Grown in tropical regions of Southeast Asia and America, Peace Lilies are beautiful scented flowering plants.
Commonly called closet plants, they have rich green leaves that blossom into beautiful white flowers over time.
Due to their captivating appearance, these plants are typically used to decorate indoors of houses and offices.
Though simple plants to grow, Peace Lilies need proper plant care, and the lack of it can cause the plant to develop symptoms of overwatering.
What Does An Overwatered Peace Lily Look Like?
An overwatered Peace Lily shows the early symptoms of drooping leaves that pale over time and turn yellow. If the plant is continuously overwatered for an extended period, leaf edema occurs. The leaf tips slowly become brown, develop water blisters, and the plant depicts no sign of growth. Leaves shrivel up, and its roots begin to turn mushy and rot. However, on most occasions, the plant can be saved through a systematic approach towards recovery that involves repotting, plant care, and adequate watering.
Symptoms of Overwatering In Peace Lily
Peace Lilies are tricky plants when it comes to watering them. Under-watering the Spathiphyllum plant renders its leaves flaccid and induces them to curl up and droop.
While, at the same time, overwater them, and they display undesirable symptoms.
The initial symptoms are typically milder and hence, easily escape your attention. Try looking for yellow leaves at the bottom of the plant. The yellowing begins at the edges of the leaves and slowly engulfs them.
If the plant is persistently overwatered for a significant period, leaf edema makes its appearance in the form of tiny water cysts on the leaves.
Slowly and gradually, the leaf tips start turning brown, and fungal/bacterial infections result in yellow spots aggregation across the leaves.
You will observe that the plant’s growth becomes stunted. New leaves do not pop out, and old ones begin to wilt and fall off.
Over time, as the damp conditions persist, the plant becomes susceptible to root rot. The roots weaken, become mushy, blacken and emanate a foul smell.
This symptom is the final nail in the coffin – your plant is very likely beyond recovery at this stage.
Factors That Contribute To the Symptoms of Overwatering
While it may seem that overwatering results from the apparent act of watering the plant more often than necessary, it is not entirely the case. Yes, it is the primary cause. Still, other additional factors also cause the plant to develop overwatering symptoms.
1. The Size of the Pot
Choosing the correct pot size for your plant is crucial. If a small plant is grown in a large-sized pot, chances are the soil will take a longer time to dry and lose moisture. Wet, soggy soil is a cause of worry for your Peace Lily plant.
2. Pot Material
Want to know the truth why terracotta pots are so highly recommended? It’s because they are porous and allow water to drain out, and hence the soil doesn’t remain permanently damp.
Materials like plastic and ceramic should be avoided as they are non-porous and retain the water for more extended periods.
3. Humidity, Wind, and Temperature
The absorption of water by the roots is directly linked to the rate of transpiration. Transpiration refers to the evaporation of moisture from the aerial parts of leaves. It has a higher rate during hotter seasons when humidity levels are low.
Winds also increase transpiration as they enhance the process of evaporation.
As transpiration occurs, the uptake of water by the roots increases, and thus the soil dries up quickly.
However, in colder seasons, low rates of transpiration inhibit water absorption by roots, and the soil remains mostly wet.
How to Save an Overwatered Peace Lily Plant?
An overwatered Peace Lily plant is not necessarily a lost cause. If the symptoms are identified early-on, the plant can very well be saved.
Let’s have a look at a step-by-step guide on how to save an overwatered Peace Lily plant.
Step 1: Repot the Plant
If you wait for a waterlogged plant to recover from the gradual evaporation of water from its soggy soil, you run the risk of rots and infections it may contract in that time.
Time is of crucial value, and the longer you allow your overwatered plant to stay in that wet soil, the harder the prospect of recovery becomes.
Hence, your very first step is to retrieve the plant from the waterlogged soil and repot it. Ensure that you plant it in a well-drained soil mix.
In case your Peace Lily plant suffered a root rot, repotting it in a new, sterilized pot is essential. If you use the same pot again, the infection can likely recur.
Once again, choose the ideal-sized pot for your plant. Please do not make the mistake of growing it in a large plant with mounds of soil mix, which will cause water to accumulate.
In general, a new packet contains a moist soil mix. Hence, people should avoid watering the plant just after they have repotted it.
It would be best to wait for the roots to zap the soil mix of its moisture and then proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Water the Plant Only When Necessary
Careful watering of a Peace Lily plant is the most crucial ingredient to its healthy growth. You are required to maintain a delicate balance between watering it enough and not leaving it entirely parched.
For this significant task, it is best not to rely on any misleading signs that the plant might provide and use your hand to feel the soil mix.
Dig in two fingers and make a judgment about whether the soil needs watering. If the soil is fully moisture-free, then that’s the cue for you to water your Peace Lily plant.
Step 3: Avoid Using Fertilizers
The last thing a waterlogged plant that is already struggling with life needs is to be fertilized. The added mineral salts can do more harm than good.
You should stay away from fertilizers for a good three months after repotting. Only after the plant has been recovered, its roots re-form, and leaves appear healthy should you turn towards using fertilizers.
Fertilize your plant only once a month during the growing season.
Step 4: Give the Plant Adequate Sunlight Exposure
For healthy growth and development, your plant needs adequate sunlight exposure to carry out photosynthesis.
However, Peace Lilies are sensitive to high levels of direct sunlight. It would help if you tried placing the pot in a shaded area, where the plant gets a substantial amount of indirect sunlight.
Moreover, direct sunlight is even more harmful to weakened plants in recovery. The harsh sunlight causes leaves to get scorched and die.
Step 5: Keep the Plant at Ideal Temperatures
Peace Lilies are typically grown as houseplants as these plants cannot tolerate cold temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
Since your plant needs a quick recovery, place it in a place where the temperature falls in the ideal range of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius).
Step 6: Maintain Appropriate Humidity Levels
Peace Lilies typically thrive in humid tropical habitats.
Keeping them indoors or in gardens where the air is rough and dry inhibits their growth. To prevent them, you can try misting the plant every once in a while in the hot season.
In addition to this, you can also surround the plant with trays of wet pebbles. The evaporation of water from the pebbles keeps the plant’s vicinities humid.
Frequently Asked Questions about Overwatering Peace Lilies
Why is my Peace Lily drooping even after watering?
Drooping leaves are an indication that your Peace Lily plant has likely been overwatered. Excess water clogs up the plant’s air spaces and inhibits its growth as it does not receive sufficient oxygen for respiration. If the leaves develop curled-up brown tips and yellowed edges, you should immediately take steps to recover the plant.
Can a Peace Lily plant recover from overwatering?
If the overwatering symptoms are identified at an early stage, then proper treatment can save the plant. It would be best if you made haste in repotting it, taking adequate care of its basic needs, and watering it with careful consideration.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.