I have a peace lily that was attacked by my roommate's cat a few months ago. Somehow the cat survived, despite peace lilies being toxic, but the roommate is gone now so the cat is no longer an issue. However, my poor plant's leaves did take a bit of a beating. Luckily, it does have new growth so it should be okay.

Should I prune the damaged leaves, or let them be?

Here are some photos. Apologies, the combination of night lighting + my cell phone cam makes for less-than-ideal quality. If it is needed, I'll take new photos during the day. enter image description here enter image description here

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    Hi jackwise. Do you have some pictures you could post for us please? It would help to see the overall plant, as well as the damaged leaves. Thanks! May 27, 2016 at 0:48

3 Answers 3


Trim off the chewed up leaves and leave the healthy ones. The leaves are not going to "heal" and look nice again. The ragged pieces are doing nothing for the plant, and new ones grow pretty quickly if the plant is happy. Also, it will be easier to monitor the overall health of the plant if you can actually see what is going on. For instance (from the photo) it looks like you have some yellowing leaves, too.

I worked for years in garden centers and flower shops, and have cared for thousands of these plants. Sometimes we had to cut off up to 1/3 of the leaves if the stems got broken in shipping. Even if you cut off nearly all of the leaves, new ones will grow. (It just might take a while.) I have also had friends give me near dead ones that I nursed back to health.

Here are links that may help you determine why your leaves are yellowing. (They also recommend snipping off the unsightly yellow or brown leaves.)



From your other post that you referred me to, I now understand that this plant is getting sunburned. Get it away from the windows and put it on a table, or even on the floor across the room. They like low, indirect light.

This site actually recommends 6 to 8 feet from a window. http://www.proplants.com/guide/peace-lily-care-guide

  • I think the yellow leaves are from sunburn. I unfortunately only have east facing windows in my apartment so I'm not sure what I can do to try to alleviate that - I have another question here if you have any tips :) gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/25036/…
    – jackwise
    May 27, 2016 at 14:35
  • I think the photo makes it look like the leaves are severely yellow, though - most of them are green, a couple on the edges are yellow, and they've been that way for a while. I think I'll trim those.
    – jackwise
    May 27, 2016 at 14:36
  • @jackwise- Sounds like a good plan. (Glad they're not as yellow as the photo makes them look.) Good luck, and I'll check out your other question.
    – Diane
    May 27, 2016 at 14:42

I usually leave damaged leaves as they are. If they're still have (normal coloration) green and are alive, they're photosynthesizing and contributing to the overall health of the plant. However, if they are diseased, then I would remove them to stop any disease spreading to healthy leaves.

  • The cat was pretty thorough with what he ate, but some parts of leaves he didn't get to are green enough. Hopefully the photos help a bit.
    – jackwise
    May 27, 2016 at 2:57
  • Looks okay, I'd leave them alone and not attempt unnecessary surgery. May 27, 2016 at 3:38

You seem to have a couple leaves that are at least 50% yellow and seem to be dying off. I would remove those, but not the others. Look at the overall health of the leaf. If it appears to be getting worse over time, then I remove it.

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