What’s Causing Brown Spots on My Peace Lily’s Leaves?

Peace Lilies are one of the easiest houseplants to care for and grow. They are often given as gifts or chosen as the first plant that new plant growers get. Their pretty white flowers bloom for several months and they do not require direct sunlight.

Some people may think they won’t have any problems with growth because of their good reputation, but that’s not the case. Even though Peace Lilies can handle being ignored for a while, it is still important to give them the right growing conditions for them to thrive. Neglect, poor lighting, and improper watering can lead to a number of problems.

There are many common Peace Lily problems you may encounter in the lifespan of your plant. However, they are most easily avoidable and able to be fixed if you follow the below guide. Let us look at 15 common issues that Peace Lilies can have and what you can do to keep them from happening.

It starts with yellow leaves, which almost every Peace Lily owner will have to deal with at some point. Unfortunately, it is also difficult to resolve because there are so many causes. You should be able to fix it quickly though if you know your level of care and which problem is most likely to happen.

Like many houseplant problems, it’s usually a mistake caused by overwatering. Peace Lilies prefer moist soil, but it cannot be soggy or waterlogged. This will cause the roots to become mushy, stopping them from drawing up any more water or nutrients. One leaf at a time, the plant’s leaves slowly turn yellow until they cover the whole thing if the problem isn’t fixed.

To make things even more confusing, not enough water can also turn leaves yellow, though the tips usually turn brown at the same time. Recent repotting, cold drafts, and overfertilizing can also cause leaves to turn completely yellow.

One cause you don’t need to worry about is the age of the plant. Over time, some leaves will turn yellow and fall off the plant. As long as it’s only one or two or the oldest leaves, there is nothing to fix.

The leaves may not always turn completely yellow. To help you figure out what’s wrong, the yellowing may appear in spots and not all over the place.

It’s likely that the spots are caused by chlorosis if they look mottled, with shades of yellow and light green. This doesn’t happen very often, but it could if you’ve kept your Peace Lily in the same pot for years without fertilizing or changing the soil.

The color change is caused by a lack of chlorophyll in the leaves due to a nutrient deficiency. Fertilizing with a balanced liquid fertilizer that includes the required micronutrients should resolve the issue.

Small and circular yellow spots are usually signs of a pest problem. Any sap-sucking pests like mealybugs or thrips can leave yellow spots where they land. Look at the underside of the leaves to find the pest, then use neem oil to get rid of it.

With their graceful white blooms and easy care requirements, peace lilies are some of the most popular houseplants around. But sometimes those gorgeous dark green leaves can develop nasty brown spots, which can be confusing and frustrating for plant parents.

What causes these unsightly blemishes on peace lily leaves? And more importantly how do you fix and prevent brown spots from marring your peace lily’s beauty? Keep reading to get to the root of this issue!

Common Causes of Brown Spots on Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are prone to a few different types of brown leaf spots. Here are some of the most likely culprits:


Too much direct sunlight is a common cause of brown spots on peace lilies. These plants prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sun essentially gives them a “sunburn,” damaging the leaves. Check for spots shortly after periods when your peace lily was exposed to hours of hot afternoon sun. Then move it to a shadier location.

Temperature Extremes

Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can also cause peace lily leaves to turn brown. Keep the surrounding air between 65-80°F for the best results. Avoid drafty areas as well as heat vents that may dry the leaves out.

Dry Air

Low humidity is another environmental factor that triggers brown spots on peace lily leaves. These tropical plants prefer 40-50% humidity. Use a humidifier nearby or place plants on a pebble tray to boost moisture in the air.

Watering Issues

Improper watering often leads to brown-spotted peace lily leaves. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause this issue. Stick to a schedule of watering whenever the top inch of soil dries out. And always pour off any excess water in the saucer after 30 minutes.

Bacterial or Fungal Disease

Bacterial leaf spot, along with fungal issues like Cylindrocladium leaf spot, can also cause brown spots on peace lily foliage. Avoid getting the leaves wet when watering and provide good air circulation between plants.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Lack of nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium in the soil may lead to brown-edged or spotted peace lily leaves. Fertilize plants every 4-6 weeks in the growing season with a balanced houseplant food.


Occasionally pests like spider mites, aphids, or thrips can feed on peace lily leaves, causing stippling damage that appears brown. Inspect the undersides of leaves and treat any pests you find with neem oil or insecticidal soap spray.

How to Treat Brown Spots on Peace Lily Leaves

If your peace lily develops brown spots, take these steps:

  • Adjust care to resolve any environmental issues like excess sun, temperature extremes, or improper watering.

  • Isolate the affected plant from other houseplants to prevent spreading disease.

  • Remove severely damaged leaves by cutting the entire leaf stem back to the base. Don’t just pull leaves off.

  • Treat any pests found on the plant and surrounding plants.

  • Wipe remaining leaves gently with a damp cloth to remove dust buildup.

  • Apply a liquid copper fungicide per label instructions if fungal leaf spot is suspected.

  • Fertilize with a balanced liquid fertilizer if nutrients are lacking.

  • Trim off any remaining brown spots by cutting across the spots rather than around them.

With some detective work and adjusted care, your peace lily should perk back up and grow new, healthy foliage. Just have patience, as it takes time to outgrow the damage.

How to Prevent Brown Spots on Peace Lilies

While occasional brown spots are common with peace lily houseplants, you can take proactive steps to prevent frequent blemishes:

  • Choose a indoor location with bright, indirect sunlight. North or east facing rooms are ideal.

  • Keep temperatures consistently between 65-80°F year-round.

  • Use a humidifier and pebble trays to maintain 40-50% humidity.

  • Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid both under and overwatering.

  • Ensure the pot has drainage holes and use well-draining soil mixes.

  • Fertilize regularly in the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

  • Prune fully yellowed leaves at the base to encourage new growth.

  • Inspect both sides of leaves frequently for pests and treat promptly if found.

  • Allow space between plants for air to circulate and prevent fungal disease.

  • Avoid splashing water on leaves and allow them to fully dry after watering.

  • Sterilize shears before pruning to prevent bacterial spread.

With optimal care tuned to their preferences, peace lilies will reward you with lush, spot-free foliage and gorgeous blooms year after year.

Common Questions about Brown Spots on Peace Lilies

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about brown spots on peace lily leaves:

Are brown spots on peace lily leaves normal?

Occasional small brown spots are common on peace lily leaves. But frequent or rapidly spreading spots indicate a care issue that needs to be addressed.

Should I cut off peace lily leaves with brown spots?

Leaves that are more than 50% browned or yellowed should be cut off entirely. Trim any remaining brown spots by cutting across them rather than around them.

How do I treat bacterial leaf spot on my peace lily?

Remove affected leaves, isolate the plant, sterilize tools between use, and apply a copper-based bactericide per label instructions to treat bacterial leaf spot disease.

Why do the tips of my peace lily leaves turn brown?

Brown leaf tips are often caused by dry air or a buildup of salts from tap water and fertilizer. Increase humidity, switch to distilled or filtered water, and flush the soil annually to prevent tip burn.

What causes brown edges on peace lily leaves?

Brown leaf edges are usually the result of low humidity or a nutrient deficiency. Increase humidity levels and apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer to clear up this issue.

Display Your Peace Lily with Pride

While no indoor plant is completely immune to occasional brown spots, you can minimize their occurrence on peace lilies. Check for any care issues and make adjustments to provide this tropical plant with the warm, humid, indirect light environment it loves. Then sit back and enjoy its graceful blooms and vibrant foliage!

Lack of New Leaves

brown spots on peace lily plant

If your Peace Lily hasn’t grown any new leaves in a while and the ones that are left are turning a deeper green and looking old, you may be worried. But, this is not always something to worry about.

Peace Lilies grow the most in the spring and summer, when it’s warm and the weather is most like where they come from. In the spring and summer, these plants usually grow a few new leaves. In the fall and winter, they grow fewer leaves or none at all.

If you haven’t seen a new leaf in a while, it’s time to check on the plant’s care and conditions. The most likely problem is not enough sunlight, but not enough fertilizer or water can also do the same thing. Figure out what’s probably wrong, make the necessary changes, and the plant should grow new leaves in a few weeks.

brown spots on peace lily plant

When people grow Peace Lilies, one of the most common questions they have is why they aren’t flowering. The beautiful blooms are one of the main reasons people choose them, so it’s understandable that they aren’t flowering.

With a few easy steps, you should be able to quickly find some of these classic spadix flowers and the white leaves that have been changed around them.

Start by assessing sunlight levels. People often put these plants in dark corners that don’t get much sunlight because they do well in low light. They will be able to stay alive for a short time, but not long enough to bloom any more flowers. Place them in bright indirect light if you want to get more flowers out of these plants.

If the plants aren’t having trouble with sunlight, look at the other conditions and see which ones are the most different from what they are used to in their natural environments. Stress, lack of water, lack of nutrients, or cold temperatures can also leave your plant without blooms.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Peace Lilies are popular houseplants known for their white flowers. Well, what many consider the flowers are actually modified leaves surrounding the real flower – the spadix. These modified leaves don’t always stay the bright white we look for. Sometimes, they can turn a patchy green, or they can even become completely green.

There are several causes for this relatively common issue, the first of which is overfertilizing. Sadly, flushing the extra fertilizer off the soil won’t make the flowers turn white again, but it will stop any new ones from turning color.

Excessive sunlight can also cause a color change. Since the white parts of flowers are leaves, they photosynthesise when there is a lot of light. This makes them turn color as the chlorophyll shows through. They should stay their beautiful glossy white color if you move them to a shadier spot in your home.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Unlike most of the problems on this list, brown flowers are usually not a cause for concern. They are simply part of the plant’s natural life cycle.

Just like other flowering plants, the blooms don’t last forever. And when they’re done blooming, they’ll start to turn brown and crisp up before falling off the plant. If you don’t like the look of them, simply prune them away as they begin to fade.

Flowers turning brown before they’re supposed to could also be caused by cold drafts, too much sunlight, or not getting enough water. However, these issues aren’t as common, and age is normally the culprit.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Even though Peace Lilies are only moderate growers, it is noticeable when they stop growing altogether. These plants won’t get bigger, they won’t grow any new leaves, and they won’t put out any new growth either.

The first place to check is the bottom of the pot. Your plant is root-bound if you see roots coming through the drainage holes or going around the bottom of the pot. This can be harmful to the plant if it goes like this for too long.

Peace Lilies don’t mind being squished, but if the problem doesn’t go away, the plant will stop growing until it is given more room and new soil. Repot into a pot about two sizes up and growth should return to normal.

Lack of nutrients or sunlight could also cause stunted or slow growth. To stop nutrients from leaving the soil during the growing season, mix a balanced liquid fertilizer into the soil every two months. If sunlight is the problem, move the plant to a spot with moderate to bright indirect light. Do not put the plant in direct sunlight at all costs.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Stems that are soft, droopy, and mushy and break apart when you touch them are a big problem that is hard to fix. They can be caused by disease, but most of the time they are caused by too much water or not enough drainage in the pot. When there is too much water, the roots and stems get soft and start to rot, especially near the plant’s base.

The only way to save the plant, in this case, is to repot immediately. Cut off the sick roots and stems and get rid of all the old soil, which may still have the fungus on it. Don’t fuss over the plant too much while it tries to recover. If you’re lucky, new growth will appear and if not, you may have to discard the plant.

Brown Spots On Leaves

brown spots on peace lily plant

There are a few things that can cause brown spots on leaves, sunlight being the most common. Because their leaves are thin and easily damaged, these plants do better when they don’t get direct sunlight. If the leaves are left in the sun for even a short time, the side that faces the sun may get big brown spots.

Much like yellow spots, pests can also cause smaller brown spots on the leaves. These usually appear yellow at first and slowly turn brown and shriveled as they begin to die off.

These spots can also spread and become larger if the problematic pests are not removed. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil as soon as you can to stop the spread.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Leaves turning brown at the tips are incredibly common in Peace Lilies and relate to a moisture issue. The most likely cause is underwatering. These plants need consistently moist (but not waterlogged) soil and love water more than most other houseplants.

If you forget to water your plants a few times, the tips of the leaves will turn brown and crisp from lack of water, and they will never go back to being green. Be sure to water at least once a week and use well-draining soil.

Although less common, lack of humidity can also be the cause. These tropical houseplants love high humidity and need at least 200% humidity to grow well. This means you should consider keeping them in a moist place, like a restroom.

If the air inside your home is too dry, the tips will keep turning brown until things get better. Don’t let the problem spread. Put the plant on a tray with pebbles and water, or use a humidifier.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Black leaves are slightly more concerning than the crispy browning leaves many Peace Lily owners are used to. This drastic change in color usually indicates a serious problem, either with pests, diseases, or excess fertilizer.

Peace Lilies are susceptible to a few fungal and bacterial diseases. Several of these can cause black spots to show up on the leaves, especially when leaf blight is present. If not resolved immediately, these spots will only grow and spread until your entire plant is infected. Quarantine any infected plants and prune away problematic areas until spots stop forming.

Pest damage can also cause black spots on leaves, although these are usually smaller and more circular. Again, the solution starts with pruning the affected leaves and quarantining the plant. Apply neem oil in regular intervals until all signs of infestation are gone.

Excessive use of fertilizer is another cause of black leaves. When indoor gardeners fertilize, they often mean well. They want to fix growth problems, make their plants healthier, or make them grow faster.

Unfortunately, applying more fertilizer than what is required usually has the opposite effect. When salts build up in the soil, they burn the roots and leaves, turning some of them black.

Only fertilize when necessary as recommended on the packaging and never apply more. If you think you may have overfed the plant, let it rest for a couple of months and then flush the soil with water until it runs clear.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Due to their thin, delicate leaves, you’re quite likely to find your plant wilting at some point. More often than not, the cause of wilting is underwatering. Even a short time of dry soil will make the leaves droop because the cells don’t have enough water. The leaves will eventually turn yellow and brown. After a quick watering, the plant should return to normal.

The opposite issue could also be the cause. Plants experiencing root rot after overwatering also begin to wilt as the roots stop drawing up any moisture. Simply assess the levels of moisture in the soil to determine if this issue is likely.

Thankfully, if you catch the problem soon, it can be reversed. If you find root rot, you should repot the plant right away and cut off any damaged roots to stop the problem from spreading.

brown spots on peace lily plant

Another issue caused by underwatering, curling occurs when the cells lack moisture. The leaves lose their shape as they can’t support the plant any longer. They start to droop and curl in different directions. Completely saturate the soil by watering from the bottom and the leaves should return to normal.

Sunlight exposure can also cause the leaves to curl. Due to their inability to handle direct sunlight, Peace Lilies curl inwards when they are exposed to too much of it to protect themselves and keep their moisture.

If the leaves on your plant are curling, move it out of direct sunlight and into a spot with bright indirect light. If any of the leaves have burned, prune them to encourage new, healthy growth.

Why Peace Lily Leaves Start Turning Brown

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