I bought this Peace Lily three weeks ago. A day or two later, the leaves went from upright to down on the floor. I'm not sure what happened. I've not overwatered and it's been kept out of direct sunlight.

What can I do to bring it back to normal? enter image description here

2015-05-23: Update - watering really helped. It's almost back to normal. Thanks to all for the info. Now I'll prune the dead leaves. enter image description here

  • I think bamboo's answer pretty much covers it. I will say that I've got a couple and because of where they sit, they're aggravating to bring down and water, so I've actually let mine get worse than this one and they bounce right back. If it is dehydration, you'll probably loose some leaves over it, but they grow back. You could probably repot this one, once it perks back up, if the dirt is compact, but keep in mind they like to be root bound to an extent and won't flower till they pretty much fill the pot. – Dalton May 21 '15 at 12:31
  • I just noticed you said you bought it 3 weeks ago and 2 days later this happened. Has it been like this the whole time? Can you provide more details on everything you've done over the past 3 weeks and its condition? – OrganicLawnDIY May 21 '15 at 17:22
  • I purchased this at Home Depot. The person in the gardening section advised against overwatering it (no more than once a week). So that's what I've been doing. Besides watering, I've not done anything else. This plant has always been inside, never outside. So based on the answers here, I'll water and remove the brown leaves – Sajee May 21 '15 at 19:13
  • has it been like that for 3 weeks? – OrganicLawnDIY May 21 '15 at 19:52
  • Yes, It's been in that wilted state for about 3 weeks. – Sajee May 22 '15 at 11:39

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) "crash" when they don't get enough water and it looks like what you see in the photo.

It could be other issues but that's the most common one that causes spaths to fall down like that so check the soil moisture first.

Watering it will bring it back. If the soil in the pot is dry that's the likely cause. I had this happen in the past and the plants recover. Actually happened recently in a plant I have in a room I don't go into that often and forgot about.

I placed it in a saucer of room temperature water, checked and refilled the water periodically if it was empty. It slowly started to perk back up and by the next day it looked like it did before.

I'd recommend trimming off the yellow/brown leaves while it's still in the crashed state. The won't come back and it's easier to do it now that they're all apart.

  • Watering is working. The plant has made a big recovery. The leaves are now halfway up. I'm happy. – Sajee May 22 '15 at 21:19
  • That's good to hear. After you said it's been like that for 3 weeks I was worried but they're pretty resilient. I usually water mine every 4-5 days. I keep a watering can full of usually filtered water so that it's at room temperature whenever I water. – OrganicLawnDIY May 22 '15 at 21:28

When you say you've not overwatered, it would be helpful if you could explain what that means - these plants hate to dry out completely, should be watered copiously as soon as the surface of the soil in the pot feels just dry to the touch, but not left standing in water for longer than an hour in any outer tray or pot. I'm not sure from the picture whether the pot I can see is the pot containing the roots of the plant, or whether that's just something you've stood it inside, so can't comment on whether it needs a bigger pot or not. A plant of that size though, will have a fairly large root system which may be filling the pot its in - that means it requires more frequent watering because there's less soil in the pot to hold water for the roots.

This one appears to be suffering serious drought, so I suggest you 'plunge' it - meaning sit it in a bowl or bucket of water for an hour or two, preferably weighted down with something to keep the pot under the surface of the water, then take it out and let it drain down. It should, hopefully, recover, though if its been like this for nearly three weeks, it might not recover terribly well initially. After this treatment, remove by cutting off at the base any still droopy or discolored leaves, then ongoing, water as described in my first paragraph. Find a position for the plant that is not near a heat source, such as a radiator (in case that's a contributing factor to its current condition). If it recovers, check all the leaves, stems and backs of leaves, to make sure there is nothing there that shouldn't be, such as insect infestation, just to make sure its only drought and there isn't something else going on as well.

There is one other possibility though - if, where you live, temperatures outdoors when you bought the plant were very cold, and you did not protect the plant when transporting it home (in other words, it was exposed to cold temperatures for a while) it might have suffered transplant shock, caused by the warmth where it had been before you bought it, the sudden shock of cold, then back to a warmer situation.

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