peace lily plant in a pot on a table

Watering Peace Lilies: A Guide to Proper Care and Maintenance

Watering a peace lily can be a challenge for even the most experienced gardeners. Overwatering can lead to root rot and a wilted appearance, while underwatering can cause the leaves to turn brown and crispy. However, with a few tips and tricks, anyone can master the art of watering a peace lily.

To keep a peace lily looking its best, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist without allowing it to become too wet. Additionally, peace lilies require water that is free of chemicals and salts. Water thoroughly and then leave the soil to dry out before watering again to ensure that the plant thrives.

How Often to Water Peace Lilies

Peace lilies prefer soil that is well-hydrated but not waterlogged. Therefore, it is important to check the soil moisture level before watering. In general, it is recommended to water peace lilies when the soil starts to dry out. During summer, this may be as frequently as once or twice a week, while in winter, it may only be necessary to water once a month.

The watering schedule for peace lilies can be influenced by various factors. Higher temperatures cause the soil to dry out more quickly and the plant will require more water when growing conditions are optimal. Additionally, a peace lily that is exposed to bright light will grow faster and require more water than one in a shaded area. Dry air, such as that caused by HVAC systems, can also increase the water requirements of peace lilies.

To prevent over-watering, it is best to wait until the soil has dried out before watering. However, for those who want to be certain, an electric water meter can be used to monitor soil moisture levels and provide a reliable indicator of when to water.

How to Know if Your Peace Lily is Over Watered

Unresponsive Drooping Peace Lily Leaves

When a peace lily is over watered, its leaves may droop and become unresponsive. Unlike a dehydrated peace lily, which bounces back within a few hours of watering, an over-watered peace lily will remain droopy. This is because too much water in the pot can stress the entire system, causing the roots to stop functioning properly. As a result, the roots can no longer take water to the leaves, causing drooping leaves.

Water Damaged Peace Lily Leaves

Another way to tell if a peace lily is over watered is by examining its leaves. Over-watered leaves may develop yellow blotches, followed by brown soggy patches. These areas are less crisp, softer in general, and almost spongy towards the base of the stem. Additionally, over-watered leaves may develop oedema, which is a blister-like growth filled with clear liquid. If the blister bursts, it soon dries out, becoming crusty or dried out.

To avoid over-watering your peace lily, make sure that the soil is allowed to dry to the touch before watering again. Do not let the container sit in a pan or saucer that collects water, as this can result in the soil remaining too saturated and the roots rotting. With proper care, your peace lily will thrive and remain healthy.

How to Tell if your Peace Lily is Under Watered

Drooping Peace Lily Leaves

If the peace lily is under-watered, it will droop its leaves. The leaves will lose their rigidity and plumpness because water provides structural support to the cells inside the leaves. The pressure that holds the cells taut is called turgor pressure. When water is lacking, the leaves will droop, and the lily will appear wilted.

Crispy Peace Lily Leaves

One indication of insufficient watering is alterations in the appearance and feel of the foliage. Leaves that are persistently under-watered will transform into a yellow or brown hue, predominantly around the leaf tips. They will also become brittle and thin, sometimes even flaking off easily. This is because the leaves become dry and brittle when they lack water.

To avoid under-watering, it is important to keep the peace lily’s soil moist but not waterlogged. It is best to water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

What Time to Water a Peace Lily

It is recommended to water a peace lily in the mornings for optimal results. Watering late in the day or after dark should be avoided as the plant may pout due to cold roots. Overnight watering can make the plant feel chilly and it won’t be able to use the water effectively. It is also important to mist the leaves of the peace lily regularly to maintain its health.

How to Water a Peace Lily

How to Water a Peace Lily from Above

Watering a peace lily from above involves pouring water into the pot from the top. This approach ensures that the soil is thoroughly drenched. To water a peace lily from above, follow these steps:

  1. Add room temperature water to the soil from the top of the pot, making sure to drench the soil completely.
  2. Keep adding water until you see a decent flow running from the drainage holes.
  3. Allow the peace lily to drain, and then return it to its saucer or tray.
  4. Make sure that the drip tray or saucer remains empty even after watering to avoid having wet feet.

How to Water a Peace Lily from Below

Watering a peace lily from below involves placing the plant in a large basin or tub filled with clean water. The water seeps into the pot through the drainage holes, ensuring that the soil is thoroughly moistened. To water a peace lily from below, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the peace lily from its saucer or tray and place it in a large basin or tub that is at least half as deep as the peace lily’s pot is tall.
  2. Add clean water to the basin, holding the peace lily stable.
  3. Add more water until the level is halfway up the side of the lily’s pot.
  4. Wait for 15 minutes to half an hour, depending on how thirsty the plant is. A drooping peace lily can be watered for at least half an hour, giving it time to draw water into the leaves.
  5. After the time has elapsed, take the peace lily from the basin and allow it to drain.

Remember to always use room temperature water and to make sure that the drip tray or saucer remains empty even after watering to avoid having wet feet. By following these simple steps, you can keep your peace lily healthy and happy.

Watering Tips:

Best type of water for Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are delicate plants that require pure water to grow. Tap water is not recommended for peace lilies as it contains minerals and chemicals that can damage the plant’s roots. Rainwater is the best option for watering peace lilies. However, if collecting rainwater is not feasible, using filtered or distilled water is a good alternative. A cartridge-style filter jug can remove hazardous chemicals from the water, leaving only the good stuff for the peace lilies.

Best Water Temperature for Peace Lilies

Peace lilies do not like cold water on their roots. Room temperature water is ideal for watering peace lilies. Cold roots can stunt the growth of the plant and make it less vigorous over time. To achieve room temperature, it is recommended to leave the jug of water on a counter until it is tepid. In a pinch, a shot of hot water can be added to a watering can to warm up the water.

How to add drainage to a pot for better watering

Peace lilies require a well-draining medium that is rich in organic matter. Most commercial potting blends provide a good amount of compost, peat, or other organics, but it is important to ensure proper drainage. Vermiculite is a mineral that holds moisture while allowing excess to flow past. Mixing one part vermiculite with three parts potting soil can improve the soil and provide support for the peace lily. Perlite is another option that has an airy quality and keeps water flowing through the soil. For those who have lost plants due to over-watering in the past, perlite is the best option. It is important to ensure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to allow water to flow out. A minimum of three holes is recommended for peace lilies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should one water an indoor peace lily?

Peace lilies prefer to be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Watering once a week is usually sufficient, but the frequency may vary depending on the temperature and humidity of the environment. It is important to avoid letting the soil dry out completely between waterings.

What is the best way to water a peace lily?

To water a peace lily, use room temperature water and pour it into the soil until it begins to drain out of the bottom of the pot. It is important to avoid getting water on the leaves as this can cause damage. If the plant is in a decorative pot without drainage holes, it is recommended to remove the plant from the pot and water it separately before returning it to the decorative pot.

What kind of soil does a peace lily need?

Peace lilies thrive in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A high-quality potting mix that contains peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is ideal. It is important to avoid using heavy soils that retain too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot.

How long can a peace lily survive without water?

Peace lilies are relatively tolerant of drought conditions and can survive for a short period without water. However, it is important to avoid letting the soil dry out completely as this can cause damage to the plant. It is recommended to water the plant once a week or when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

What are some common problems with peace lilies?

Common problems with peace lilies include yellowing leaves, brown tips, and wilting. These issues may be caused by overwatering, underwatering, too much or too little light, or pests such as spider mites or mealybugs. It is important to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage to the plant.

Can peace lilies live outside?

Peace lilies are tropical plants and are not frost-tolerant, so they should not be planted outside in areas with cold winters. However, they can be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates as long as they are protected from direct sunlight and strong winds.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, taking care of lilies requires some effort, but the stunning beauty of their white flowers and lush leaves makes it worth it. With proper watering, these enduring flowers can add a touch of luxury to any garden.

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