Do you have a peace lily and you are unsure about how often you should water it? Like all plants, Spathiphyllum (a.k.a. peace lily) likes the same conditions it has in Nature, including air humidity and soil moisture, and you can achieve both with correct watering.
How often you water your peace lily depends on the weather, air humidity, temperature, season and type of soil. On average, you will do it every two days to a week maximum, but there are two key indicators you can use: the top inch of soil being dry and the leaves starting to sag.
Peace lilies need regular watering, but they are also very demonstrative when it comes to telling us that they are thirsty.
Understanding your Spathiphyllum and its needs are the first steps, and we will start from there in this comprehensive guide to watering your peace lily.
We will look at all aspects of watering, with clear but well informed tips, so that you too can grow a peace lily like a professional”
Make Your Peace Lily Feel At Home
You need to make your peace lily feel at home, but of course, you cannot recreate a full Asian or South American rainforest! Don’t worry; you won’t heed to go that far…
But you can recreate some of the conditions peace lilies enjoy in Nature. And watering is essential in order to achieve this.
So, what makes a peace lily feel at home? Imagine you were in the Amazon Forest, what would you find?
You can recreate this fairly easily at home, in most cases, but be aware that filtered light, well drained and aerated soil as well as regular temperature alp affect how often you will need to water your peace lily.
So, the better and more stable these conditions are, the more regular and easy watering your peace lily will be.
Too much light will mean extra watering, as does dry and hot weather… Therefore, get these straight when you bring home your houseplant and you will have fewer watering problems.
How To Tell If Your Peace Lily Need Watering
Great! Have you found the right place for your peace lily? Somewhere with plenty of light but not direct light? Not near a window or door, where the temperature changes so fast and often?
Have you checked that the soil is humus based, or peat based potting compost and that it is very loose and well drained?
Excellent, now it is time to get to know your peace lily in person.
Yes, because peace lilies “talk to you”. They don’t use words, so we are not going to learn Spathiphyllum grammar, but they use their leaves and posture to tell you if they need water…
If you haven’t had a peace lily before, you will likely reach a point when the leaves have drooped and you will think, “My peace lily is dying!” It happens to most pele but the reality is that it is just talking to you. Unless you ignore it for a long time, it will not die.
Peace lily leaves start sagging as a way of signaling that they are thirsty.
As long as you understand this and water your plant promptly, the leaves will perk up very quickly and it will look as if nothing had happened. But… Take this as a lesson, and make the best of this event…
You see, the plant will work out how long it will take to the next watering in the precise conditions it is in. Don’t worry; it will “calculate” the humidity, light, temperature, quality of the soil etc. And how can you use this?
Peace Lily Leaf Drooping
Is it bad for a peace lily to become sagging and start drooping its leaves? This is an important point. There are two aspects of this phenomenon:
Water Your Peace Lily Regularly
So, if it is very hot and dry it may well be every two days. In more humid and milder places, this can be less often, every four or five days usually.
But it is very important that you keep this routine and do not water your peace lily randomly.
Be ready to adapt the watering times if the weather changes though. Most people find that in winter they need to reduce their watering routine. That’s perfectly natural. But
Even with such a simple act as watering, remember that peace lilies love kindness and a delicate, caring touch.
How To Know If You’re Overwatering?
“But how do I know if my peace lily wants less water,” you may be wondering? I can see your dilemma. If you underwater it, it will drop the tips of its leaves… But how about if you are watering it and it is not thirsty yet?
There’s an old trick of the trade you can use to understand if your peace lily still has enough moisture:
Put the tip of your finger into the top soil; if it is wet in the first inch (2.5 cm), your peace lily does not need watering
You can use this technique to work out if you need to reduce your watering routine. Let’s see it with an example…
Let’s imagine you water your peace lily every 4 days and for the whole of summer this has been perfectly fine. But the weather is changing, days are getting colder, air humidity is rising… The typical continental fall….
“Ok, maybe my peace lily needs less watering,” you rightfully think. Ok, then, instead of watering your plant you can fist check the top soil. If it still is moist, then wait for a day and check again…
Use Good Quality Water For Your Peace Lily
Can you use tap water? Sometimes yes, and sometimes you can’t… you see, peace lilies are very sensitive to chemicals in water. Tap water very often has too much chlorine and your peace lily will suffer of chlorine toxicity.
There is a problem with peace lilies and excessive chlorine… We have known for a long time that it is bad for them, but they also tend to give few or no symptoms of chlorine toxicity till the advanced stages.
What happens is then that the whole plant looks tired and in clear decay, with leaves turning brown and dry.
You may have seen peace lilies with “burnt leaves”; they are fairly common. Well, in many cases, it is not the heat that has caused it, but chlorinated water.
How To Water Your Peace Lily
There are different watering methods; you can drip water, water from the leaves, from the base of the plant or soak water (when you put the whole pot I. water and let it soak).
Peace lilies love plenty of water, but there is no need to soak water them. The best way to water your peace lily is to follow these steps.
What Happens If You Overwater Your Peace Lily?
Overwatering is one of the most common causes of plant decay and even death, and peace lilies are no exception. So, look out for early warnings.
How To Save A Peace Lily From Overwatering
Here’s the good news! If the roots are still healthy, you cam save your peace lily! And here is how:
Should you stop watering it? Not at tall! You should just water it regularly, but be careful, if you have reached this stage, it means you need to cut down on the water you give it.
Underwatered Peace Lily
To start with, if you underwater your peace lily it’s because you have not followed the guidelines in this article. But fine, maybe you already have a Spathiphyllum at home and it looks a bit thirsty…
But is it serious?
Peace Lily Leaves Turning Yellow: Underwatering Or Overwatering?
So, first of all, what’s the difference between yellowing for overwatering and yellowing for underwatering?
Saving An Underwatered Peace Lily
We said that in most cases you can save your underwatered peace lily, and now we are going to see how.
Simple, isn’t it?
Mist Your Peace Lily Regularly To Replicate The Humid Air Of The Tropics
Get a spray bottle and keep it ready to give your peace lily a bit of misting every now and then. Peace lilies love high humidity and they will show you how grateful they are with glossier leaves and freshers spathes! Especially on hot summer days, spraying your Spathiphyllum is more of a need than a treat to your plant.
They love humid atmosphere and all their metabolism depends on having enough humidity in the air.
It actually makes it easier for them both to breathe, absorb nutrients and circulate the water from the roots to the leaves…One thing though… don’t do it when the peace lily is near a source of light.
Ok, they should never be exposed to direct light, but sometimes they are, maybe for a short time every day. Unfortunately, the droplets of water on the leaves will ruin them.
Why? They act like lenses and concentrate sunlight onto the leaf, and this ends up burning them.Do it first thing in the morning and in the evenings, instead.
Mix Fertilizer With The Water
Approximately every two weeks during the growing season, and once a month or even less when it is dormant mix good organic fertilizer to the water. Peace lilies like water, but also food…
But use a light organic fertilizer with NPK ratio of 3:1:2 (3 parts of nitrogen, one of phosphorus and 2 of potash).
Do not overdo it, as peace lilies suffer if feeding is excessive, or, as botanists call it, they suffer from nutrient toxicity (which is not exactly indigestion… it can change the growth, health color of your plant and even kill it!)
A Water Loving Plant
Now you know absolutely everything you need to know to water your peace lily correctly.
Just make sure you follow these guidelines with care and you will have a happy, healthy and long lasting peace lily!
Amber Noyes born and raised in a suburb Nebraska town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from University of California as well as an BS in Biology City College of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers markets, and potted plants she understands what makes plants thrive and how can we better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially Indoor gardening, houseplants and Growing plants in a small space.