Drooping Peace Lily: 8 Possible Reasons and How to Fix it


Drooping Peace Lily

Seeing your beloved Peace Lily plant droop can be very concerning when you don’t know what’s causing it to droop. Peace Lilies can droop for a variety of reasons, but it is usually easy to fix.

In general, Peace Lilies droop when they are thirsty and need watering. Additionally, other factors can cause the plant to droop, such as overwatering, fluctuating temperatures, low humidity, direct sunlight exposure, pests, or transplant stress.

Identifying the exact cause of your plant’s drooping can help you determine the best way to fix it. Here are seven reasons for drooping Peace Lily and how to fix each issue:

  1. Under-watering
  2. Over-watering
  3. Excess amount of direct sunlight
  4. Temperature issues
  5. Low humidity level
  6. Pest infestation
  7. Poor soil condition
  8. Transplant Shock

Let’s get started!


1. Under-watering

Did you remember when was the last time you watered your Peace Lily? If it’s been more than a week, then it is most likely that your plant is drooping because it’s thirsty and needs water.

When your Spathiphyllum is dehydrated, the cell walls in the leaves shrink and collapse, causing the stems and leaves to droop.

Signs

While drooping is the first sign of underwatering, you should watch out for other signs as well, such as:

  • Leaves turning brown and crispy leaf edges
  • Stunted growth
  • Reduce in number of flowers
Browning on the leaf tips/edge of peace lily plant

If the leaves of your Peace Lily turn brown and crispy, you can’t bring them back to their original green color. You will need to trim or prune the leaves.

Regularly check the soil with your finger or a moisture meter to see if your plant needs water. If the top two inches of the soil are dry, then it is time to water your Peace Lily.

Also read: How Long Can Plants Go Without Water?

How to Fix

Luckily, it is easy to fix an underwatered Peace Lily. Give your plant a good soak in lukewarm water until the water starts draining out of the bottom of the pot.

Peace Lily is a very resilient plant and should recover and start to perk up within a few hours (depending on how dehydrated it was).

Sometimes, if your soil is very dry, it takes repetitive watering for the soil to rehydrate and start absorbing water again.


2. Over-watering

While underwatering is the most common reason for drooping Peace Lily, allowing the plant to sit in waterlogged soil can also cause the leaves to droop.

Waterlogged soil prevents roots from getting enough oxygen to function properly. As a result, the plant cannot absorb water and nutrients. Without access to these essential resources, the Peace Lily will start to droop.

Furthermore, overwatering can lead to a serious issue called root rot. Root rot is a fungal disease that can quickly kill your plant if not treated immediately.

Signs

In addition to drooping leaves, other signs of overwatering include:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Mushy stems
  • Soil that is soggy or has standing water even after a week
  • Roots that are brown or black and mushy

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action right away. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of root rot setting in and killing your plant.

How to Fix & Prevent Overwatering

You can easily correct underwatering by giving your plant a good soak, but overwatering is more challenging.

This is because overwatering can be caused by several factors, such as improper watering habits and schedules, incorrect pot size, and poor drainage.

You need to first identify the cause of the overwatering before you can take steps to fix it:

Overwatering from Improper Watering Habits

If you think you have been watering your plant too often, cut back on watering and allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out before watering again. During the summer, the soil usually dries out within a week, while in the winter, it can take up to two weeks.

Overwatering from poor drainage

Poor drainage is another common cause of overwatering. If the pot you are using does not have proper drainage holes, the roots will sit in water and rot.

Choose a pot with drainage holes that is one size larger than your current pot. This will help to improve drainage and prevent the roots from sitting in water.

It is also important to use a high-quality potting mix that drains well. A good potting mix should be light and airy, not dense and heavy.

Overwatering from incorrect pot size

If you are using a pot that is too big for your plant, it will hold more water than your plant needs.

These cause the soil to stay soggy for a long time, and become a perfect breeding ground for root rot causing fungi and bacteria.

Make sure to choose a pot that is only one or two inches wider than the root ball of your plant.


3. Excess Amounts of Direct Sunlight

While Peace Lily does enjoy bright, indirect light, too much sun will cause the plant to perspire and lose water faster than it can replace it. This will cause the cell walls to collapse, and the leaves will droop.

In nature, Peace Lily grows under the canopy of rainforest trees, so too much direct sunlight is not something that it is used to.

In addition, you might be surprised to learn that it is highly tolerant to low light. It can even survive in fluorescent light, making it an ideal plant for offices and homes with little natural light.

Also read: Peace Lily Light Requirements: How Much Does It Need?

Signs of Too Much Direct Sunlight

In addition to drooping leaves, other signs of too much direct sunlight include:

  • Leaves that are yellow or have brown patches
  • Burned or crispy leaf edges/tips
  • Scorched leaves

How to Fix & Prevent Too Much Direct Sunlight

If you think your plant is getting too much sun, move it to a shadier spot. You can also try draping a sheer curtain over the window to filter out some of the sunlight.

In the future, avoid placing your Peace Lily in an area that gets direct sunlight for more than two hours a day.


4. Temperature Issues

Like all plants, Peace Lily is affected by changes in temperature. While it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, sudden changes can cause its delicate leaves to droop.

Peace Lily is native to tropical rainforests, where the temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year. It prefers temperatures between 60°F to 85°F and does not do well in temperatures below 50°F.

Signs of Temperature Stress

In addition to drooping leaves, other signs of temperature stress include:

How to Fix & Prevent Temperature Stress

If you think your plant is experiencing temperature stress, move it to a spot that is out of drafts and away from heat sources such as fireplaces and vents.

You should also keep it away from regularly used doors and windows, as these can cause temperature fluctuations that can be damaging to the plant.

In the future, try to keep the temperature around your Peace Lily consistent to prevent stress.


5. Low Humidity Levels

When the humidity level around your Peace Lily drops, it will force the plant to transpire (lose water) at a faster rate.

During prolonged periods of low humidity, the roots will not be able to replace the water the plant is losing, resulting in dehydration and eventually drooping leaves.

Peace Lily is native to humid tropical rainforests, so it prefers high humidity levels. It will do best in an environment that has a relative humidity of 60% or higher.

Signs of Low Humidity

In addition to drooping leaves, other signs of low humidity in Spathiphyllum include:

  • Shriveling or curling leaves.
  • Dry or crispy leaves
  • Brown leaf tips or edges
  • Leaves that are wilting or discolored
  • Buds that fall off before they can bloom

Monitor the humidity levels around your Peace Lily with a hygrometer to make sure it is getting the moisture it needs.

How to Fix Low Humidity Levels

If the humidity level in your home is too low, there are a few things you can do to raise it.

First, try placing your Peace Lily on a pebble tray. This is a tray filled with pebbles and water that will increase the humidity around the plant as the water evaporates.

You can also group your Peace Lily with other plants to create a mini-humid environment.

However, the best way to raise the humidity level is to use a humidifier. Get a smart humidifier that will automatically adjust the humidity level to meet the needs of your Peace Lily.

I do not recommend misting as the increase in humidity is temporary and will not provide the plant with the consistent level of moisture it needs.

Also read: Plastic Bag for Plants: Can It Improve Humidity & Protect From Frost?


6. Insect Infestation

Plants can droop when they are infested with insects. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, which is needed for photosynthesis. This feeding can cause the plant to become dehydrated and the leaves to droop.

Peace Lilies are particularly susceptible to mealybugs. Mealybugs are small, white insects commonly found in humid, warm environments.

Signs of Mealybugs Infestation on Peace Lily

You can easily identify a mealybug infestation by the presence of white, cottony masses on the leaves and stems of your plant.

These bugs will also leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew, which encourages sooty mold growth that can cause your plants to turn black.

If you think your Peace Lily has mealybugs, quarantine it immediately to prevent the infestation from spreading to other plants.

How to Get Rid of Mealybugs on Peace Lily

Mealybugs and their eggs can be removed early by regularly cleaning your Peace Lily.

However, if the infestation is severe, you will need to act quickly to get rid of them. Here are steps I recommend taking:

First, spray your plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol. While it is completely safe for your Peace Lily, this will kill any mealybugs on contact.

The next day, shower your plant with lukewarm water to remove any remaining bugs. Make sure to also wash the pot and saucer to remove any eggs that might be present.

If there are still mealybugs present, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them.

Once the infestation is under control, regularly spray neem oil to prevent them from coming back.


7. Poor Soil Conditions

As mentioned before, if the potting mix you are using for your plant is too dense or does not drain properly, the roots will become waterlogged.

Waterlogged roots cannot breathe and prevent the plant from taking up the water and nutrients it needs. This will cause the leaves to droop as the plant starts to dehydrate.

How to Fix Poor Soil Conditions

The first step is to make sure you are using a well-draining potting mix and avoid using clay or gritty soil.

If the potting mix you are using is too dense, you can add perlite or pumice to improve the drainage.

Make sure the pot you are using has drainage holes to allow any excess water to escape.

If the roots are already waterlogged, you will need to replant your Peace Lily in a well-draining potting mix.

To do this, gently remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots. If they are mushy or have started to rot, cut away any affected roots with a sharp knife.

Once you have removed the plant from the pot, shake off any excess water and replant it in fresh potting mix.


8. Transplant shock

repotting peace lily

Last but not least, sometimes a plant will start to droop after being repotted. This is often due to transplant shock and is completely normal.

Transplant shock occurs when a plant is stressed from being moved to a new pot. The roots are disturbed and the plant needs time to adjust to its new environment.

If your Peace Lily is drooping after being repotted, give it some time to recover. The leaves should start to perk up within a few days.

In the meantime, make sure to keep the plant moist but not waterlogged and avoid fertilizing it. Once the leaves start to recover, you can resume your regular care routine.

Also read: Repotting Peace Lily: How And When To Repot Spathiphyllum 

Gabriella Anastasia

I have been growing houseplants for most of my life and have been collecting them ever since I was 11 years old.  Now 33, I've always had a green thumb (even though my parents thought otherwise) and love to share my knowledge with others.

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