How To Fix Peace Lily Root Rot

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by Stephanie

The root rot disease is widespread illness that affects houseplants and is mostly caused by excessive watering and creates the ideal conditions for fungus infestations.

I am thrilled to see my peace lily blooming and flourishing, however circumstances like root rot can causes the leaves to turn yellowand wilted. If left untreated the condition could become fatal to the peace flowering lily.

However, dont despair You can still keep your peace lily, especially when you spot the issue in time.

To combat the rot of the peace lily cut the affected roots. Infect the healthy ones by using a fungicide to eliminate pathogens completely. Then, repot your peace lily into the new container and soil. If you intend to reuse your old container and soil, clean the containers first. Only water the topsoil once its dry.

But when root rot is a problem preventative measures are the best method to ensure that all of your peace lilies are in good health.

First, you have to recognize the issue, determine the root of the issue, and then determine how to stop it from occurring at all.

How to Identify Peace Lily Root Rot

The most likely root decays initial sign is a yellowing or wilting peace the lilys leaves. Root rot may cause leaves to fall or slow the growth of your plant.

Since rot spreads from the roots to the leaves, you could be noticing mushy stems that are rotting.

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is crucial to act quickly to identify the root cause as root rot could cause the peace lily to die within 10 or less days.

To determine and confirm the presence of roots rot is the initial step is to take the plant from its pot by gently removing it from the soil.

Take care to shake the soil from the roots, and then check for root decay.

Healthy plants have firm, white root systems. However, in the event that they suffer from root decay, they turn fragile and brown.

There may be an unpleasant smell that resembles a swamp, and even sulfur scent that could indicate root decay.

hands holding up peace lily in white planter

What Causes Peace Lily Root Rot?

There are a variety of reasons for root rot however, in general its caused by damp soil that draws pathogens.

Below is an overview of the most frequent root rot causes and the best ways to prevent it from happening or treat it.


Overwatering is among the most common root rot causes, the soil that is wet prevents roots from absorbing oxygen, which causes the roots to die and rot.

The accumulation of water makes an ideal environment for fungi that can also result in root rot.

How to Prevent Overwatering

* In general apply your index finger approximately one inch deep into the soil and only water it if the soil on highest point is not dry. If the soil is moist within the first inch, the plant isnt in need of water at this point.

It is important to strive to maintain a regular time for watering, but do not water your plants if the soil appears to be wet.

Peace lilies are delicate, but they can handle some dry soil. Watering every week once should suffice. The leaves becoming brown indicates that youre not watering your plants enough, if youre unsure.

Ive written an additional article about how to repair your overwatered peace the lily.

Poor Drainage

The pot youre using to grow your peace lily may also be the cause of root decay. If the pot isnt fitted with holes in the bottom or when the holes are too small and do not allow for adequate drainage, water may be building up in the bottom.

Poor Drainage Capacity Soil

The soil you choose to use could cause the Peace Lilies roots to rot. A soil that is too compact such as garden soil could hinder drainage and cause root decay.

Additionally, a soil that is dense means poor drainage soils that remains moist and will accumulate water. This can cause waterlogging and, ultimately, root decay.

Check out this article to learn the most effective peace lily soil. It is also possible to create your own.

How to Fix Poor Drainage

An easy and efficient way to solve this problem is to raise the pot of peace lily away from the ground.

This creates space between the container and ground that allows the water to drain.

Pot feet bricks, pot feet, or any other materials to hold the pot up, so long as you dont block the holes in the sides of the container. This simple step can help prevent root decay.

How To Fix Poor Drainage Capacity Soil

  • Select a lighter potting mix or create your own if you like to make it yourself. Make sure that its not too heavy, and that its porous which means it has it has a good drainage.
  • Select a potting mix that includes Perlite, previously expanded shale, or slate. All of these components will improve drainage.

You May Also Enjoy: Cactus Soil for Peace Lily (How to Make Your Own)

Pathogenic Infection

There are many fungi that can trigger root rot. Pathogens like Pythium, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium thrive in moist soils and are able to easily move between pots to the next.

How To Prevent Pathogenic Infection

  • Fungi thrive in moist conditions The first step to prevent it is to make sure that the soil stays as dry as is possible.
  • Do not use garden soil for plants in your home, as it is usually infected with these pathogens. It is possible to make use of organic potting mixwith adequate drainage.
  • Cleaning your garden tools with a disinfectant and cleaning them regularly will also help to stop the spread of the fungus.
  • Dont reuse soil if you believe it has been infected by pathogens as it could lead to contamination of your plants that are healthy.

Overusing Fertilizer

Overuse of fertilizers can damage the roots and cause the roots to rot. The peace lily is able to grow perfectly well with a high premium potting mix, and does not require much fertilizer. In addition to damaging the root system, excessive fertilizer can cause the leaves to burn and result in brown spots to appear on it.

How To Prevent Overusing Fertilizer

  • Be sure to apply the correct amount of fertilizer. If youre not sure, ask your local grower for guidance or consult the fertilizers packaging directions.
  • Fertilize your peace lily regularly however, not in times of low growth, such as winter. The best time to begin fertilizing your peace lily is towards the end of winter and stimulate spring and growth in summer.

You May Also Enjoy: Why Are My Peace Lily Leaves Curling? (And How to Fix It)

Oversized Or Undersized Pot

The size of the pot is important! Im trying to be ahead of the curve and avoid a lot of work in the future by putting your peace lily in a large pot, but its not a good idea.

If the pot is too big to accommodate the peace lily, the soil may become wet and cause the roots to decay. If the pot isnt big enough the soil compressed can hinder drainage, causing the roots to turn brown.

How To Choose The Correct Pot Size

The most common rule is that your plants new container should generally be about 1-2 inches bigger than the pot that your plant is in. Since we typically move pots in order to accommodate growth.

In this instance because of root decay the peace lily could become smaller than what it used be, and you may need to adjust your pot and purchase smaller pots.

In the end the simplest terms, a pot of about 10 inches wide is large enough to accommodate peace lilies and dont need a larger pot.

You can look over pots of various dimensions for houseplants on Amazon.

Choice of Container

It could be a shock however, the substance your container is made from can impact the health of your plant. Certain materials are more porous than other and some allow the evaporation of water, while others do not.

How To Choose The Right Container

Containers made from more porous materials, such as clay pots are porous and permit the water to evaporate. This prevents water from building up within the soil.

This could mean that you need to keep your peace lilies hydrated more frequently.

However, plastic pots are able to hold much more liquid than clay pot because the rate of water loss is slower.

Cool Temperatures

Peace lilies are tropical flowers and thrive in humid, warm conditions that range from 65 to 80 degrees (18-26 degrees Celsius) .

It should be simple to keep this temperature within your home. However, if the plant is located too near to the AC unit, the regular watering frequency will increase.

In hot weather the water evaporates more quickly and you have the peace lily to be watered more often. However, the reverse is applicable for cooler temperatures.

If its cold the peace lily wont require as much water, and youre overwatering it. This is among the most common reasons for root rot in peace lily.

Overwatering During Dormant Periods

Like in the natural tropical environment, peace lilies in the indoor environment are a natural cycle of development and dormancy.

The issue of overwatering is one of the primary root rot causes This issue is more likely to occur during the dormant period.

In general the plants undergo a growth phase during the summer and spring months, and then a dormant or slow growth phase, in the fall and winter.

Be aware of your plants natural cycle and alter your watering schedule. Peace lilies do not require more water in their dormant times!

Poor Air Flow

Air circulation issues could result in a mushy soil which can lead to root decay.

The presence of other plants could increase the humidity of the air, causing stagnant air, which prevents your soil from drying.

Give your plant a chance to breathe!

Planting Too Deep

Another reason that is often cited for root rot, particularly among novice plant lovers, is that they plant too deeply.

When you place your peace lily in a way that is too deep it will be unable to spread and the roots will have no room to grow and expand, which could cause the plant to decay and rot.


For peace lilies, stress could be caused by a variety of causes, including over-fertilizing, droughts or excessive or insufficient light, injuries or even a traumatic injury.

The pathogens responsible for root rot make use of this stress to infiltrate the plant.

In this instance it is imperative to stay with the requirements for care to ensure that our plants are healthy and happy.

Source: University of Massachusetts Amherst

How do I repair Peace Lily root rot

If you spot it in time Repotting your peace lily and removing the roots that are rotten is the best way to save the plant.

However, the bacteria which cause root rot could be spread quickly. Therefore, removing your plant affected could be beneficial to stop this disease spreading.

How to Repot Peace Lily Affected By Root Rot

  • Then, gently take the peace lily from the pot.
  • Get rid of the root by gently cleaning them with running water. The brown, mushy roots ought to be easy to identify Some may fall off when you take the plant out of the pot.
  • Make use of shears or gardening scissors to cut off any brown, mushy roots, or any that exhibit evidence of decay.
  • Retrieving healthier roots with a cut just above the area of rot.
  • Be sure to get rid of any rotting, and even one root that is rotten could cause a contamination to healthy roots.
  • In the event that your plants are severely affected, you may be removing a large number of roots. In this instance, clean your scissors or shears with the solution of 1/3 bleachand 2/3 water. Then, cut back around one-third or even one-half of your leaves. The root system of your peace lily is becoming smaller and it is unable to keep up with the large amount of plant Pruning the leaves will reduce stress and allow your plant the chance to grow the root structure.
  • To ensure that all fungi have gone prior to repotting to repot, gently dip the remaining healthy roots into an antifungal liquid.
  • If you plan to use this same pot be sure you wash it thoroughly and disinfect it using water and bleach. It is not a good idea to infect the newly cut plant with bacteria and fungi from the pot that was previously used.
  • Make sure to fill the container with a suitable mix of potting. It is important to select an easy, porous potting mix that permits adequate drainage.
  • Put the ball into the new container. Try to put the root ball at the same level as it was in the previous container.
  • Then you can apply the potting mix to the area around the Peace Lily and then settle on the dirt by lightly tapping it using your fingertips.
  • Then you can offer your plant a bit of water to help settle the soil.

Pro-tip: If your roots are extremely wet, its okay to let them dry for a few hours. However, you must finish the repotting process in two hours.

After repotting, allow your plant some time to heal and adapt to the new soil and container.

The peace lily is likely to appear slightly wilted in within the first few days of moving, but with time and patience they will grow back.

Another tip: Dont apply fertilizers. Give the peace lilys roots time to grow!

How to Prevent and Control Peace Lily Root Rot

As Ive previously discussed the most effective method to deal with root rot is to prevent it. There are a variety of things you as a parent who loves plants can do to safeguard your plant.

1. Avoid Water Logging

The soil is overwatered, has no proper drainage, or an amalgamation of both. It creates a humid environment that can be an ideal breeding ground for bacteria which causes root rot.

It is therefore essential to avoid the possibility of waterlogging in order to avoid root rot. Here are some tips that you could do in order to prevent waterlogging:

  • Be careful not to overwater. Put your index finger in the soil, roughly up to the second knuckle. If you notice soil that is wet Dont water your plants.
  • Keep your drainage in good shape: select lightweight, porous potting mixes and clay pots with holes in the bottom to let water drain.
  • Lift pots off the ground to aid in drainage. Pot feet or even a few bricks to lift your pots above the ground.

2. Watering Schedule

Houseplants generally have regular watering as well as the peace lily is not an one of them.

Like many species of tropical plants peace lilies are able to handle some dry soil. regular watering every week ought to suffice.

Make sure that you water soil becomes damp, but not wet or soggy. If you are unsure put your finger there and feel how moist it feels!

3. Loosen The Soil

The plants and their roots require air. Aerating your peace lily through loosening the soil is ideal to prevent root decay.

Grab the chopsticks , and make use of them by poking holes into the soil.

Other similar-shaped materials can be used, however, make sure that its clean and disinfected to prevent accidentally contamination of the plant.

4. Plant Rotation

Indoor plants arent able to get sunlight from every angle as they do outside. It is important that you rotate the plants in order to let the whole peace lily to develop in a uniform and complete manner. (Source: University of Florida)

Final Words

Root decay can affect any kind of plant and could be fatal If you dont take action fast! Pay attention and observe the growth of your peace lily and its vitality to identify it before you have the chance to take action to stop it.

If the root system is decayed, theres no way of salvaging the plant. The only option in this situation is to eliminate the plant and the soil that is contaminated.

Are you aware of any suggestions or tricks to stop root rot? Do you purchase your potting mix , or would you prefer to make it yourself? If you prefer to make it yourself, whats your preferred mixture of soil?

Let us know how you take care of your peace lily or other plants in the comments section!



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)