From things such as aphids to other issues like Dasheen Mosaic fungus, there are a lot of pitfalls for the unwary peace lily caretaker. You’ve got fungus gnats, leaf blight, and mealybugs. Not to mention root rot! It’s really a jungle out there, as they say.
Today we’re going to talk about these top 10 potential plant wreckers so that those new to the art of cultivating peace lilies can get the scoop on what to look for and what to do. Seasoned enthusiasts can instead enjoy the ride or even compare notes.
Let’s talk about what you need to know to keep these pests and diseases at bay!
A magnifying glass is useful for spotting these pests. Look for gray, red, or white dots on your peace lilies. You’ll know you’ve spotted aphids when you see them moving around!
You can remove them gently with rubber gloves on or get some plant-safe aphid pesticides at your local supplier to manage them.
Dasheen Mosaic Virus
When you spot yellow or light green patterns appearing on your peace lily’s leaves, you might be looking at Dasheen Mosaic virus. It can come from bad potting soil, tools that have come in contact with it, or even just from aphids acting as carriers.
While there is no cure for it, your plant should survive. However, it’s a good idea to clean your tools after tending your peace lily since this disease can easily spread to other houseplants, such as philodendrons and anthuriums.
Fungus gnats are just so annoying. They won’t hurt your plants; they simply seem content to harass you by flying around, landing on your nose, or even heading straight for your eyes.
To avoid this plague, ensure that your topsoil dries out between watering. Fungus Gnats will then quickly lose interest in your peace lilies.
A particular water mold, specifically Phytophthora nicotianae, can result from splashed water, along with warm temperatures and plenty of humidity. Black and brown spots will appear on your peace lily’s leaves. Even worse, they can quickly widen and spread.
You’ll want to trim them off the leaf portions that are infected and repot your plant. Remember to isolate it until it is managed. Dispose of the old potting soil and treat tools with a fungicide to kill off the blight and avoid its spread.
Mealybugs are another pest that – if necessary – can be managed with the right pesticides. These creatures are a kind of aphid and look like little balls of fluff, moving around on your plant, sometimes leaving clear-deposits that look a little like plastic waterdrops.
Those waterdrops are called ‘honeydew’ and they can cause mold, so if you see honeydew then a fungicide should be used along with a pesticide to properly get rid of the mealybugs.
There are different mosaic viruses, aside from Dasheen, that can affect your plants. Examples include Cucumber, Arabis, and tobacco mosaic virus. Cucumber can cause streaks to appear, while some Mosaics, such as tobacco, can cause blister blooms and curl leaves.
While many are untreatable, it’s good to familiarize yourself with peace lily-specific mosaic viruses, so that you’ll have a protocol prepared if you should come across some that you can actually help with.
Root rot is one of the biggest worries with peace lillies. Overwatering – and even certain mols or fungi – can cause mushy, sometimes brown roots below, while above you’ll have dying leaves, new leaves that show yellowing, slow growth, wilting, and more.
If you spot it, trimming the roots is a good start, and you should get in the habit of letting the topsoil dry out between waterings. This will help to keep root rot at bay.
Scales are hard to spot, as they’ve evolved to look rather like a ‘scale’ or spot that appears just to be a blemish on a leaf.
These insects subsist on sap that they’ll drain from that leaf, but you can remove them carefully with pruning or a drop of rubbing alcohol once you’ve spotted them. Look for brownish or even blackened spots that you don’t remember seeing before – they might just be Scales!
Another pest that you’ll need a magnifying glass to see, spider mites look like tiny spiders crawling around on your lilies but don’t let that fool you – leaving them there will soon result in drooping and yellowing leaves.
You can try to brush them off, but there are also specific pesticides you can get at your local nursery supply that should deal with them quickly, without harming your peace lilies in the process.
Thrips are the final pest on our list and these little guys are found in winged and wingless varieties, with long, tubular bodies. Most noticeably, then tend to ‘hop’ when discovered, and you’ll want to deal with them quickly as they like to chew on leaves for nourishment and this will eventually brown and even kill them.
You can get rid of them with insecticides and sticky-traps also work, or in a pinch you can put a few drops of mild soap in a sprayer bottle of water, shaking it up and giving the leaves a good, thorough spray.
The soapy water will get rid of them for a bit, but you need to keep an eye out as they might still come back!
As you can see, beautiful peace lilies are definitely not immune to peasts and diseases, but now that you know the ten worst you’ll be on firm fighting ground and have a much better chance of protecting your plants.
Just keep an eye out for the signs that we’ve shared today and stay vigilant. With a little luck and a lot of love, your plants will grow up strong, healthy, and all the more beautiful as a reward for your efforts!
As we all know… your peace lilies are definitely worth it!