Do your peace lilies have access to enough water? Without the proper amount of moisture, these lovely houseplants cannot brighten any indoor garden. This article will discuss how much water peace lilies require and how frequently you should water them.
One inch of water should typically be applied when watering peace lilies once every week. A finger test can be used to determine whether the soil’s top layer is consistently moist, which you want to ensure. Your plant will suffer from underwatering if you allow the soil to dry out for an extended period of time. Inadequate soil moisture can result in diseases like root rot, so watch out for this.
Recall the first few indoor plants you ever purchased (or perhaps received as a gift). There might be a Peace Lily among them. They are one of the most beginner-friendly houseplants because they are well known for being fuss-free and loved for their stunning white blooms.
Although taking care of them is fairly easy, the most fundamental tasks—especially watering—are the ones that people tend to get wrong the most. A delicate balance is needed to maintain these plants’ happiness throughout the year because they love moisture but also cannot be allowed to sit in soggy soil.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up absolutely everything you need to know about watering Peace Lilies. You’ll have watering under control in no time, from times to variables that might affect your watering schedule.
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About Peace Lily
Peace Lily is the common name for a vast genus of plants known as Spathiphyllum. They are classified by their spadix blooms and are members of the well-known Arum family, which also includes common houseplants like Alocasias and Philodendrons. A modified leaf, usually white, surrounds the spiked structure holding the flowers, which many people mistake for the flower itself.
The most common Spathiphyllum you’ll find in stores is Spathiphyllum wallisii, usually what people picture when they hear the word However, there are only about 50 other species available, all of which have comparable growing conditions, besides the Peace Lily.
They can grow outdoors in shady locations in tropical climates, but they are typically grown indoors. Once their needs are understood, they are relatively simple to care for and make wonderful gifts for people who are just learning about houseplants.
They also have a plethora of additional advantages. As part of the famous NASA Clean Air study, Peace Lilies demonstrated a great ability to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (from the air in our homes, including VOCs. In fact, only dense plant populations can yield this benefit. Fortunately, they are also simple to divide, making it simple for you to fill your home.
Watering is one of the crucial aspects of their care that many people get wrong. However, the process will become much simpler if you are aware of their natural habitats.
Members of the genus are naturally distributed around Central and South America. They flourish on the ground of tropical rainforests because they enjoy the heat, moisture, and humidity that these environments provide. The shade that the trees above provide is what makes them suitable for dimly lit areas of our homes, even though they might not flower as profusely in these circumstances.
By their very nature, rainforests are saturated with moisture; during the rainy season, humidity levels can reach 90% or higher. Rich and perpetually moist, but not waterlogged, soil covers the forest floor. Short bursts of rain soak the ground thoroughly and then quickly evaporate, leaving the roots moist but with plenty of oxygen to support plant life.
Keeping these conditions in mind, it’s easy to see why Peace Lilies need frequent watering. However, drainage is also a crucial element because in their natural habitats, these plants are never kept in standing water for extended periods of time.
How Often Do Peace Lilies Need Water?
Many indoor gardeners prefer to water on a regular schedule, especially novice ones with a small collection of houseplants. For Peace Lilies, this would mean watering around once per week, increasing the frequency in summer when temperatures are higher.
However, this practice raises a number of problems. They don’t follow a strict schedule, as much as we would like them to. Changes in their environments have an impact on them, just like they do on humans, and these changes can affect how much water is in the soil.
Schedules can be very helpful if you forget to water your plants, but they ignore the actual moisture levels in the soil. Several factors (discussed later) will impact how quickly the soil dries out and can change from day to day. A schedule will eventually result in underwatering or, worse, overwatering, which will cause a number of growth-related issues.
Instead, observe the soil carefully every few days. It’s time to water once more as soon as you notice the soil’s top layer drying out. You run the risk of wilting and yellowing if you wait too long. Similarly, avoid watering while the soil’s top layer is still damp because this can cause root rot.
This of course only applies if you have the right levels of drainage in the soil and the pot itself. If there is too much water, it should be able to drain out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container and freely pass through the soil particles. As a result, the roots continue to receive the vital airflow that keeps them healthy and provides oxygen.
Even watering at the ideal time won’t be enough to protect your plants from harm without this drainage. When repotting indoor plants, use an airy potting mixture with a few handfuls of perlite and coconut coir and select a container with drainage holes at the bottom (or drill your own).
How Much Water Do They Need?
You might be unsure of how much water to add when it’s time to begin watering. There is no set amount needed, but the process is not exact science. Jugs used for measuring won’t take into account how big your plant is, how quickly it grows, or how moist the soil is right now. That is to say, the incorrect question is “how much water.”
Instead, you should continue to add water until the soil is completely saturated. Water dripping from the drainage holes is typically a sign that all areas of the soil have been watered because it can be difficult to tell what is happening at the bottom of the pot.
When watering, the technique is also essential. Never concentrate the stream of water in one spot when watering; always distribute it evenly throughout the entire pot. The roots on the opposite side of the container are most likely still dry in this scenario since water may only drain from one side’s drainage holes.
If your soil is compacted or excessively dry, water coming from the drainage holes is no longer a good indicator of saturation. Because compacted soil develops a hydrophobic coating that repels moisture, this occurs. Water won’t even touch the top layer of the pot; it will simply flow out the bottom and down the sides.
Watering from the bottom instead of the top when the soil is compacted is a much better method. Allow the soil to absorb moisture from the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot by leaving it in a container or sink full of water. The dry soil will gradually absorb moisture until it has encapsulated the entire pot. Replace the plant after about 30 minutes, drain any excess water, and remove the pot.
Factors That Impact Watering Schedules
As the environment around your plant changes, watering schedules are never entirely fixed. Take a look at these factors that can impact the levels of moisture in the soil. Keep an eye out for any changes and how they may alter the timing of watering over time.
One of the most popular plants for areas with low lighting is the peace lily. They can adapt to most lighting levels except for direct sun, growing most successfully in bright indirect light indoors.
One of the biggest factors in determining how often to water your plant is how much sunlight it receives. The soil’s moisture will evaporate much more slowly in low light than in higher sunlight. Additionally, the plant will grow more slowly and require much less water for photosynthesis. In order to maintain constant soil moisture levels without overwatering, you will need to water much less frequently.
Moisture will vaporize much more quickly where there is more light. With a full day of bright indirect light, or even an hour or two of direct morning sun, your Peace Lily may need watering more than once per week. The effect of the light source’s brightness on the soil’s moisture content is entirely dependent on that.
Observe how the amount of light affects the soil’s moisture content over the course of a few weeks after you’ve placed your plant in its ideal location. This ought to give you a better idea of roughly how often you need to think about watering each week.
It’s crucial to test the soil before watering, even if you have a general estimate. Wait a few days before watering again if the top layer still feels damp to the touch.
Season and temperature have an impact on how frequently plants need to be watered as well, usually over a longer period of time. Peace Lilies need warm temperatures of around 75F throughout the year to grow successfully. However, as we all know, indoor temperatures aren’t always as conveniently predictable.
The soil will dry out a lot faster during times of higher temperatures, typically in the summer. Depending on how well the plant is doing, you may need to water more frequently—possibly twice weekly or more—if you want to avoid the problems brought on by overwatering.
Temperature changes abruptly will slow evaporation. If temperatures drop below 60F, the plant will also slow growth dramatically, absorbing far less water than normal.
The seasons usually bring about these changes. Your plant might only require watering once every two weeks or so in the cooler months of fall and winter. As temperatures rise in the spring and summer, when growth is stimulated, this will rise as well. Watch your thermometer and how it may affect the soil.
In the process of photosynthesis, water is one of the crucial ingredients. Rapidly growing peace lilies require more frequent watering because they consume more moisture than slower growing ones.
Your plant’s growth can be influenced by a number of factors, including fertilizing, light, and more. You’ll need to use your judgment and frequent soil checks to determine how quickly moisture is sapped from the soil.
Signs of Overwatering
Unfortunately, especially for novice plant owners, Peace Lilies frequently suffer from overwatering. A common misconception is that because they enjoy moisture, the soil must always be moist. These conditions ultimately suffocate the roots and lead to a problem known as root rot.
Yellowing leaves, wilting, and soft, mushy stems are indicators of root rot. The roots will also rot and become soft below the soil’s surface, making it difficult for the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients. The issue will likely worsen as no moisture is absorbed by the plant, causing the soil to stay wet or squishy for longer periods of time.
Don’t water again until the soil has dried out further if you notice that you’ve overwatered. Repot the plant right away into new, well-draining soil if it is still wilting. Trim the rotten roots to stop the fungus from spreading. Additionally, check to see that the new container has enough drainage holes to prevent the issue from recurring in the future.
Signs of Underwatering
Underwatering is much easier to detect. You will first notice the leaves beginning to wilt and fall over. This is a result of the lack of water in the plant cells that support structure.
The edges of the leaves will start to brown if the issue continues. The flowers that are already in bloom will probably dry up and turn brown. Brown tips can also be caused by a lack of humidity, so check to make sure that is not the problem before examining your watering schedule.
Compacted, dry soil is another bad sign of underwatering. In these situations, make sure the soil is completely saturated before watering the plant. Within a few hours, the leaves should begin to grow upright again if the damage has not killed any of the roots.
Water Peace Lilies in Pots With Drainage Holes in the Base
While peace lilies need evenly moist soil, their roots cannot tolerate soggy saturated soil, so it’s crucial to plant them in containers with drainage holes in the base to let excess water drain.
A good way to make sure the peace lily has received enough water is to water until excess water starts to trickle out the bottom of the pot.
If your peace lily is planted in a pot without drainage holes then excess water pools around the roots and the plant show signs of stress due to overwatering such as drooping and turning yellow. Root rot can result from saturated soil, and it may be challenging to save the plant.
Excess water can still pool around the roots if:
- The drainage holes become blocked with compacted soil or roots. If you see water draining slowly, make sure water is able to flow freely by checking the drainage holes in the base.
- Saucers, trays and decorative outer pots can prevent water escaping. For use in the home, saucers, trays, and occasionally decorative outer pots are used to catch spilled water. To avoid water collecting around the roots and leading to root rot, make sure they are regularly emptied.
Important Peace Lily Watering Tips
An exotic plant that prefers warm climates is the peace lily. In its native Columbia, rain is typically much warmer than your home’s tap water.
Being particularly sensitive to low temperatures, the roots of the peace lily can experience some mild shock when watered with cold water.
The ideal procedure is to wait until the water is roughly at room temperature in its container before watering.
Additionally, fluoride and chlorine in the water may cause the tips of peace lilies’ leaves to turn crispy and brown. If you leave the water out overnight before watering your peace lily, the chlorine will vaporize.
Use of filtered water or rainwater to water your peace lily on occasion can help to reduce the effects of fluoride, which can accumulate and harm the plant.
Your success in growing Peace Lilies may depend on how well you water, but it need not be challenging. Keep an eye on moisture levels in the soil, improve drainage and watch for signs of over and underwatering to ensure you get it right.
Do Peace Lilies Need Sun?
Keep peace lilies in an area with bright, indirect light if at all possible. In order to expose the plant to the strong morning sun, an east-facing window is ideal.
How Long Can You Go Without Watering a Peace Lily?
If your pot and soil drain well, your peace lily will need to be watered every 7-10 days. Your peace lily might require more frequent watering if you live in a warm, dry climate. You might need to water a little less frequently if you live somewhere that gets cooler or more humid.
Do Peace Lilies Like Bathrooms?
Peace lilies are especially great for bathrooms because they love the humid environment that you can’t normally get in other rooms of the house. Try to put it somewhere where it can get plenty of steam, like close to a shower.