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I was looking for advice on what to do with my peace lily. For the last month or so it's always been a bit wilted. Even after watering it, it looks a bit happier but drops again shortly after with the soil still wet. Although it keeps flowering, but the flowers are small and weak. I thought it needed repotted but as you can see in the picture the roots are quite small, I was surprised when I took it out of the pot because it's a big plant. Any ideas on how to bring it back to life?

Thank you!

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  • Hello Mara. Welcome. Please show a picture of the pot or at least tell us the pot size. – GardenGems Jan 21 at 23:48
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Small roots and a big plant are often indicators of too much water and fertiliser. It is not uncommon to buy plants that look large and robust, but they roots being small and tiny. In greenhouses where plants are forced to grow faster with extra water, heat and fertiliser this is often the case.

I don't know what size pot it was in before you took it out. But, I would assume it is probably the appropriate size for this plant. Make sure when you water, you wait until the soil is dry at least 3-5cm (1-2") of depth. If you water too soon the roots have no reason to travel into the other parts of the pot.

I know your plant has been wilting, so thinking about adding less water is counter-intuitive, but not for the roots. Also avoid fertiliser for the time being the plant is nice and green it does not need any more food.

Normally I would say fertilise every 3-4 weeks during the growing season, but for you I want you to avoid fertliser completely while you trying to promote root growth, especially fertiliser high in Nitrogen. If during the growing season you see the plants leaves turning from dark green to a paler green or yellow, you can then add some food but for now you want to focus on promoting root growth.

You can add some bone meal to the soil when you put it back in the pot. This natural added phosphorous will help stimulate root growth.

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  • Thanks for your reply. I left it in the same pot but I changed the soil as I bought this plant in Ikea, so maybe the original soil wasn't too good. I've always tried not to overwater this plant but it always starts wilting when the soil is still wet so I struggle to know when to water it. I might move it to a smaller pot until the roots grow a bit larger and add some bone meal as you suggested. Thanks! – Mara Escalante Jan 22 at 10:22
  • Can you tell me what size pot is now? Did the Ikea pot have holes in the bottom? – GardenGems Jan 22 at 17:03
  • It's 17 cm, I've uploaded another picture with the pot. It does have holes and the water drains well after watering, not too fast either. – Mara Escalante Jan 22 at 19:04
  • The pot is the correct size. The plants roots just need to do a little catch up to the rest of the plants growth. – GardenGems Jan 23 at 2:28
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The roots being small is not an indicator that it doesn't need to be re-potted. I would suggjest you re-pot it in a larger pot and add some nitrogen based fertilizer to your daily watering. GL Mara!

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