8 Reasons Why Your Peace Lily Has Brown Tips And How To Fix It

by John Griffith

As someone who’s filled their home with an assortment of greenery, from the resilient snake plant to the finicky fiddle leaf fig, I hold a particular fondness for the peace lily. Its glossy leaves and elegant white spathes bring a touch of serene beauty to any space. However, as much as I admire this plant, I’ve learned that it demands attentive care. Lately, I’ve noticed a common plight among fellow peace lily enthusiasts: the mysterious case of the browning tips. It’s a problem that can tarnish the lush appearance of this beloved houseplant, but fear not—identifying the root cause is the first step to restoring its health. That’s why, with the help of gardening experts, today I will tell you how to treat a peace lily with brown tips.

In the jungle of my living room, the peace lily demands a spotlight

peace lily brown tips

@The Spruce

Why Does My Peace Lily Have Brown Tips?

When the tips of your peace lily’s leaves turn brown, it’s an important signal that shouldn’t be ignored. This discoloration is not just an aesthetic concern, but a sign that your plant is stressed and in need of attention. Often, the root cause of such distress isn’t disease, but rather environmental factors or care practices that have gone awry, according to experts from Gardening Know How. Issues such as improper watering, insufficient humidity, excessive or insufficient light, and incorrect fertilizer application can all contribute to the browning of leaf tips. It’s essential to assess and adjust your care routine to address these abiotic factors, as they are most commonly behind the health decline in indoor peace lilies. By focusing on optimizing the environmental conditions and cultural care, you can help your peace lily recover and thrive, highlighting the importance of understanding and responding to the needs of your plant.

Your peace lily’s brown tips aren’t a fashion statement, they’re a cry for help

white peace lily flower


Brown, soft spots spreading across your peace lily’s leaves often indicate overwatering, a common mistake that stems from a desire to keep the plant overly hydrated. This can lead to root suffocation and rot, as the roots are deprived of oxygen.

Solution: Before watering, ensure the top inch of soil is dry. Adequate drainage is also crucial to prevent water from pooling at the bottom of the pot, which exacerbates the problem.

Your peace lily isn’t training for a swimming marathon

yellow watering can


At the other end of the spectrum is underwatering, evident from the crispy brown tips and wilted appearance of your peace lily. This condition suggests your plant is dehydrated and in dire need of water, shares Master Gardener Barbara Gillette for The Spruce.

Solution: Develop a consistent watering schedule, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged, especially during the growth months. This balance is crucial for maintaining a healthy peace lily.

Your peace lily thirsts for more than just attention

Inadequate drainage

Inadequate drainage can cause water to stagnate, creating a soggy environment that is harmful to the peace lily. This can lead to root rot and deteriorate the plant’s overall health.

Solution: Choose pots with adequate drainage holes, and consider repotting plants that are rootbound to allow better water absorption and root growth.

Avoid creating a mini swamp

Chemically-treated water

Chlorine and fluoride, commonly found in tap water, can cause the edges of peace lily leaves to turn brown.

Solution: To avoid this, let tap water sit out overnight before watering, allowing time for these chemicals to evaporate. Alternatively, using distilled water can prevent this issue altogether.

Think spa-quality water for your green friend

peace lily brown tips peace lily plant

Temperature extremes

Peace lilies are sensitive to both cold drafts and excessive heat share experts from Gardener’s Path. Temperatures outside their comfort zone (65-75 degrees F) can stress the plant, leading to brown tips.

Solution: Position your peace lily in a spot away from fluctuating temperatures, such as drafty windows or heating vents, to maintain a stable, warm environment conducive to its growth.

Your peace lily craves consistency

home thermostat near plant

Low humidity

Originating from tropical rainforests, peace lilies thrive in high humidity. The typical home environment often lacks the moisture these plants crave, leading to brown leaf tips.

Solution: Increase humidity around your plant by grouping it with other plants, using a pebble tray filled with water, or employing a room humidifier to mimic its natural habitat.

Your peace lily dreams of tropical breezes

Too much fertilizer

Fertilizer buildup in the soil can lead to salt accumulation, which, in turn, can cause the tips of peace lily leaves to turn brown.

Solution: Fertilize your peace lily sparingly, using a diluted, balanced fertilizer no more than once every six weeks during the growing season. It’s vital to pause fertilization during the dormant winter months to prevent overaccumulation of fertilizer salts.

Overfeeding doesn’t equal love

fertilizer in soil

Too much light

Peace lilies prefer bright, indirect light but can suffer from too much direct sunlight, which scorches their leaves, or too little light, which can stunt their growth.

Solution: Place your peace lily in a location that receives filtered sunlight to avoid direct exposure, which can harm the foliage. According to Gardener’s Path, peace lilies can thrive with as little as 2 to 4 hours of indirect sunlight daily, making them ideal for spots within your home that don’t receive intense sunlight.

Sun-kissed? More like sun-dissed

blue background with a peace lily

Though my peace lily has occasionally tested my patience with its finicky nature, understanding the reasons behind brown tips and how to address them has been a good learning journey. It’s a plant that rewards attentive care with stunning beauty, a true gem in the world of houseplants. With these guidelines, your peace lily can return to its former glory, embodying peace and vitality in every leaf.

Tend to these needs, and watch your peace lily bounce back like a green phoenix

small peace lily plant in pot


Is it normal for peace lily leaves to turn brown?

Brown leaves on a peace lily are not normal but rather a sign of stress or care issues. While occasional browning may occur due to natural aging of the plant, widespread or frequent browning indicates problems such as overwatering, underwatering, poor humidity, excessive fertilizer, or improper lighting. Identifying and correcting the underlying issue is crucial to restoring the health of your peace lily.

What does an overwatered peace lily look like?

An overwatered peace lily will typically show signs of distress such as yellowing leaves, brown spots or edges on the leaves, and a wilted appearance despite the wet soil. Over time, overwatering leads to root rot, which can cause the plant’s overall health to decline. The soil may also have a persistently soggy feel, and you might notice an unpleasant odor due to the breakdown of roots and the development of fungal issues.

How long do peace lilies live?

With proper care, peace lilies can live for several years, often 3 to 5 years as a conservative estimate, but they can live much longer, potentially up to 20 years or more, in ideal conditions. Their lifespan in your home will depend on how well their environment mimics their natural tropical habitat and how effectively their care needs are met, including proper watering, lighting, humidity, and fertilization.

Should I cut the brown tips off my peace lily?

Yes, you can cut the brown tips off your peace lily to improve its appearance and prevent potential disease spread. Use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, and make the cut just above the discolored area. It’s important to leave a small margin of the brown area to avoid damaging the healthy tissue. Trimming also helps redirect the plant’s energy towards new growth and overall health.

Will my peace lily perk back up?

Yes, a peace lily can perk back up once the issues causing its distress are addressed. If the problem is due to watering issues, adjusting your watering routine to better match the plant’s needs can lead to a quick recovery. Ensure the plant is in an environment with appropriate lighting, temperature, and humidity. With proper care adjustments, peace lilies often bounce back, showcasing their resilience and durability as houseplants.

Navigating the peace lily’s SOS signals with a green thumb detective’s handbook

peace lily brown tips leaves with brown tips

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.