Peace lilies or Spathiphyllum, are tropical plants that are widely known for their beautiful deep green leaves and white, serene blooms that resemble a white flag of peace. This plant has become a popular indoor plant choice among indoor gardeners due to its easy-to-care-for nature and air-purifying characteristics.
Watering your Peace lily can be an art form. It requires a certain finesse to provide the perfect amount of water to give your plant life and make it truly thrive.
In this blog post, we'll break down all the essential tips for keeping your peace lily healthy via a careful watering schedule that meets its needs - so read on if becoming an expert in peaceful potted plant care is your goal!
Getting to Know the Peace Lily Plants
Peace lilies are known to originate from the tropical regions of Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Spathiphyllum got its name from the Greek words “spath” which means spathe and “phyllum” which means leaf.
They were first discovered in the late 1800s and were imported to Europe as ornamental plants. Today, Peace lilies are widely grown as indoor plants and are also used for outdoor landscaping due to their tolerance to shade, heat, and humidity.
Peace lilies' native environment is the understory of tropical rainforests. They come from the tropical regions of South and Central America, primarily found in Brazil, Bolivia, and Columbia. These regions are densely populated with a variety of flora and fauna. Therefore, Peace Lilies prefer low to medium daylight and humid environments.
Peace Lilies Watering Fundamentals
Peace lily houseplants are incredibly easy-going plants that are suitable for both beginner and experienced gardeners. They are known to grow best in soil that is moist but not too wet.
Although Peace lilies prefer moist soil, they don't like to sit in water. Make sure the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry before watering your Peace lilies.
The best way to test this is by sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels moist, leave it be for a day or two. If it feels dry, that’s an excellent sign that your plants need water.
When it’s time to water your Peace lily, you can also give it a generous soak until water starts to come out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. This ensures that the roots get an adequate supply of water. But always remember to empty any excess water from the drainage tray immediately to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
How often to water Peace lily will depend on various factors:
The season and your home environment
The amount of light your plants receive
What sort of soil it's planted in
What pot do you use
Seasonal Watering Adjustments
Peace lilies grow actively during spring and summer when they need more water to support their growth and nutrient uptake. During these seasons, water your Peace lily thoroughly, but don't let the soil get soggy or waterlogged. A good rule of thumb is to water your Peace lily once a week or whenever the soil feels dry to the touch.
During the winter season, Peace lilies enter a dormant state and don't require as much water as they do in the growing season. Water your Peace lily only when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch and avoid overwatering.
Humidity and its Impact on Watering Peace Lilies
Your home environment plays a significant role in the watering needs of your Peace lily. As a tropical plant, Peace lily grows in a humid climate and thrives in a moist environment. Keep your Peace lily away from artificial indoor heat sources, such as radiators and heaters, during the winter season, as they tend to dry out the air.
Peace lilies don't tolerate cold temperatures and drafts well. Avoid placing your Peace lily near air conditioners with forced cold air, open windows, or drafty doors during the winter season. These can cause stress to the plants, leading to leaf damage, wilting, and yellowing.
You can help your Peace lily and increase air humidity by:
Positioning a humidifier nearby
Utilizing a pebble tray filled with water
Regularly mist spray the plant
Gently wiping the leaves with a damp cloth
Light and Water: The Vital Connection
Light is one of the most important factors in having a healthy Peace lily. While they can tolerate low light environments, they do prefer bright, indirect light. In fact, the more light the Peace lily receives, the more water it will require.
Remember, too much light can also be dangerous for the plant. Keep it away from harsh direct sun as it can scorch the leaves.
If your Peace lily is placed in a bright room, it is important to monitor the soil moisture level and water it accordingly. Conversely, if your Peace lily is kept in low light, you can reduce watering to avoid overwatering.
Read a comprehensive guide about the Peace Lily light requirements here.
Soil and its Role in Efficient Watering
Soil is an essential component for plants, and each plant species have specific soil requirements. It's important to grow Peace lilies by maintaining a well-draining, moist but not soggy potting mix.
This is because Peace lilies have roots that cannot tolerate standing water, or they will eventually rot. Therefore, it’s crucial to purchase a soil mix that has excellent drainage. Alternatively, you can mix your own with peat moss, perlite, and compost.
Soil mix quality is crucial in efficient watering. If you have the right potting mix with good drainage, it means the water will efficiently drain out of the pot while the soil holds enough moisture to keep the roots hydrated.
Right Pot and Watering Considerations
When it comes to choosing the right pot for your Peace Lily, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Use a pot with a drainage hole to avoid standing water at the bottom
Piece Lily has a relatively small root ball and doesn't need a big pot. This houseplant prefers growing in a tight space, so a pot that's too big can lead to over-watering, which can also be detrimental to your plant
Consider using a pot with a saucer to catch any excess water that drains out of the bottom of the pot
When it comes to potting and watering your Peace Lily, an important factor to consider is knowing when to repot. As mentioned earlier, Peace Lilies prefer growing in a tight space, so don’t rush to repot them.
Only do it when the roots have filled the container.
When repotting, choose a pot that's slightly larger than the current pot, but not too big. And remember to use fresh potting soil to give your plant a healthy start.
Self-Watering Pot for Peace Lily
Peace Lilies need consistently moist soil to thrive. This is where the self-watering pot comes in handy. Self-watering pots are designed with a reservoir built-in at the bottom. This reservoir allows for the plant to drink up the water when it's needed.
The water level indicator makes it easy to know when it's time to refill the pot. Not only does this save you time, but it also ensures your plant gets the right amount of water it needs.
You also get to avoid the potential harm of over and under-watering, which could lead to root rot and soil compaction. A self-watering pot ensures that your Peace Lily's roots are consistently hydrated, which is essential for overall plant health.
Selecting the Right Water for Your Peace Lily Plant
Tap water is the most accessible and affordable source of water, but it is not the best choice for your Peace lily. Tap water may contain chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, and other contaminants that are harmful to plant growth. The presence of these chemicals can cause the leaves of your plant to turn yellow or brown, and in severe cases, it can even damage the roots. If you have no other option but to use tap water, it is best to let it sit for a day or two so that the chemicals can dissipate before using it on your plant.
Filtered water is an excellent option for your Peace lily as it has fewer contaminants compared to tap water. You can use a standard pitcher water filter to remove impurities such as chlorine, lead, and mercury. Filtering your water before using it on your plant will ensure that it gets the necessary nutrients while limiting exposure to harmful chemicals.
Distilled water is another excellent option for your Peace lily, especially if you live in an area with hard water. Hard water contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium that can build up in the soil and hinder plant growth. Distilled water is devoid of minerals and contaminants, making it an excellent choice for your Peace lily. However, since it lacks essential minerals, it is best to only use distilled water occasionally and complement it with other water sources.
Rainwater is an excellent choice for watering your Peace lily, as it is free of chemicals and rich in nutrients. It provides the plants with the necessary minerals and is considered the purest form of water for your plants. If you choose to use rainwater, ensure that you collect it in a clean container as impurities such as dust and pollution can contaminate it. It is also best to use this water within a day or two to prevent stagnant water, which can attract pests.
Identifying Over-Watering Symptoms
Over-watering can cause Peace lily leaves to wilt as roots become waterlogged, hindering nutrient absorption. Wilted leaves are indicated by yellowing and drooping tips.
Distinguishing between over-watering and under-watering can be challenging. To check, lightly tug the plant; if it comes out of the soil easily, it's likely over-watered.
Over-watering can also lead to mold growth, evident by white or green substances and a moldy odor in the soil. Repotting may be necessary. Yellowing leaves may indicate over-watering, as saturated soil hampers nutrient absorption.
Root rot is another major concern caused by over-watering. Soggy soil becomes a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, damaging roots. To check for root rot, gently pull the plant out and inspect the roots for black, brown, and mushy appearance. Reduce watering and salvage the plant if possible.
Recognizing Underwatered Peace Lily
One common sign of an underwatered Peace lily is drooping leaves. When plants lack water, they conserve energy by closing their stomata, or pores, to prevent water loss. This causes the leaves to droop and wilt. If you notice this, it's time to water your Peace lily.
If your Peace lily is growing slowly, it may also be due to underwatering. Insufficient water hinders photosynthesis and slows growth. This can also lead to yellowing leaves as chlorophyll production decreases.
Prolonged underwatering may result in leaf crisping, indicating extreme stress and water deficiency. At this stage, the plant requires extra care and time to recover.
Flower drop can also be another sign of underwatering. The plant sheds flowers and buds to conserve water. Providing sufficient water can help save your plant and maintain flowering.
Peace Lily Blooms
Most Peace lilies flowers bloom once or twice a year, usually in the spring or summer months. It is essential to note that Peace lily flowers only bloom when they reach maturity, which can take up to three years to reach. Their ability to bloom depends on how well they are cared for, and the environment they are in.
If the plant is blooming, it will require more water than usual. When the plant blooms, it is recommended to add water before the soil dries out completely.
To conclude, growing a Peace lily is far from an impossible art. By learning to navigate its needs, you are on your way to nurturing a flourishing and beautiful plant. Keep in mind that with any living thing, there is always some trial and error when caring for it but by following a few of the rules given above, hopefully, you can find that sweet spot in watering your Peace lily.
Some of the most important things to remember are how the amount of water matters, making sure seasonal adjustments are made, tip-toeing around humidity levels, and creating a balance between light and water when possible. When done correctly, you can enjoy a lush Peace lily throughout the year or even lifetime blooms!
If you find this article helpful, save it by clicking on the image below and add it to your Pinterest Board dedicated to Indoor Plants!