Root rot peace lily

Diseases In Spathiphyllum: Tips On Treating Peace Lily Diseases

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.), with their smooth, white blossoms, exude serenity and calm. Although they are not actually lilies, these plants are among the most common tropical plants grown as houseplants in this country. Peace lilies are tough and resilient, but they are susceptible to a few pests and diseases. Read on more information about peace lily plant problems, including common diseases in Spathiphyllum plants.

Peace Lily Plant Problems

Peace lilies may be tropical plants but they do not require kid-glove care. On the other hand, the better your cultural care matches the plant’s needs, the less peace lily plant problems you are likely to encounter.

Peace lilies need indirect light, never direct light. If you position your plant a couple of feet from a window, it should be fine. Another alternative is to put it near fluorescent lights. Sufficient light is essential to preventing diseases in Spathiphyllum.

These lovely plants prefer a humid location. They thrive in warm, moist conditions. You can satisfy your peace lily and avoid peace lily plant problems by keeping the temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-26 C.).

Increase the humidity for your peace lily by setting the plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Watering too often can bring on diseases of peace lily plants. Wait until you see the plant wilting before adding more water.

Pests and Diseases of Peace Lily Plants

Taking good care of your peace lily will mean it’s less likely to suffer from pests and diseases. Remove all dead leaves from the plant and the pot. Wipe down green leaves with a damp cloth occasionally to remove dust.

Check the plant’s leaves for pests like spider mites, mealybugsand scale. These might have come into your home on other plants and can cause peace lily plant problems if not removed or treated.

When it comes to diseases of peace lily plants, the two most common diseases in Spathiphyllum are Cylindrocladium spathiphylli and Phytophthora parasitica, both causing root rot diseases. The former type of root rot is transferred among plants by infected water, the second by infected soil.

If your plant has root rot, you’ll need to think about treating peace lily diseases. First, try to figure out what your plant has. You’ll recognize root rot disease in Spathiphyllum if you notice that a peace lily has yellowing leaves and a wilting appearance. If its roots are also rotting, it likely has root rot. Oftentimes, cleaning off the roots and repotting the plant in fresh, healthy soil will help.

Few plants feel so at home in the shadier corners of the house that not only does the foliage remain healthy and strong, but they produce gorgeous tropical flowers as well.

This is why there is such a love affair between Americans and the Spathiphyllum, or peace lily as it is commonly known.

While there are several fungal pathogens that attack the peace lily roots, most of these occur in seedlings, while still in the greenhouse. If the peace lily’s foliage bears brown or black splotches, suspect a foliar fungus.

If, on the other hand, the leaves turn yellow, especially on the bottom of the plant, it may have a root fungus.

What you’ll need to fight peace lily fungus

  • Foliar fungicide spray
  • Fungicide soil drench

How to get rid of foliar fungus on a peace lily

Inspect the peace lily’s leaves to ensure that it is truly a fungal problem and not pests. To determine if it’s peace lily fungus, look for circular brown spots on the surface of the leaves and on the margins.

Check the undersides of the leaves for the fungal pathogen’s fruiting bodies – these are small black splotches with white borders.

Spray the foliage, according to package directions, with a fungicide containing Triflumizole as the active ingredient.

Avoid fungus on the peace lily’s foliage by watering slowly to avoid splashing water and soil on the leaves. Don’t mist the plant’s foliage. Place the Spathiphyllum in an area with good air circulation such as next to a fan, or near an open window.

Treat peace lily root fungus

Act quickly at the first sign of root rot – the yellowing of bottom leaves. If left untreated, the plant will collapse and die.

Drench the soil with a fungicide containing thiophanate-methyl (see the Resources section, below), according to the instructions printed on the fungicide’s label.

Avoid root rot by not over-watering the Spathiphyllum. Don’t allow water to sit in the saucer after watering. Over-fertilizing the plant also makes it more susceptible to root fungus, according to the experts at Michigan State University.

Tip: If you have trouble diagnosing fungal problems take a leaf sample to your county cooperative extension agent. Find yours, here.

Warning: To avoid spreading the disease to other plants, wash your hands after working on the infected peace lily

Learn more about Pythium root rot of peace lily at the University of Hawaii’s website.


Daconil Fungicide Concentrate (for foliage problems)

Southern Ag – Thiomyl – Ornamental Systemic Fungicide (for root problems)

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How to Identify, Fight and Prevent Root Rot

Root rot is a condition that, if left untreated, will kill plants. Because the first symptoms of root rot occur beneath the soil, gardeners are often not aware of the problem until it is advanced. When plants start showing symptoms of root rot, such as yellow leaves or stunted growth1, take action immediately to resolve the problem.

Plants in soils too dense for water to drain out efficiently, or in containers that lack sufficient drainage holes, are most susceptible to root rot. While container plants are most at risk, garden plants are not immune to root rot. Most garden root rot issues can be prevented by taking steps to improve soil drainage before planting.2 While it may seem like excessive water is the cause of root rot, the problem starts because too much water provides the perfect environment for the real cause: fungus.

Identifying Root Rot

Root rot can be identified by the presence of soft, brown roots.2 The root system of a healthy plant should be firm and white. But when soil is soggy, fungal spores multiply and the fungus starts to spread3, developing in the extremities of the roots first. As the fungus advances, healthy portions of root turn brown and mushy as the roots die. The plant is then unable to absorb the nutrients it needs, and that deficiency becomes apparent in the condition of plant foliage. Leaves begin to wilt and turn yellow or fall off, growth slows, and blooming may be delayed.1 In the most extreme cases, when conditions are ideal for the fungus to spread quickly, plants can die within 10 days.3 If these symptoms occur in a plant, loosen the soil around the base of the plant with a hand trowel or shovel and remove the plant from the soil. Gently shake the soil from the roots and inspect them for rot.

Dealing with Root Rot

Once root rot is identified, you must determine if the plant can be saved. If the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant. However, if some healthy, white, firm roots exist, try to bring the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage.

Prepare plants for replanting by cleaning the roots gently under running water and removing all brown, mushy roots with a sharp pair of scissors. Cut the healthy root just above the damaged area. Work quickly to replant within a few hours. After all roots are pruned, sterilize the scissors with a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water4 to avoid spreading fungal spores to other plants or soil.

Root rot in peace lily – Can it be saved?

I would follow advice by re-potting the plant into FRESH more open soil to allow better drainage, I would even change the pot, as the one your using is not draining excess soil quickly enough,
I would imagine also that right at the beginning when you moved the plant to a more shaded area, this prevented the soil from gaining the warmth it was getting hwen in it’s original possition therefore the soil became much cooler and the water was NOT allowing the roots to dry out naturally.
These plants need good light BUT, NOT direct sunlight, to give that type of good light you should have is good bright sunlight BUT give the plant shade, I would give the shade by either placing the potted plant under an umbrella, or where some object causes shade at the pot,
Only water after you test the soil for dryness, I think sticking your finger into the soil, if it’s dry, cive water from the BOTTOM, that is place the pot unto a shallow bowl of water and when the TOP of the soil feels wet, you lift the pot out the bowl, lay aside to drip dry. place it back into the brightness under a shaded bit.
I never mist these plants until the foliage looks soft or a slight wilting, SOOO when you say MISTING, all you do is use one hand to lift the leaves upwards as you mist the underside BUT, dont absolutely soak the plant.
Lastly when you re-pot into nice new fresh soil, make sure you DONT use a pot too large, these plants will only flower when the plant roots have more or less filled the pot, IF by then you have to re-pot again you only use another pot maybe 2 sizes upwards and then wait till that larger pot is filled with roots again, I always give a feed around spring time by using a seaweed liquid feed added to the watering bowl for the soil to soak it up, only do a liquid feed half strength for the first couple of feeds at the start of the growing season, Around March/ April; and stop this feeding around August to allow the plant to go into winter resting period always read the dosage on the feed bottle as over feeding is just as bad as NO feeding.
Hope all this gives you some hope and confidence to save your plant BUT if the plant does die, then you will be well prepared for next time you grow these plants.
Best of luck, and enjoy your new found gardening hobby.
Kindest regards.

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