Question of the Week – Number Three: December 31, 2020

This variegated peace lily shows no signs of edge burn, but it easily could if it had gotten too dry one or more times.

“When I brought my peace lilies in for the winter, I noticed that they had brown edges on their leaves. What causes that, and is there an easy way to avoid it? Should I trim all the dead leaves off?”

That is due to moisture stress, almost assuredly due to their getting too dry one or more times during the summer or fall.

Spathiphyllums wilt badly when they get dry, and whenever that happens, you can count on edge or tip burn, or both, to show up a week or so later.

New growth should be fine. You can trim off the dead leaves as needed.

Continued Below

Exposure to sun and intense heat caused this Japanese maple to exhibit extreme scorch and tip and edge burn in the summer.

This scorch can also be caused in other plants by accumulations of mineral salts and fertilizers, hot winds, trunk damage and root loss due to transplanting.

The leaves’ tips and edges are the points farthest from the roots, so they’re the places that get dry first and receive water last. They’re the plants’ equivalent to our ear lobes, fingertips and toes – the places we experience circulatory problems first.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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