Watering peace lily

(Question)

I water my peace lily sparingly, but the leaves turn brown (I wonder if it is too much water or any other disease) Is it better to let it dry before watering again?  Do you have general hints on how I should care for the plant?

(Answer)

Peace lilies are tropical plants that grow under tree canopies in the rain forest therefore, prefer low light, i.e., bright filtered light. Natural light provided by a north, west or east facing window is usually sufficient. Artificial light is tolerated but not needed.

They also like moisture: water your plant thoroughly and then let the soil at the top dry out to the touch before watering again. However, do not let it dry out completely (drooping/wilting foliage) in between waterings, as it puts too much strain on the plant and the lower leaves will become yellow. Ensure the plant is well drained and that it does not sit in water – it should never be soggy. Also, let the water sit for few minutes before watering as chlorine damages tropical plants.

These plants do not need to be fertilized often as the salts in the fertilizers burn the leaves. Fertilize your plant once in spring and summer, using a balanced liquid fertilizer (20-20-20) and apply half the strength suggested in the instructions. Make sure the soil is moist before applying the fertilizer. For the rest of the year, your plant will generally not require any fertilizer.

You can repot your plant every two years.   It prefers warm rooms, with a low temperature at night of 18-24 degrees C and  high during the day 22-29 degrees C. Avoid extremes; the plants can be damaged if they are too warm (near a heat source) or too cold (drafts).

From time to time, check underneath the leaves for any signs of insects.  Cut brown or dead leaves.  Some people like to spray the leaves with water once in a while in order to prevent leaves from turning brown. I do not follow this practice but I do clean the leaves with a moist cloth when they get very dusty.