Peace lilies are trendy houseplants and it’s important to be aware of how to take care of them before bringing one into your home. They tend to be hardy and tolerant, but it’s still possible to kill one if you don’t look after it properly. With that in mind, here is how often you should water peace lilies.
Peace lilies should be watered about once a week in most cases, but it is important to check whether your plant needs a drink before you give it water, or you may cause root rot. The climate that you live in and the season will affect how frequently you should water the peace lily.
Peace lilies don’t like to have wet feet, but they also don’t like to be dried out – so you need to be careful about watering your plant. With the right level of water, you’ll keep it happy and healthy.
How Often Should You Water A Peace Lily?
How often your peace lily needs water will depend heavily on a number of factors, including:
- The size of the plant
- The size of the container
- The seasons
- The amount of airflow in the room
- The ambient humidity
- How well the container drains
- The substrate used
Because all of these factors will alter how quickly your peace lily dries out, it’s important to use some judgment when deciding whether your peace lily needs water or not, and although you can use a week as a rough guide, you shouldn’t depend upon it completely.
If you water your plant once a week, without checking the soil, it is likely to get sick and die.
You should always check whether your peace lily is ready for a drink before you give it one, and you might want to do this several times a week to make sure it isn’t drying out. By pushing the tip of your finger to an inch below the surface of the soil you can check how dry the soil is and understand if the peace lily is thirsty.
If the soil feels dry and crumbly, it’s time to give your peace lily a drink. If it feels wet, your plant is not yet ready for water. If the soil is only a little damp, wait for a couple of days and check again. Peace lilies like to be kept fairly damp, and this method of checking will help to ensure your plant gets everything it needs.
How Does Plant Size Affect Watering?
A large peace lily will naturally need more water than a small one. Make sure that you are taking size into account, and providing enough water to saturate the soil, no matter how big your plant gets.
When your peace lily is tiny, it will probably only need a small amount of water each week, but as it grows, it may need watering more regularly and in larger doses.
How Does Container Size Affect Watering?
A large container can make it harder to judge whether your plant needs a drink or not, because the surface of the soil may dry out while there’s still plenty of water in the bottom. Be careful if your peace lily is in a large pot.
You can lift the pot up and poke a finger through one of the drainage holes to see how wet it is. Some dampness is fine, but if the soil still feels very wet, don’t give your plant another drink straight away.
Small containers will dry out much faster than big ones, so bear this in mind when you are watering your peace lily. A large container can stay suitably damp for a lot longer than a small one.
How Do The Seasons Affect Watering?
You might be able to work out a schedule for keeping your peace lily watered, but you need to remember that as the seasons change, this schedule must change too. The seasons have a big impact on your plant’s environment and will radically alter how much water it needs.
For example, in summer, the weather is hotter and the air is dryer, meaning that water will evaporate from the plant’s container far more quickly. Additionally, the peace lily will grow more quickly, and therefore need more water to support itself.
In the winter, the weather is cooler and sometimes wetter (depending on your climate and the conditions in your home), and your peace lily may grow more slowly. This will mean that it needs far less water, and you need to cut back on how much you offer.
Thus, it’s important to take seasonal changes into account and always check whether your plant needs a drink before supplying one. It will let you know if the evaporation rate has been slower than you would normally expect it to be.
How Does Airflow Affect Watering?
If your peace lily is in a room with an air conditioning unit or where the windows are frequently open, it will dry out more quickly than if it is in a room with minimal airflow. Airflow is good for preventing root rot and fungal diseases, but it will mean that you need to water your plant more often.
The more plants you have surrounding your peace lily, the longer it will take to dry out because the humidity will be higher.
How Does Humidity Affect Watering?
Humidity can make a big difference to watering; a plant that is kept in a humid environment will need less water in its soil and will be at greater risk of root rot.
If you keep your peace lily in your bathroom where people shower on a daily basis, you’ll find that it needs less water than a peace lily being kept in the kitchen.
How Does Drainage Affect Watering?
Make sure that there are good drainage holes in your peace lily’s container, or it is very likely to get root rot. The more drainage there is, the faster the peace lily will dry out.
Bear this in mind when you choose your container and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
How Does The Substrate Affect Watering?
Peace Lilies should be kept in a mixture of substrates.
Suitable options include potting compost, coco coir, loam, worm castings, pine bark, and more. If you use lots of non-absorbent materials, such as pine bark, your peace lily will need watering more frequently than if you use absorbent materials, such as compost.
You will probably find a substrate blend that works well for your needs, but if you change the ratios, remember that this will affect watering times.
What Are The Signs That Your Peace Lily Isn’t Getting The Right Amount Of Water?
If your peace lily is getting the wrong amount of water, you are likely to see some of the following symptoms:
- Drooping leaves
- Yellowing leaves
- Blackening or browning tips to the leaves
Surprisingly, these issues may occur with both over-watering and under-watering. The reason that both show the same symptoms is that over-watering will cause your peace lily’s roots to rot and stop it from taking up water – so it is essentially getting under-watered, even though it has access to lots of water.
If you see your peace lily wilting, the first thing to do is to check the soil’s moisture levels by pushing your finger below the surface. If the soil is dry, you’ll need to give the plant a drink, and if it’s wet, you might need to dry your plant out.
How Do You Know If Your Peace Lily Is Too Dry?
If your peace lily is too dry, you’ll be able to see it in the signs described above. Peace lilies usually have glossy, bright, stiff leaves, and if these are starting to turn limp and floppy, it’s a good sign that your plant is low on water. Equally, if you see brown edges to the leaves, your plant may be dying of thirst.
You should always check the soil if your plant is looking dried out. If it looks dry, push your finger into the soil and feel the moisture levels. You can also pick the container up; if it’s very light, the plant is likely to be thirsty.
You should bear in mind that peace lilies like quite a humid environment, and if your peace lily has been in a dry room, you might want to mist it. You can get a plant sprayer and just lightly spritz the soil and leaves every few days to help rehydrate the leaves.
What Should You Do If Your Peace Lily Is Too Dry?
The most obvious solution to a dry peace lily is to provide water, but you may sometimes need to do a bit more than this if the peace lily has got very dry.
Sometimes, particularly dry soil doesn’t take up water very well, because there’s so much air in it. You may see the water running around the edges of the container, rather than soaking into it.
If this has happened, you should stand your peace lily in your sink and fill the sink with water. Leave the plant in the water for around 5 minutes, and then lift it out. This should fully saturate the soil and make sure that the peace lily’s roots get fully rehydrated.
Once the plant is out of the water, stand it on a tray to drain, and empty the tray about an hour later. Your peace lily doesn’t want to stand in water for too long, but this should make sure it has had a good drink. You will probably see the leaves regaining their stiffness and robustness over the next few hours.
If any leaves have died as a result of under-watering, you may wish to remove the leaves using some sterile scissors. This will encourage the plant to focus its energy on growing new, healthy leaves.
How Do You Know If Your Peace Lily Is Too Wet?
If your peace lily is too wet, you will also see similar symptoms, with the leaves wilting, turning yellow or brown, and generally looking sick. Depending on how long your peace lily has been too wet, the stems may start to turn black and mushy.
You should do the same soil test described above. If the soil is very wet, you may have over-watered your peace lily, and its roots may have started rotting. This is serious and could result in your plant dying, so you’ll need to sort it out as soon as possible.
What Should You Do If Your Peace Lily Is Too Wet?
You will need to remove your peace lily from its soil and dry it out a bit if it’s very wet. Start by tipping the plant onto a sheet of newspaper and brushing the soil off the plant’s roots. Next, inspect the roots.
A peace lily’s roots should be creamy and firm, so if you see any mushy roots, you have over-watered your peace lily. You will need to use sterile scissors to cut away the rotten roots, and then you should dry the rest as much as possible, and replant the peace lily using fresh soil.
This will hopefully save your peace lily, which will otherwise die. Rotten roots are a major threat to your plant’s survival, so if you think you might have over-watered your peace lily, make sure you do this as soon as possible.
Learn more about this topic in this article: Peace Lily Root Rot – 8 Warning Signs and How To Fix It.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how often you should water peace lilies. An average estimate says that once a week should be fine, but check whether your plant needs a drink before giving it one, and remember to take all the variables into account. Things like the seasons, the pot size, the humidity, and the substrate will all affect a peace lily’s watering needs.