on a Peace Lily – “it’s not in direct sunlight””

  1. Dear Daryl,

    Pls help me. Need your advice. 1-2 mos ago I didn’t pay attention to the black patch on the stem of my peace lily coz I thought it’s just the way my plant is. But today December 10, I noticed more black patches on other stems. I don’t if the yellowing leaf is due to it or just part of my plant’s life cycle.

    My peace lily previously continues to flower but it stopped now maybe bec it’s winter here in Dubai. But still, new leaves keep on coming. I water it once a wk. It’s placed 10ft from a south-facing window. Didn’t remove it from its location coz it keeps flowering & making new leaves so I thought she is ok where she is. Only now did I buy a grow light to make my plants healthy.

    Pls help me. What is the cause of the black patches on the stems (the leaves don’t have it) so I can refrain from doing anything that causes the problem. I will await your advice. Thanks in advance.

    Faith

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