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From Overwatering to Mealybugs: Why Your Peace Lily Is Drooping and How to Rescue It

From Overwatering to Mealybugs: Why Your Peace Lily Is Drooping and How to Rescue It

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A peace lily drooping is usually an early sign of a watering problem. More often than not, the problem is feeding the peace lily too little water, rather than too much.

However, that’s not always the case as there can be more going on at the roots of the plant that your eyes can’t see.

The Most Common Causes Behind Peace Lilies Drooping

1 – Insufficient Watering

Watering Peace Lily

As previously mentioned, drooping is an early indication of a watering issue. If your plant was perfectly healthy the day before, then you suddenly found it with its leaves drooping in the morning, it likely just needs a drink.

Peace lilies are aroid plants meaning they’re used to tropical environments and high humidity. They are tolerant to a lot of water when it’s available, but when it’s not, they’ll wilt as a sign they need to be watered.

If this is the issue, they perk up fast once you water them.

Here’s a timelapse video of a peace lily drooping then reacting to approx. 500 ml of water.

Obviously, that video is sped up but you will see a peace lily recovering from dehydration quickly.

If, on the other hand, the peace lily is overwatered, there’s a bigger problem with a little more work involved to fix it.

If you notice your peace lily drooping and you know it shouldn’t be thirsty, finger test the soil. The top inch should be dry when you water these plants. And when you do water them, give them plenty of water – until you see the water pouring out of the drainage holes of the plant pot.

If your pot doesn’t have drainage holes, that’s a problem. You’ll need to repot it into a container with drainage holes.

To dry out the soil, you can take the plant out the pot and leave it outdoors for a half hour to an hour to let the soil air dry. Inspect the plant roots because if it’s been waterlogged for too long, the roots can die.

Underwatering a peace lily will stress the leaves but overwatering it will stress the roots. It’s easier to rejuvenate an underwatered peace lily than it is to revive a peace lily that’s been overwatered.

For future watering, only feed your plant after finger testing it. With a peace lily, you can’t stick to a routine like every week or every few days. Certainly not every day watering. Drench the soil until the water pours out the drainage holes, then leave it be until the top inch of soil is dry.

2 – Temperature Fluctuations

Higher temperatures can be behind a peace lily drooping because it’ll go through more water. Feeding once every ten days will cause wilting if the plant starts to drink more because of higher temperatures.

The ideal temperature for a peace lily is 70oF and over, and in a draft-free area. Temperatures shouldn’t drop below 60oF.

3 – Too Much Direct Sunlight

Peace Lily In Direct Sunlight

A way to tell if this could be your problem is to inspect the leaves for discoloration. Too strong a sunlight or if the plant’s in direct sunlight for too long will cause the leaves on a peace lily to yellow then turn brown, start drooping and eventually die.

The natural habitat of peace lilies is to grow under the shade of taller plants and trees in tropical rainforests. As such, they don’t need a lot of sunlight and can in fact be grown successfully in low-light conditions.

They don’t need much sunlight. A partially shaded area will be perfect for these plants.

4 – Transplant Shock

There’s a knack to repotting a peace lily because a lot of the time, if it hasn’t had time to adapt to new growing soil, it will shock the plant and when that happens, so does drooping. Peace lilies need a few days to adapt and it’s best to repot in dry soil then water it thoroughly after the new soil is added.

If you find your plant has outgrown its current pot size, it’s often a better idea to divide a peace lily by cutting from the root up, then planting in two or more suitably sized containers, depending on how much your plant has outgrown its current container.

Another neat trick you can try is to add a pinch of sugar (normal everyday stuff you get at the grocery store) into the water you’re using to feed the plant right after transplanting. It’s not going to work on all plants, but provided you don’t go heavy on the sugar, it can be worth a try as it won’t harm the plant.

5 – Slow Draining Potting Soil

Adding Potting Soil To Peace Lily

A peace lily needs well-draining soil as they can’t tolerate standing water. Moisture is what they need. Not standing water. How you get the right balance is to use a well-draining potting soil.

The best growing medium for a peace lily is a peat potting mix that has compost bark and perlite.

This should be changed every one or two years because the soil can accumulate chemicals and salt buildups from fertilizers, even if you do only fertilize your plant every month.

Nutrients will be lost overtime and fertilizers can’t always replace those. Sometimes, you just need to repot in fresh soil to see your peace lily burst back to life.

6 – Mealybugs (Or Other Insects)

Anytime a plant begins to behave differently, it is an indication of a problem. One that can’t be ignored is insects.

As peace lily’s are often grown as houseplants due to their amazing ability to purify air by getting rid of toxins, insects are rarely a problem with these. They’re kept at bay by regularly wiping down the leaves.

It can happen though. Aphids, spider mites and mealybugs tend to be the usual suspects for indoor plants, more so mealybugs on peace lilies because they feed on the sap of the larger sized leaves.

If you notice white fluff on parts of your leaves, it’s likely that mealybugs have gotten to your plant. Rubbing alcohol is a safe way to kill them off without harming your plant.

When you notice your peace lily drooping, check for irregular deposits or holes on the foliage. If mealybugs are present, they come in colonies so the entire plant will need to be treated.

See my ten ways to get rid of bugs on indoor plants for other ways to help your plant survive from pesky bugs.

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Robin McPhee

Saturday 28th of August 2021

I recently repotted a peace lily, it was looking good new shoots growing. I found a gnat problem so I repotted my plants. The peace lily had a lot of dangly roots so I cut them back. Now it's drooping. I don't want to lose it. Hopefully it will pick back up


Wednesday 26th of August 2020

Hi! I transplanted a beautiful peace lily because it needed more room. Half the plant looks great and is blooming and the other half is drooping. This has been going on for a month! I do separate roots when I transplant any plant. But what do I do with half a droopy plant?


Friday 8th of May 2020

Hi! Thanks for your advice. I have 2 peace lilies that were sent to me about 4 months ago as healthy plants. When I received them they were totally limp, and though I have tried your suggestions. new leaves have been opening but still completely limp. Have you ever heard of anything like this? Thanks!


Thursday 14th of May 2020

Hi, Laurie!

Sorry to hear about the trouble with your peace lilies. My first thought is that they experienced a shock due to the change in their environment, but that shouldn't still be lingering around at this point. However, some things to consider about the environment are the temperature, amount of sun, the soil, and the containers. The most common issue for drooping leaves is too much or too little water, but it could easily be one of these other factors as well. Peace lilies prefer moderate sunlight, and depending on how much sun they're getting, you will need to adjust the watering schedule accordingly. The soil might also not be well-suited for them, and the containers may not be properly sized.

It's difficult to say for sure what's going on, but I would take a look at some of these factors to try to narrow it down. I hope this helps!