The Peace Lily is a popular, easy-to-care houseplant coming from tropical rainforests of America. However, you might find these beautiful evergreen plants drooping sooner or later. Droopy leaves are a common problem and can be taken care of with some attention and effort.
Droopy leaves in peace lilies are early signs of improper watering. Either the plant is getting excess or too little water due to which they start drooping. Too much sunlight, temperature fluctuations, pests, and disease can also lead to droopy leaves in peace lilies.
You must observe your peace lily thoroughly, and once you get to see signs of these issues, you must immediately take steps to stop the problems from happening further.
Sometimes, the plant may take more time to heal, so be patient and give them time to revive.
Today’s article will explain all the possible reasons for droopy leaves in the Peace Lilies and how to prevent and fix the problems so that the plant thrives again.
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What causes a peace lily to droop?
There are several reasons as to why Peace Lily leaves are drooping:
- Watering issues
- Too much sunlight
- Wrong soil choice
- Temperature fluctuations
- Low humidity
Let us now look into these reasons in detail.
Belonging to the Aroid family, Peace Lilies have thick, shiny, and luscious green leaves which remain healthy if taken good care of. Naturally, they survive well in tropical rainforests, which is why these plants like water and cannot tolerate drought.
But that doesn’t mean that they like being in wet conditions all the time. These plants neither like drought nor being damp for long.
How does under-watering cause droopy leaves?
When Peace Lilies do not receive enough water, the stems and the leaves of the plant fail to get water and nutrients from the roots. This further causes dehydration and droopy leaves.
These plants have a habit of drooping whenever they are deprived of moisture.
The thirsty peace lily develops yellow leaves that become dry and crispy. You must not keep your plant dry for a long time if you want to stop them from drooping.
How does overwatering cause droopy leaves?
Overwatering causes more harm to Peace Lilies than underwatering, especially when you completely ignore the plant and keep it in soggy soil for a long time.
When you continuously overwater your plant, it makes the soil soggy, which results in root rot. It happens when you constantly overwater your plant and ignore its reactions. Once the root system begins rotting, it stops functioning.
The plant fails to absorb the water and nutrients because the root gets suffocated due to excess water. The nutrients cannot reach the upper portion of the plant, like the leaves, ultimately leading to droopy yellow leaves.
How to fix the problem?
To save your plant from underwatering, give them enough water when they start drooping. Whenever you see such signs in your plant, give them water if you haven’t for an extended period.
Another way to check whether your plant is getting little water is by tapping the pot. If you find a hollow sound, it means you have not watered it for a long time.
To save your plant from overwatering:
- Water the soil only if it is dry.
- Keep it moist but not wet. You can check the moisture level of the soil by inserting your finger into the potting soil.
- If the soil is wet, avoid watering your peace lily.
Water your peace lily thoroughly once a week and wet the soil evenly. They won’t need water till the soil dries again. Gradually increase the watering according to the peace lily’s needs in different seasons.
You can verify whether your peace lily needs water or not by lifting the pot. If the weight of the pot feels heavy, then your plant doesn’t need water.
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Peace Lilies grow best when they receive bright indirect sunlight. This means that they need bright light without getting exposed to direct sunlight.
Unlike many houseplants, these plants can thrive well in low-light environments. In their native land, they proliferate under the forest canopy under indirect sunlight.
Even though they can bear direct sunlight for very few hours during the cold winter months, they won’t be able to tolerate it for long.
Excess sunlight leads to droopy leaves in the plant because too much light and heat increase the transpiration rate, resulting in extreme water loss. The plant eventually starts drooping when such a situation occurs.
How to fix the problem?
To keep your Peace Lilies from drooping, keep your plant a few feet away from the window or use curtains. You can keep them in the north or east-facing windows as they will not give any direct sunlight to your plant.
You can also keep them near south or west-facing windows. Put down the curtains to create a filter for direct sunlight.
If your peace lily is placed on a patio, try moving it to a shady corner to avoid direct sunlight. You can use artificial lights for growing the Peace Lilies. They also give the best results to your plant.
Wrong soil choice/condition
Peace lilies do not like sitting in water. If the soil fails to drain excess water, it becomes waterlogged, and if your peace lily remains in such a condition for a long time, it will cause root rot in your peace lily plant.
Drooping leaves can be the result of two things when it comes to soil:
- The soil is waterlogged because it does not have a sound drainage system to drain excess water. This eventually causes root rot. The roots cannot breathe properly because of excess water. The plant can’t get water and nutrients when the roots rot, so the leaves and stems start drooping.
- If the soil cannot hold enough moisture, that too results in droopy leaves because due to loss of all the moisture, the root remains dry, and the plant cannot absorb the nutrients and water from it.
How to fix the problem?
Before making the right choice of soil for Peace Lilies, you need to know what kind of soil you should avoid. Two types of soil that you should avoid are:
- Sandy soil cannot hold enough moisture and drains water so quickly that it does not give time to the plant to absorb the moisture and nutrients.
- Clay soil because it holds excess water for a long time. This will turn your soil soggy and waterlogged. Peace Lily will not enjoy such conditions.
Choose a soil medium that is aerated and porous, which can drain excess water moderately and at the same time can hold enough moisture needed by the plant to absorb the water and nutrients.
If you find out that the soil is wrong, you can report your plant. We want to recommend you one soil mix:
You can also use readymade potting mix, specially made for Peace Lilies.
Peace Lilies thrive well in temperatures between 65°F to 85°F. It is the reason they grow best indoors at room temperature.
Do not expose your peace lilies to a temperature below 45°F or above 90°F. Too high or low temperature will have droopy leaves on your plant and cold injury.
It will be fine for these plants during the nighttime if the temperature has dropped to 10°F.
How to fix the problem?
To save your Peace Lilies from temperature fluctuations:
- Try keeping the plant near the window and door, which are not frequently closed and opened. The doors and windows opened and closed frequently let the drafts enter and reach the plant causing temperature fluctuations.
- If you have kept your plant in balconies, bring it inside during the cold, windy nights.
- If your room has an air conditioner, keep the plant away from it so the direct air cannot reach them. The same goes for the fans (ceiling or stand fan). Drafts of air can cause temperature fluctuations.
- Keep your plant away from heaters, radiators, or any fireplace. The heat that comes out and dies to fire again from these devices can cause severe temperature fluctuations that harm your plant.
- If you keep your peace lily somewhere near the window, do not place it too close if there is no curtain. Keep it a few feet away from the window. This will not allow the sun or cold winds to touch the plant directly.
If you find out that the droopy leaves are not improving despite giving the plants the right temperature and monitoring the progress, there might be other issues.
Peace Lilies originate from the tropical rainforests of America, where they need high humidity. In their native land, they receive humidity above 60%, and they grow best in such conditions.
It is impossible to provide them such high humidity indoors. But the peace lilies need to get at least 50% humidity to thrive well.
If your peace lily receives low humidity with dry air, it will start drooping. It will also show other signs like brown edges, yellow leaves, dry and stiff leaves.
How to fix the problem?
If your peace lily starts drooping and the reason is humidity, you can resolve the issue by increasing the humidity level of your room.
You cannot increase too much as you can’t handle it, but you can create at least 50% humidity. To increase humidity for your plants:
- Mist your plant: Misting helps in increasing the humidity, but it is temporary, not permanent. So, you have to mist your plant daily to provide the correct humidity level.
- Use humidifiers: You can install a humidifier in your room to increase the humidity. It will permanently solve the humidity issue. And if your room has other plants that like high humidity, a humidifier is a perfect choice.
- Keep the plant on a pebble tray: Pebble trays with some water are great for maintaining humidity. Collect some pebbles on a tray, add some water and keep your potted peace lily on it. Make sure that the pot stands over the pebbles and not over the water.
- Double pots: Keep the potted peace lily inside another large pot or container. Fill up the remaining space in between the two containers with Sphagnum moss. This process will naturally keep maintaining the humidity for a long time.
Mealybugs are the common pests that suck all the saps out of the plant, making the plant look tired with droopy leaves and stems.
If you find that peace lily is drooping down, give a close look to your plant and check if pests are attacking them.
If you see a little white fluffy hair-like substance on the surface of the leaves and stems, then the culprit of droopy leaves are the mealy bugs.
How to fix the problem?
To get rid of bugs, the first thing you should do is isolate the plant from other plants to prevent spreading. If the leaves have been heavily affected by the bugs, they might turn yellow and even get distorted. Get rid of those leaves.
One of the best solutions is using neem oil to treat your plant from such infestations. Mix 1 tablespoon of neem with 2 cups of water. Spray this all over the plant.
Other solutions are:
- Insecticidal soaps.
- Dish wash soap or baby shampoos. (1 teaspoon + ½ or 1 cup water)
- Herb sprays made with rosemary, lavender, peppermint, or sage.
- Cotton soaked with rubbing alcohol to wipe out the bugs.
Peace Lilies develop diseases if the conditions are favorable for various fungi and pathogens.
One of the common diseases these plants are prone to is Cylindrocladium Root Rot. It is a root rot disease that results in droopy leaves. If the situation worsens, the leaves and stems start changing to yellow or brown and die.
If you think that your peace lily is experiencing this disease, check the root system. The roots will feel wet and mushy and will turn brown due to the rotting.
How to fix the problem?
You can’t assure that the disease is gone completely. But with proper steps and treatment, you can suppress the disease and cure the plant.
If your peace lily is already drooping, it means it has already been affected by diseases. To get rid of the disease:
- Use a fungicide
Isolate the plant and get rid of the affected leaves and roots. Take out the plant from the pot, gently remove the old soil from the roots, prune off the affected roots carefully with disinfected scissors.
Apply fungicide to kill the remaining fungi. Before applying, read the instructions and use it.
2. Repot the plant
Repotting will save your plant from further damages. The old soil and old pot might have been affected by the fungus and bacteria due to rotting. So it is better to discard them and wash the garden tools to avoid contamination. Use new pot and soil for transplanting.
As this disease happens due to overwatering, keep your plant from watering for some days until it heals completely. After a week, start watering your plant. Begin with little watering and gradually increase as per need.
Tips for growing a healthy peace lily
Peace Lilies give your room an evergreen look in the long-term if they get all the requirements. Neither overdo nor deprive them of anything.
While buying, check the plant carefully to see whether the plant is healthy. If you bring home a defective plant, you have to waste extra effort behind the treatment.
Ensure that your plant’s root system is fine and healthy, or else unhealthy roots will result in droopy leaves.
Choose the right pot size to avoid root rot. When you choose a small pot for a big plant, the soil becomes compact, making it difficult for the roots to breathe. So choose the pot according to the plant size. It will help the roots breathe flexibly, and they will get enough space for growing.
Ceramic, terracotta, and plastic pots will help in holding enough moisture needed by the plant. Make sure that the pot has suitable drainage holes to drain excess water.
You can try bottom watering. It will help in giving your plant good moisture.
Keep the plant in a place where it can get bright light without getting exposed to direct sunlight. Try using glow lights for better results. Do not deprive them of light completely. They need light to get energy for photosynthesis.
Rotate your plant according to its need for light and temperature.
Water your peace lily consistently. Use distilled water and room temperature water for good results. Avoid using tap water but if you do, let the water sit overnight so that the harmful chlorine gets evaporated into the air.
Prune your plant whenever needed.