Peace lilies are some of the most popular houseplants.
But as with anything popular, you may find them drooping, changing colors, or showing signs of death.
If you ever notice your Peace Lily drooping, here’s why:
Drooping Peace Lily leaves are mostly caused by lack of adequate light, too much watering that has resulted in root rot, hot temperatures during mid-day, or as a result of Mealybugs and Spider mites.
Many people believe that peace lilies should be kept in the dark and not watered.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Peace lilies can thrive when cared for properly, and a little knowledge goes a long way towards helping your plant blossom.
Here are the most common reasons for drooping leaves on your peace lily, and then we’ll dive into how you can solve those problems:
1. Lack Or Low Levels Of Light
The number one reason for drooping Peace Lily leaves is the lack of light.
If your plant has been in its location for long enough to have gone through 2-3 bloom cycles without any new growth emerging from the soil, it’s probably because it doesn’t get enough light.
The plant would have liked more sunlight but didn’t say anything until it had too much of the same thing.
2. Too Much Water
Another reason for drooping Peace Lily leaves is too much water. This is not always the case and may only be a problem if you’ve been keeping it in shallow containers or its roots have all clumped together.
Make sure the soil drains well, and your plant isn’t sitting in water, which can cause root rot and encourage fungal diseases.
If necessary, repot into a larger container with fresh potting mix to give your plant some breathing room.
3. Temperature Damage
The leaves of plants often droop when they get too hot under lamps or strong sunlight during mid-day. Although this doesn’t happen as often with plants because we don’t expose them to full sun, it can still be a factor.
4. Root Rot
If your plant is drooping after you’ve repotted it, especially if the leaves are wilting on only one side of the plant, you probably have root rot.
The roots are attached to the rhizome of the Peace Lily and will start to die or rot if they stay waterlogged for too long. This is why good drainage is so important.
Even if your container has holes in the bottom, allowing water to collect at the bottom can be detrimental. Remember that both overwatering and under-watering cause problems with oxygen getting into the soil or potting mix where roots live.
You’ll need to remove the old potting mix and add the fresh mix to the container. Make sure you don’t let it dry out so quickly in the future.
5. Spider Mites Or Mealybugs
There are about a million species of spider mite, including some that feed on Peace Lilies, but typically they come from outside where they have many host plants to choose from.
They’re most common indoors in winter when the weather is cold outdoors, and there’s not much for them to eat outdoors besides your houseplants. If the problem isn’t Spider mites, then the next culprit is Mealybugs.
The three best ways to kill spider mites are:
- Use IPM (Integrated Pest Management),
- Isolate infected plant(s)
- Hit them with high-pressure water (hose or spray bottle).
If you discover an infestation before it gets worse, it is possible to spray with neem oil or other natural remedies. If your plant is already covered in webs and the leaves are yellowing, you’re probably too late for IPM.
Isolate any infected plants away from others, so they don’t spread mites via air currents. Since spider mites are so tiny, isolating individual branches of infested plants can prevent mites from being brushed onto healthy parts of the same plant.
When handling any pest-infested houseplants, including Peace Lilies, cover arms and legs to avoid spreading them on clothing which would be problematic throughout your house.
Once you start seeing little white spots (eggs), it’s time to take action. Suppose you’re not sure whether it’s mites. Look closely to see if the spots are moving. They often are.
Peace Lily Classification
Additional Reasons for Peace Lily Drooping and How to Solve Them
If the potting mix is too dry, the peace lily isn’t happy either and will begin dropping leaves. Often, you may see yellowing or browning at the lower leaves that turn crispy and fall off without wilt first.
This problem can also occur if a pot dries out entirely before thoroughly watering again. However, this usually happens when the plant is in a small pot with little water storage capacity from lack of large roots rather than from insufficient water at a time interval.
These pesky insects are attracted to moist soil and fly around plants when they get high humidity conditions such as overwatering or stagnant air caused by a lack of air circulation.
If you can see small black flies or feel a light swarm around your peace lily, check the surface of the soil with a magnifying glass. Dried-up larvae on the soil surface indicate fungus gnats infestation.
A better practice for overwatering control mentioned in the first point usually helps solve this problem, too, since they prevent conditions for fungi to flourish by keeping soils dry, allowing airflow between plants, and improving root aeration.
Chemical Damage from Fertilizers
If you’re using chemical fertilizers, it may have inflicted leaf wilt upon your peace lily if the concentration of nutrients in solution becomes too high for root absorption.
Decrease the watering frequency and use organic fertilizers that are more gentle on roots while gradually releasing minerals into the soil over time for better tolerance.
A great example would be fish emulsion fertilizer which smells fishy but is entirely harmless to plants and, better yet, for garden soil.
The peace lily doesn’t need frequent watering, so don’t bathe it unless the top two inches of soil are dry. Keep the plant in bright but indirect sunlight or lightly filtered through sheer curtains or blinds. Feed it with organic fish emulsion fertilizer once every month after new leaves appear in springtime.
If you’re still unsure what’s causing your peace lily to droop, take a look at these additional problems below since they also cause leaf dropping sometimes.
This way, you should be able to figure out if your plant needs more humidity, warmth, or care than normal conditions can provide while enjoying its lush green foliage all summer long.
Can You Revive A Wilted Peace Lily?
There are several things you can do to help a wilted peace lily revive.
Cut off the wilted leaves and place them in a vase with fresh water. Ensure that the mother plant is kept out of direct sunlight but adjacent to a window where it will get indirect light from the sun.
No special lighting is needed for the baby plant, as it is connected to the stem of the mother plant and gets all its nutrients from her.
The critical thing to remember when caring for your peace lily is that it needs high humidity, which should be between 40-80%. This can be achieved by misting or running a humidifier near your plant’s location.
If this doesn’t seem to be working, you might have to wait a few more weeks. Peace lilies are better at tolerating long periods without water than many other plants.
It’s still important to give them enough so that the leaves don’t wilt. Once the plant begins putting out new growth, this is a sign that it is ready to be watered again.
Remember that peace lilies also need fertilizer every two weeks during their active growing season, usually spring through fall.
You can fertilize with general-purpose houseplant food or make for flowering houseplants. If your soil seems dry, it’s best not to fertilize your plant until you’ve watered it enough so that the water drains from the bottom of the pot.
Peace lilies are considered poisonous, so if you have pets or young children in your home, make sure to clean up any fallen leaves or flowers quickly to avoid contact with the plant.
How Long Do Peace Lilies Live?
Peace lilies can live anywhere from 10 to 20 years or more with proper care. This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind that their large size makes them unsuitable for small apartments and homes.
Homeowners can grow smaller peace lily varieties indoors using artificial light sources, though they will not grow tall or produce flowers.
How you care for your peace lily determines how long it lives. Watering it once or twice per week keeps the soil moist without overwatering the plant. Fertilizing every two months helps promote healthy growth and flowering when desired.
Cutting off dead leaves approximately halfway down their stem prevents insects and diseases from spreading throughout the plant and encourages new growth.
According to the University of Florida, peace lilies are not toxic to pets or humans but may cause skin irritation for some people.
When a peace lily begins to outgrow its pot, repotting it in a larger container will be necessary to keep it healthy and grow upright instead of toward the floor. Larger plants require more frequent fertilizing and watering than smaller ones.
Take care when purchasing a peace lily from your local plant nursery, as they can occasionally get root rot from being submerged underwater during their “dunking” process.
To eliminate any pests or diseases on your plant’s leaves or roots, dip them entirely in an insecticidal soap mixture before rinsing them thoroughly with clean water.
Peace lilies do not like the cold, but they also do not like the heat.
If you live somewhere with a moderate climate (Washington DC, New York City, etc.), it is best to keep your peace lilies indoors near a sunny window where it doesn’t get too hot or too cold.