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I Have Several Peace Plants That We Have Had For…

Joe Asked

I have several peace plants that we have had for about 14 years. We have transplanted them so many times that the pots are quite large. Lately they have all gotten long stems and large leaves and generally look thin and spindly. There is new growth, but the older leaves look terrible. So many leaves have been removed over time that the remaining plant above the soil line looks like a palm tree trunk. I would be glad to send pics. They are looking terrible, what should I do?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Joe: It sounds like your spathiphyllum, commonly known as peace lilies, could use some rejuvenation. These easy-care plants will benefit from being repotted or even divided every couple of years when they become rootbound. When repotting them be certain to use a container that is no more than 2 inches larger than the current planter. If you have not divided your plants this should be your next step. When spring arrives, take your plants outside and remove them from their containers and shake off the soil so you can see the roots. Gently, with your fingers separate the roots all the way up through the foliage until you have several plants. Discard any that do not look promising and then repot the smaller plants into containers appropriate to their size. Make sure to use a high-quality container mix for your soil mixture. Add a few inches of this soil to the bottom of the planter and then measure how much more or less soil you will need to where the top of the root system is a few inches below the lip of the planter. It is fine to plant them deeper than they are currently because it sounds like the roots are above the soil line. Spread out the roots and cover them with soil and water them in. Peace lilies can tolerate low light but will be happier with some filtered light. I am not sure what your feeding routine has been but these plants will benefit from a well-balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 every couple of months as the soil is depleted of nutrients. You may have fewer plants when it is all said and done but they will be healthier.

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