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Is the lush foliage of your peace lily looking lifeless? You might notice the leaves wilting more and more each day, but don’t know what to do to save them. Don’t worry, you are not alone, peace lilies tend to droop and it is a very common problem that can be easily solved.
There might be several reasons why your peace lily may be drooping and there are solutions to make the plant’s leaves straight and tall again, looking lush and green.
Why Does My Peace Lily Droop?
There can be several reasons that can cause your peace lily to wilt or droop, and it is handy if you are able to identify the causes correctly before you make an effort to solve the problem. The main causes to consider would be whether you have got the watering, temperature levels, soil type, and humidity levels correctly and that your peace lily isn’t affected by pests.
Remember to problem solve as soon as you notice your peace lily starting to droop as leaving it longer will take the plant longer to recover. Let’s have a look at the causes that may make your peace lily droop.
When watering the peace lily there could be problems if you are underwatering or overwatering.
Since peace lilies are originally from the forests of Southeast Asia and South America, so they like to live in humid conditions and moist soil. They cannot survive in dry conditions, and this means you will need to water the peace lilies almost once each week.
If you see the leaves of your peace lily wilting and the top inch or two of the soil feels dry, this is a sign that the plant is underwatered which is causing the leaves to wilt. In this case, water the plant allowing the potting mix to thoroughly get wet, and the water starts dripping out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the planter.
Whenever you see the topsoil of your plant getting dry, water the plant for the best growth. You may need to carry your plant to a sink or bathtub and keep on adding water till the soil absorbs enough moisture. The leaves should start looking better in a few hours in normal cases.
A moisture meter can be used to determine how moist or dry your plant is, however at times the meter might show the reading as “moist” but this level of moisture might not be adequate for your peace lily making your plant droop. So, it is a good idea not to depend fully on a moisture meter.
Even though lily plants love moist soil, watering them too much can also be the reason for drooping leaves. The roots of the peace lily plant start to rot if the soil remains soggy for a long while. So, if you see the leaves wilting, have a feel of the soil. If the soil is too wet then drooping leaves might be caused by watering too much or too often.
In this condition, stop watering the plant until the top inch or two of the soil dries out. Check whether there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot to allow extra water to drain out. If this does not work, then repot your lily plant into fresh soil that is not waterlogged.
You may also take into consideration where you place the plant. If it is in a dark location, enough water may not evaporate fast leaving the soil soggy and watery. Remember to place your peace lily where there is enough light to allow for proper evaporation as well.
Inadequate or Too Much Sunlight
Peace lilies are native to rainforests, so they like to grow in canopies with bright but indirect sunlight. Remember to place your plant in a suitable location paying attention to how much light could be there. Be extra cautious when placing them near a window or doorway.
But putting the plant in bright direct sunlight could dry out the plant and make its leaves change their color with a pale bleached look and make them wilt. To make the leaves healthy again, put the plant in a place where it only receives bright but indirect sunlight and in time the leaves will start to look lush again.
If there is too much water in the potting mix, this could create a shortage of oxygen in the root zone. The roots start to rot as certain microorganisms attack. A rotting root may be causing the leaves to wilt. To identify this cause, you will need to take the plant out of its pot and observe its roots.
To solve the problem of root rot, first, determine its cause, whether you have been watering the plant too much or too often, if water isn’t evaporating or draining well from the pot, or if the pot is too big for the plant.
Remove any soggy, smelly, and mushy roots and repot the plant in clean, and dry soil that is not waterlogged.
A peace lily that is root-bound may dry out quickly and the leaves may start to wilt. You may see roots on the surface and roots starting to pop out of the holes at the bottom. Slide your peace lily and see what the roots look like. If they are crowded, they will not be able to absorb any water as the roots are very tightly packed in the pot.
The best solution for a root-bound plant is to repot it and grow it in a slightly bigger pot. Peace lilies can be repotted every 2 – 3 years which will allow the roots to have enough space in the pot.
If the temperature is not correct, your peace lily plant might have its leaves wilt and droop. This usually happens during extreme temperatures when it is either too hot or too cold. The best temperatures for growing peace lilies are between 65F and 85F (18-24 C), growing them below 55F (13C) can prove damaging for the plant.
Peace lilies like to grow in moist, humid climates and in shady places. Extreme heat and too-hot temperatures can be damaging to the plant. Try to keep it in places where they won’t be getting too much heat from the sun. Remember to also keep them out of enclosed spaces, and away from vents.
If you put your peace lily in cold temperatures, then it can also wilt its leaves. If the temperature remains cold in your region, then avoid placing the plant near cold, drafty windows. If your peace lily is outdoors, keep a check on the temperature, and in cold weather, move it indoors or where the temperature is right.
Usually, peace lilies resist pests, but mealy bugs may attack them at times. If you see white cottony masses on your plant, with the plant having yellowing, and drooping leaves, then your peace lily is under a mealy bug infestation.
To solve the mealy bug infestation, spray an insecticidal spray or use soap water to get rid of mealy bugs.
Since peace lilies are native to rainforests, they like to grow in humid and wet places. Low humidity can result in leaf drooping, and edges of leaves turning brown or yellow. To solve this problem, increase the humidity levels, particularly in the winter or dry season.
To increase levels of humidity, the most common option would be to grow your peace lilies among groups of other plants. You can also try water-filled pebble trays which increase humidity when the water rises, however, this is a temporary solution to increasing humidity levels for your peace lily.
Unsuitable Soil Conditions
Peace lilies prefer growing in well-drained soil that allows the roots to get oxygen. The leaves may start drooping if the soil drains too quickly or is too dense. Check the soil with your hands to determine its condition.
If the soil is too dry, the roots of the peace lily may not be getting enough water as the soil drains too fast. You can solve this by adding houseplant compost or more potting mix. If the soil seems waterlogged, then to increase drainage, mix sand or perlite into the potting soil.
How To Prevent Peace Lily from Drooping
Now that you are fully aware of what causes peace lily leaves to droop, these steps will help you be proactive and prevent the leaves of your peace lily from wilting:
- Water the plant just enough, neither too much nor too little, do soil check to monitor water levels
- Put the plant in place with bright indirect sunlight
- Keep a check for pest infestation
- Place your plant where there is a suitable temperature between 65F and 85F (18-24 C).
- Use good-quality, well-draining soil
- Provide suitable humidity levels
Now that you know the various reasons why peace lily may droop, if your peace lily starts to droop, attend to it immediately. Remember to check your peace lily plant to determine the reason that is causing its leaves to wilt. Then start working on rectifying the problem maybe using a process of elimination to get to the root of the problem.
Always remember that proper care and little maintenance can bring your peace lily back to life and it starts growing happily again.