Following shoulder surgery, I have been going to physical therapy. I observed this peace lily (spathiphyllum) there as it was collapsed from dryness, and pointed out it needed water. (Many people use the “let it droop” method to know when to water a peace lily. That is not a practice your plant appreciates and will reward you with yellow leaves and brown tips in consequence.) The yellow leaves are obvious, there is a lot of dead stem residue, and it looked pretty bad. Last week, I asked to take it home to revive it by repotting it. They said please do.
A healthy new plant for comparison
Below is a picture of a recently purchased peace lily. You can see the dark green color the plant should be with proper care.
As you can see below, the newer plant also has no dead stem residue yet. This happens as the plant gets older and loses its older leaves, as all plants do. Remember, yellowing leaves can also happen from inconsistent watering practices. (P.S. Excuse the way this plant is potted. It was for a photo shoot and I just took the plant out of the grower’s pot and placed in this gray pot-a color pot I would probably never use in my home….do you know me?)
Remove dead stems and leaves
Before up-potting the plant, I removed the dead, yellowing leaves and the brown stems as best as I could. Be careful, as getting them off isn’t easy and could break the entire stem off if you aren’t careful. I used a small pair of clippers so I could reach into the middle of the plant to get as many stems as I could.
Long necks and aerial roots
It is hard to remove every piece of the brown dead stems but get as much off as you can. The plant has developed tall necks, much like the African violet in this post. Whereas you scrape the neck and plant the violet deeper to allow it to rejuvenate and grow new roots, the peace lily already has aerial roots growing as you can see below. So when I up-potted the peace lily, I planted it a bit deeper to cover the long stems and give the developing roots potting medium to grow in.
Up-potting the rootbound plant
Normally at this time of year when the light is waning and houseplants are resting a bit, I wouldn’t up-pot a plant (meaning move it to a larger pot). Yet, if the plant is root bound, I will. This one was definitely rootbound as you can see below. I loosened up the roots to help them get out of the hard-packed soil ball they were stuck in and used a pot just one size up from the previous pot.
Tomorrow I am taking it back to the rehab place and will post a picture then. This plant could use some fertilizer to green it up a bit, but I will tell them to do that in the spring.
Back in its place
Below is the picture of the plant returned to the counter at the rehab place. It only gets light from the lights above it as the windows are quite far away. I’ll keep track of it in the next few weeks and see how it does. I’m quite sure a few more leaves will turn yellow and need to come off, but that is expected after its re-potting. I will remove them as they yellow and it will send out new leaves with the fresh potting medium and a new lease on life.
Do you have plants that need to be revived or repotted?
Have a great week, plant friends!