Why is your Peace Lily drooping or wilting?
Peace lilies are among the most popular houseplants because of their beautiful looks and colors. Both its leaves and flower are stunning to look at. And the plant is also easy to care for.
But at some point, you may have to deal with a wilting or drooping peace lily.
The good news is, you don’t have to stress out or worry about losing the plant. There are many possible reasons and each of have can be solved by using the right kind of treatment.
Your goal is to diagnose which of the following possible causes is the culprit and apply the solution.
7 Reasons Why Your Peace Lily is Drooping
Too Much or Too Little Water Causes Peace Lily to Droop
Overwatering or underwatering both can cause your peace lily to droop.
However, of the two, overwatering is more dangerous as it can eventually destroy the plant.
Peace lilies are Aroids which makes them relatives of the philodendron, and monstera plants. They also generally only need watering once a week.
Although they need water and enjoy moist soil, the plant’s roots cannot tolerate standing in water for long periods of time. Therefore, it is important to provide adequate drainage both in the potting soil you use and the pot (by having drainage holes).
The other aspect is the human factor.
Even if your plant gets enough drainage, if you consistently add more water when the soil is still moist, this will lead to overwatering and waterlogged soil.
The problem here is that roots need both water and oxygen. Thus, a balance between the two is important.
Too much water means the plant can’t breathe. And, too much oxygen means the plant goes dry.
When you overwater your peace lily the roots end up suffocating they can’t get enough oxygen. Just imagine yourself in a pool underwater for a long time. You can’t breathe.
Eventually the plant’s roots will rot is the water is not relieved.
When this happens the roots won’t be able to absorb moisture or nutrients from the soil. This will eventually cause your plant to decline.
Similarly, underwatering can cause the peace lily to droop.
Plants mostly consist of water (up to 95% for some). Therefore, when they lack water, there’s no filler to keep their stems up. This causes them to droop.
Similarly, water is the vehicle that transports nutrients to the different parts of the plant. Lack of water will also mean the plant will not get enough nutrients. Therefore, causing it to droop even more.
In general, the peace lily can tolerate some dryness. But if you let it dry completely or for too long, its leaves will show symptoms of dehydration. They can turn yellow and look very dry.
Excessive Sunlight Leads to Pace Lily Drooping
In addition to watering issues, too much light can likewise cause drooping.
Peace lilies thrive on bright, indirect light indoors. Outside, they do best in partially shaded locations.
They can likewise tolerate low light without any harm as long as it does not get too dim or you leave them in darkness.
The reason they’re able to do that is because in their natural habitat, they grow under the larger trees in the forest. Therefore, the forest canopy blocks out the harshest rays of the sun.
Thus, only a fraction of direct sunlight (and at most a few hours of this depending on where the sun is coming from) hits the plant.
As a result, peace lilies are not used to overly strong or intense light. And prolonged exposure to direct sun can cause it to get dry, droop and even sustain burnt leaves.
Drooping happens when the plant loses too much water due to the heat. That’s because like people, plants “sweat”. But in their case, it is through a process called transpiration.
Transpiration’s main function is to move water and nutrients to the leaves for photosynthesis. But it also regulates your peace lily’s internal temperature by helping it cool down (much like how sweat helps keep us cool internally on vert hot days).
So, the more a plant transpires, the most moisture it loses which eventually causes it to droop.
Temperature That’s Too High or Too Low
The Peace Lily is used to warm weather. It’s ideal temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is likewise able to tolerate hotter conditions as well.
That said, it cannot take extreme heat or cold.
The other thing that can cause problems is sudden fluctuations. When this happens, the plant can droop. Similarly, over exposure to cold conditions like that outside in winter will likewise cause this.
Therefore, you want to try to keep temperature fairly consistent.
This means avoiding heaters, radiators, air conditioners, vents and even cold drafts from open doors or windows.
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Incorrect Soil Conditions Can Also Cause Peace Lily Drooping
Peace lilies like well-draining soil. This kind of soil retains some moisture (enough to keep the plant well-hydrated) but drains any excess out.
So, it does not mean it is overly fast draining that when you water, the liquid will start draining through the soil within seconds.
Instead, it holds on to a bit of moisture which keeps the soil moist. But gets rid of excess so there’s no water pooling and the soil does not get soggy or mucky.
This is very important because even if you water properly with the perfect frequency, if the soil holds on to too much liquid, it will lead to overwatering.
Similarly, if you use overly draining soil, it will cause the plant to dry out too quickly.
Again, both are extremes which will lead to drooping.
Therefore, you want to avoid:
- Clay soils and other water retentive mixes that hold on to too much moisture.
- Sandy soils that have very high concentration or is composed of all large particle sand. Any soil that drains too much water or does it too quickly will dry out the plant.
Low Humidity Levels
Low humidity can likewise cause your peace lily to droop. Again, this is related to moisture since humidity measures how much moisture there is in the air.
The plant is used to living in warm weather with high humidity. Because it does not have thick leaves like succulents do, it is not able to compensate for low humidity internally (since it does not have extra water stores).
This means that if humidity gets too low, the plant will begin to droop.
But before this happens, it will usually give you a few hints. All you have to do is keep a watchful eye on its leaves.
The most common symptoms that your peace lily wants higher humidity are:
- Brown leaf edges and tips
- Leaves start to feel dry
- Crisping on the leaves (they will become brittle after a while). This usually begins with the tips.
- Yellow leaves
If you see any of these, check the recent humidity levels to see whether it has been low.
I like to keep digital hygrometer near my plants and check what it says daily so I have a good idea of what the temperature and humidity is recently.
In case humidity is too low, you can increase it by:
- Getting a humidifier – this will let you set the desired humidity level. You can use a small unit or one that has a specific room capacity. The larger the square footage it can cover, the bigger and more expensive the device is.
- Pebble tray – place the plant on top of pebbles in a tray of water. As the water evaporates, it increases the vapor around the plant. Thus increasing humidity. Make sure to replenish the water as it runs out.
- Mist the plant – you can use a spray bottle to mist the plant a few times a week. This is the simplest solution but is also the most temporary. Therefore, you need to keep doing it over and over.
- Group it with other plants – the more plants you have together, the more moisture they release during transpiration. This increases the air moisture above them.
Insect Infestations Can Cause Drooping and Wilting
Mealybugs are the most common pests that like to prey on peace lilies.
And they do so by sucking on its sap.
Unfortunately for your peace lily this means that they are robbing it on nutrients and water that supposed to go to the leaves.
As the mealybugs increase in number (which they can do quite quickly), more and more minerals and moisture are lost.
After a certain point, the plant will feel this effect and start to wilt because it is not deficient is both nutrients and water.
So, if you see white cotton-like clouds on the leaves of your peace lily, check them out. Odds are they are mealybugs.
You want to treat them immediately by either spraying them off with water or using neem oil.
Diseases Will Lead to Peace Lilly Drooping Leaves
When overwatered, the peace lily can become prone to root rot. This is a very serious issue that not only will cause your plant to wilt, but can eventually destroy the entire plant was well.
Overwatering in itself it not bad.
But its effects, because it prevents the roots from breathing in oxygen, is what’s really harmful. It leads to root rot.
When root rot occurs, the more roots that are damaged or rotted, the less water and nutrients the plant can get from the soil. This will cause the plant to get weak and sick.
In the process, a weak, sick plant will droop as it deteriorates in health.
Common Questions About Peace Lilly Drooping Answered
How Do You Revive a Peace Lily Drooping?
Reviving a drooping peace lily is a bit more difficult than preventing drooping in the first place. And because there are many potential causes, you’ll need to address the underlying reason why the plant is drooping.
That said, here’s a quick checklist to go through and fix.
- Make sure it gets enough water. But, be careful not to overwater it.
- Move your peace lily somewhere it gets more sunlight. Rotate the plant every so often by a quarter turn so all sides get equal amounts of sunlight.
- Inspect your peace lily for pests, bugs and insects. If you fund any, treat it depending on the kind of pest that’s present.
- Check indoor (or outdoor) temperature and adjust if needed the plant’s liking
- Make sure is in the right kind of potting soil.
- Check humidity levels. Bring them up if needed and maintain them where your peace lily is happy.
- Take a close look at the stems and leaves to check for any symptoms of diseases. Treat the problem if there is one.
How Long Does It Take for Peace Lily to Perk Up?
It does not take long for the peace lily to bounce back from drooping. But, exactly how long will depend on the cause.
In some cases like lack of water, it only takes 48 hours or a little more to see a huge difference in the plant once you’ve watered it.
But for others, it can take a week or two before you see it recover and perk up.
The important this is that the stressor or the cause of the wilting has to be fixed and addressed. If not, any recovery will be temporary as it will happen again.
Why Doesn’t My Peace Lily Stop Drooping Even After Watering?
If you fix the actual cause of the drooping, the plant should stop drooping. However, if the plant does not recover after you add more water, odds are there’s something else that’s causing the drooping.
Lack of water is the easiest fix. So, we all want to believe that’s the cause.
However, it may not actually be the issue.
So, if your peace lily is still drooping after you’ve watered it look for another potential cause and fix that.
There are many causes for peace lily drooping. And how you revive the plant will depend on the underlying cause. The important thing is to watch what the plant is telling you and eliminate all the potential causes one by one since some of them may seem like the culprit by really are not.