I have peace lilies. The leaves on the end turn brown and break off. Also the leaves turn yellow and then turn brown. Water is only given to them when they show us they need it. Can you give me any information on why they do this?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Hilda: Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are an easy-to-grow houseplant. Usually when we see the tips of our houseplants turning brown it is an indication of too much fertilizer, uneven moisture levels, and/or inadequate light levels. They should be fed no more than once per month. In the case of the peace lily, browning tips are very common. Not a great answer I realize, but this happens even in their native environment. In other houseplants this can be a sign of fluoride toxicity, which would make sense since our tap water has fluoride added to it. The good news is that it is not going to kill the plant; it just makes it look a bit ratty. You can take a sharp/clean pair of scissors and remove the brown tips. Basically you want to remove the brown tip but also create a new one, so cut at an angle in the shape of a V.
As far as the yellowing goes this is a different situation; again it could be too much moisture but it could also me a magnesium deficiency. If you have not fed your plants recently go ahead and do so. Any well-balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 is fine. These plants do let us know when they want moisture but it really is better to get them on a schedule because once they start to show signs of drought it means that they are already stressed. They should be watered every 10-14 days depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes that are not clogged. For now, remove any yellow foliage.