Why Is my peace lily leaves turning black?

Why Is my peace lily leaves turning black

Black peace lily leaves indicate a sick and unhappy plant, causing shock and distress for the plant’s loving parent.
This comprehensive guide provides a comprehensive list of seven common reasons for this issue and offers expert solutions to help you resolve it effectively.

Black discolored leaves on your peace lily may be due to factors like old age, overfertilization, pest attacks, lapse in plant care, hard water, pests, and fungal diseases, or a lapse in plant care.

The main causes of black leaves on the peace lily

Old Age

Peace lilies often shed their leaves, often turning black or brown before falling off. This is a natural phenomenon and not a concern. If the discolored leaves are unappealing, they can be pruned off instead of waiting for the leaf to fall.


Water lily leaves turn black due to inadequate or improper watering. The plant requires consistent soil moisture, and if the top inch dries, water is needed immediately. Allowing soil to dry more than an inch from the top can cause withering of leaves, affecting nutrient supply from roots to upper parts. Leaves lose their green color, turning yellow, brown, and black.

Inconsistent watering, such as not watering your plant for a week and then forgetting about it for two weeks, can negatively impact the leaves.


Overfertilizing peace lilies can lead to soil imbalances, disrupting their nutrient uptake, as the accumulation of fertilizer in the soil leads to mineral and pH imbalances.

Chemical fertilizers without diluting can cause plant roots to burn, necrose leaves, and black or yellow leaves due to improper use.

Pot Is Too Large

Repotted peace lily in a larger pot may cause leaves to turn brown or black, and roots may struggle to obtain necessary nutrients due to the large pot size.

Larger pots often have longer water evaporate times, which can lead to fungal and pest issues, resulting in the dreaded black leaves.

Water Quality Is Poor

Poor water quality, particularly from tap water, can cause peace lily to turn black due to excessive salt and mineral concentration, which accumulate in the soil over time, instead of rain or distilled water.

How to save a peace lily from root rot?

Soil salts, high in concentration, disrupt pH balance, cause chemical burns, and cause peace lilies to turn black due to blocking water entry and disrupting pH balance.

Under Attack by Pests

If your peace lily leaves are turning yellow, brown, or black without cause or becoming lifeless, it may be under attack by pests, despite diligent care and maintenance.

Common pests like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scale insects are suckers that puncture plants to eat their sap. They thrive in moist and warm conditions and can be found hiding under leaves or deep into the stem sheath. They also jump from plant to plant, spreading the infestation.

Root Rot

Fungal root rot in peace lilies typically appears as black spots, swollen, and mushy leaves. Symptoms include rotten smell, drooping leaves, and black stems. Overwatering, poor soil drainage, or the pot itself may be the causes of fungal rot. It’s crucial to monitor for these signs and address them promptly to prevent further damage.

Why is my peace lily leaves turning brown?

The main causes of black leaves on the peace lily


How To Treat Black Leaves on Peace Lily

To treat peace lily leaves turning black and yellow, eliminate the causative factor by improving watering, flushing out fertilizer, using a suitable pot, and using distilled water. Eliminate bugs and fungal diseases as they are common causes of leaves turning black. Learn about various treatment options for peace lily leaves.

Water Consistently

If your peace lily plant’s leaves have turned black due to underwatering, improving your watering habits can restore them to green. Regularly check the soil and water the plant if it appears dried, using large amounts of water each time.

Water the soil until it drains from the hole, collect the water in a drip tray, and discard it immediately, ensuring consistent and timely watering.

Flush Out Your Fertilizer

To remove black leaves from potting soil caused by fertilizer, flush it out using distilled water. This will flush away build-up toxins, ensuring no salt accumulation. Fertilize three to four times per growing season, diluting the fertilizer beforehand. Confirm this by sending a soil sample to a lab. Use distilled water only, as other water could cause further salt accumulation.

Use a Suitable-sized Pot

When transplanting your peace lily from one pot to the next, choose the right size first. The new pot should only be larger than the previous one by 2 inches at most. This plant doesn’t grow well in very large pots.

Why does my peace lily not flower

The second crucial aspect of a pot is its drainage, with terracotta or clay pots being superior to plastic ones. Avoid using glass or metal pots, as they are less efficient.

Use Rainwater or Distilled Water

To address plant issues caused by common water usage, use distilled water to flush out and drain accumulated soil toxins.

Afterward, resort to using only distilled water or filtered water. Trust us; this will solve most of your watering issues. It is best if you collect rainwater and use it since this is the most natural for them.

If you must use tap water, then at the very least leave it exposed overnight. The chlorine will evaporate from this water, making it a bit safer.

Get Rid of Pests

If you have a pest problem, worry not because it is super easy to get rid of them. Your peace lily plant will soon return to normal if you follow the easy steps below.

Wash Your Plant
Take your peace lily along with its pot to a sink. Let the water flow through the soil for at least five minutes. Many pests and bugs attacking your plant will easily fall off just by washing. You can add insecticidal soap to the water for a better effect.

You should also take a cotton roll or a toothbrush and scrub these pests off the surface of your plant.

Use Neem Oil
Neem oil is a wonderful substance when it comes to killing pests. It will get rid of the bugs while at the same time not harming your plant. You can dab a Q-tip in this oil and apply it directly to pest colonies under the leaves.

This oil can also be used in the form of a spray. The easiest method is to fill a bucket with a gallon of water and add one to two tablespoons of neem oil. You can now use this spray every week on your infested peace lily.

Other Homemade Solutions
Baking soda is the average kitchen ingredient you can use to fight against pests. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda in about a gallon of water thoroughly. Then spray this mixture on the plant in question once or twice weekly for a rapid effect.

Vinegar is another edible from your pantry that you can whip out against pests. Either go for a foliar spray by mixing vinegar in water, or you can also dilute vinegar and then apply it directly to the colonies of pests under the leaves.

How often to water peace lily in summer?

This option is perfect for those that don’t have much time on their handsfor plant maintenance. Plenty of insecticides are available in the market. It would help if you went for a moderate yet environmentally friendly insecticide.

Even so, it would help if you took care to protect yourself while spraying insecticides. Make sure your bare skin is not exposed, and wear safety goggles for eye protection.

The insecticidal spray regime you need to follow should be according to the instructions on the label. Follow the instructions on the label during the application.

Treat Rot the Right Way

Fungal rot, a severe fungal infection, can be easily eradicated by reviving rotten plants with black leaves, and can also be treated similarly to leaf spot.

To depot a peace lily, remove it from its pot and water it deeply until it becomes soft. The infected soil and pot should be discarded, and the plant should be placed on newspaper to absorb moisture. Cut off all rotten parts, including flowers, leaves, stems, and roots, by soaking the water from the mushy roots. Some parts may be mildly rotten, while others may be completely black. Use sharp shears to chop the blackened parts off, discarding them as they are not suitable for reuse.

Wash and sterilize shears after use and rub 70 percent isopropyl on them to kill off fungal matter. Use a strong antifungal agent like liquid copper fungicide spray, available easily and following company guidelines. Mix one tablespoon of neem oil and vegetable oil in a gallon of water as a natural fungicide for those avoiding harsh chemicals. Repot the peace lily plant after drying up excess moisture, filling it halfway with a potting mix, and placing it in a new pot with bright indirect light and warmth. Place the plant in a location with bright indirect light and plenty of warmth.

Do you want to know the: 17 incredible peace lily benefits!

Quick Care Overview

Common Name Peace Lily
Scientific Name Spathiphyllum
Family Acraea
Origin South America
Growth Rate Medium
Identification Glossy dark green foliage with white flowers (bracts)
Height Up to 3 feet tall
Soil Well-draining soil
Water Water when the top inch of soil has dried out
Temperature 65-80F
Sunlight Bright indirect sunlight
Toxic to Cats & Dogs Yes
Toxic to Humans Yes
Pests Mealybugs, spider mites, scale, aphids, fungus gnats, trips
Diseases Root rot, mosaic virus


We have now covered everything on why peace lily leaves turn black. That is why a quick recap is a must.

  • You can tackle blackened leaves in peace lilies by not watering them regularly.
  • Sometimes, these black-colored leaves are simply due to old age when the plant is shedding its old leaves.
  • You must flush the plant thoroughly with water if this condition is due to over-fertilizing.
  • If pests and rot are the culprits, then the proper treatment protocol must be followed.

After reading our guide, you are ready to tackle that black foliage in your peace lilies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *