A beautiful, lush peace lily is an easy-to-care-for addition to any home or office space. They make a wonderful gift and can add a touch of tranquillity to a room.
However, if you’re not familiar with how to care for them, it’s easy to accidentally overwater or underwater your peace lily. This can cause several issues for the plant, such as yellowing leaves or root rot.
So, how often should you water a peace lily?
Understanding Your Peace Lily’s Watering Needs
Before anything else, it’s essential to know that all peace lilies are native to the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, where they thrive in a moist environment.
However, this doesn’t mean that they prefer being waterlogged.
Instead, these plants love a balance – they enjoy moist soil, but they also need time for their roots to breathe. Overwatering can be just as detrimental as underwatering.
When to Water Your Peace Lily
The frequency of watering a peace lily largely depends on the plant’s environment, including factors like temperature, humidity, and light exposure.
As a general rule, peace lilies should be watered every 1-2 weeks.
This can vary during the hotter months or if the plant is in a particularly dry environment, where it might require watering twice a week.
A more reliable method to determine when to water your peace lily is to monitor the soil moisture. Water the plant when the top 2cm of the soil feels dry to the touch.
Another indication that your peace lily needs watering is when you notice a slight droop in the leaves. Peace lilies are drama queens and will typically signal when they’re thirsty.
But beware not to let them droop too much before watering, as this can stress the plant.
How to Water Your Peace Lily
When it comes to watering your peace lily, it’s not just about frequency, but also about technique. Here’s how you should do it:
- Thorough Watering: Make sure to water the plant thoroughly. Water should flow out from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the water reaches the entire root system.
- Avoid Waterlogging: After watering, allow the excess water to drain completely. Peace lilies do not like to sit in water, and doing so can lead to root rot, a potentially fatal condition for the plant.
- Use Lukewarm Water: Peace lilies prefer lukewarm water over cold water. Cold water can shock the plant and cause the leaves to brown.
- Filtered Water is Better: If possible, use filtered or distilled water. Peace lilies can be sensitive to chemicals found in tap water, like chlorine or fluoride, which can cause leaf tips to turn brown.
Important note: When you water your peace lily, make sure to drain any excess water from the saucer or pot. Otherwise, the soil will become waterlogged, and the roots may rot. To treat this, you can gently remove the plant from its pot, trim away any dead roots, and repot it in fresh soil.
Additional Tips for Peace Lily Care
Aside from proper watering, here’s how you can care for your peace lily.
Give Appropriate Lighting
Remember to keep your peace lily in a warm spot with bright indirect light. Although they can tolerate low light, they’ll bloom better with more light exposure.
Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown. If you notice these signs, consider moving your plant to a location with filtered light or further from the window.
If you’re growing your peace lily outdoors, consider how strong the sun may be at certain times of day.
Maintain Humidity and Temperature
You can maintain a high humidity level for your peace lily houseplants by misting or using a humidifier. Be careful not to mist too frequently, as this can lead to fungal problems.
As tropical plants, peace lilies prefer warmer temperatures. Try to keep them in a room where the temperature stays between 18-27°C. Avoid placing them near drafts, air conditioners, or heaters.
Use Quality Potting Soil
Peace lilies thrive in soil that’s rich in organic matter. A good potting mix for peace lilies might include a blend of peat moss or coir, perlite or vermiculite, and compost or well-rotted manure.
If you want to improve the structure and nutrient content of your potting mix, you could consider adding some worm castings, which are an excellent source of slow-release nutrients.
Remember, the key is to provide a balance of good drainage and moisture retention while offering plenty of organic nutrients.
Peace Lily Watering Problems
Peace lilies, like all indoor plants, can experience a range of watering problems.
These can manifest in various ways, such as yellow leaves, brown tips, droopy leaves, or even plant death.
Your peace lily plant’s roots should never be waterlogged or overwatered. Signs of overwatering include yellow leaves, brown leaf tips, and a generally droopy, unhealthy looking plant.
To fix this, allow the peace lily plant to dry out before the next watering. And make sure you’re not watering on a strict schedule but rather based on the plant’s needs, i.e., when the first 2cm of soil is dry.
Peace lilies are fairly expressive plants and will droop noticeably when they’re thirsty. If you notice your peace lily’s leaves drooping, it might need a drink.
However, make sure to water it thoroughly, as it may droop again soon after a superficial watering if all the roots did not receive water. Persistent underwatering can lead to brown leaf tips and edges.
Using Cold Water
Peace lilies prefer lukewarm water. Using cold water can shock the plant and cause the leaves to brown.
Using Tap Water
Peace lilies can be sensitive to the chemicals found in tap water, such as chlorine or fluoride. These chemicals can cause the leaf tips to turn brown. If possible, use filtered, distilled, or rainwater instead.
Even if you’re watering your peace lily correctly, poor drainage can cause water to pool at the bottom of the pot, which can lead to root rot.
Make sure that your pot has adequate drainage holes and consider adding perlite or another drainage-enhancing medium to your potting mix if drainage is a problem.
Consistency is key when you water peace lilies. If you water too sporadically (i.e., letting the plant dry out completely, then giving it a lot of water), it can stress the plant and lead to brown leaf tips.
In some cases, your water might contain high levels of certain minerals, which can cause issues for your peace lily.
If you’ve ruled out other problems and still notice issues like browning leaf tips, you might want to test your water quality.
FAQs About Watering Peace Lilies
How to Tell Whether Your Peace Lily is Under Watered or Over Watered
If you’re not sure whether you’re watering your peace lily correctly, look for signs of stress.
An overwatered plant will have yellow, wilting leaves, and the soil will smell sour. An underwatered plant will have droopy leaves and dry soil.
In either case, adjust your watering schedule accordingly. It’s always better to underwater than overwater, as you can always add more water later for evenly moist soil.
Do peace lily plants need to dry out between waterings?
Yes, peace lilies prefer to dry out a bit between waterings. Consistently waterlogged soil can lead to root rot, a condition that can be fatal for the plant.
Allow the top 2cm of the soil to dry out before watering your peace lily again. You can check this by simply sticking your finger into the soil.
If it feels dry up to your first knuckle (about an inch), it’s time to water your plant.
Can I Put A Peace Lily In A Self-Watering Pot?
Yes, you certainly can put peace lilies in self-watering pots. These can be a great option for maintaining consistent moisture levels in the soil.
Self-watering pots contain a reservoir of water at the bottom that is gradually drawn up into the soil as needed, helping to avoid both overwatering and underwatering.
Do propagated peace lilies need to be watered differently?
Yes, propagated peace lilies have different watering requirements than mature plants especially in their early stages of growth.
Let the Soil Dry for Some Peace of Mind
Watering peace lilies doesn’t have to be so difficult – both expert gardeners and beginners can care for them easily.
Pay attention to the plant’s signals, keep a check on the soil moisture, and use the right watering techniques.
With a bit of care and attention, your peace lily will reward you with its exquisite blooms and vibrant green leaves.