Peace lilies are popular indoor plants that are beautiful, hardy, and easy to grow. They aren’t true lilies (Lilium species), but rather Spathiphyllum species, that have a different type of flowers and foliage. The peace lily got its name from its distinctive features, spathe, and phyllos, the Greek word for leaf.
Even though peace lilies are generally easy to grow, they do present a few problems. The most common problem relates to improper watering – either giving the plants too much or too little water. There are no hard and fast rules on how often you should water your peace lily plants, but there are some useful guidelines we are going to provide in this plant care guide.
How often do you water indoor peace lilies?
When watering peace lilies indoors, you need to be guided by various factors. These include the size of the plant, the pot it’s in, the temperature, humidity levels, and the amount of light it receives.
But, on average, peace lily plants kept indoors need to be watered about once a week during the growing season. In winter and in the fall, you need to water less frequently, perhaps every 10-14 days.
How often do you water outdoor peace lilies?
Peace lilies are mainly grown as indoor plants because they are sensitive to cold temperatures and frost. However, in tropical and subtropical regions with mild winters, they can be grown outdoors all year round.
If you are growing peace lilies outdoors in a suitable climate, how often you water your plants will depend on various factors including rainfall and climatic conditions. How much you water will also depend on the location in which your peace lily plants are growing.
They prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate some morning sun. If the plants are exposed to intense sunlight, they may require more frequent watering to compensate for increased evaporation.
Peace lilies should be grown in good-quality soil that drains well. If you have very sandy soil, you might need to water the plants a bit more often.
In general, you should water about once or twice per week in spring and summer. In the cooler months, you can reduce water frequency to fortnightly.
To test whether your peace lilies need water, stick your finger into about an inch of the soil they are growing in. If the soil is dry, then water the plant.
What is the best way to water peace lilies?
When watering potted peace lilies, it’s best to use water that is at room temperature. Pour the water slowly and evenly onto the soil in the pot until it starts to drain out of the bottom of the pot.
This will ensure that the entire root ball is evenly moistened. Once you have water, don’t let the pot sit in water as it can easily result in root rot.
Indoor-grown peace lilies appreciate misting because this imitates the effect of high humidity. But you cannot substitute misting for watering. You must still water your plants regularly.
You basically do the same thing in the garden, watering slowly and deeply. This will ensure that the entire root system receives sufficient moisture. Avoid overhead watering because it can damage the flowers and promote fungal growth.
The best time to water is in the morning so that the plants can absorb moisture before the heat of the day. Avoid watering in the late afternoon or evening, as this can promote fungal growth and disease development.
How do you know when a peace lily needs water?
Generally, a peace lily plant will thrive in any well-drained potting mix. The horticultural specialists at the Clemson Cooperative Extension Home & Garden Information Center advise that the soil should be kept moist.
But they warn that it should not become soggy and should be allowed to dry out a little between waterings. The caveat is that if the potting dries out too much, the edges of a piece lily plant’s leaves will start to turn yellow. The plant will also start to wilt, indicating it needs water.
David Graper, Professor Emeritus of Horticulture Science at South Dakota State University Extension, says the yellowing may also mean the plant needs nitrogen fertilizer. In his experience, the two problems people have growing peace lily plants relate to “improper watering and fertilizing.”
While overwatering house plants is more common than under-watering them, with peace lilies, it can be a big problem. When the tips or margins of leaves get brown, watering may not be enough.
Instead, you may need to repot the plant. Turn the pot upside down and tap it to loosen the soil and plant.
If the roots are packed tightly around the root ball, repot it in a larger pot with additional potting soil. Then water it well.
How much water does a peace lily need?
Peace lilies prefer consistently moist soil. So, water the plant thoroughly until you see water draining out from the bottom of the pot.
Your aim is to ensure that the soil is evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Then let the soil dry and only water when the top layer of soil is completely dry.
Remember that it’s crucial to strike the right balance between keeping the soil consistently moist and avoiding waterlogging. Regularly checking the soil moisture and adjusting your watering routine accordingly is the caring peace lily needs to stay healthy.
What are the signs of overwatering peace lily?
Several common signs should alert you if you are watering peace lilies too much. These include wilting (which also happens if you don’t water enough), yellowing leaves, soft or mushy stems, leaf drops, and slow growth.
You also need to realize how water affects the soil. For instance, too much moisture can result in mold and fungal growth.
Overwatered soil may emit a foul, stagnant smell due to anaerobic conditions caused by a lack of oxygen around the roots.
It can be a challenge balancing too little with too much water needed by peace lilies. But experience will help you get the algorithm right.
You need to weigh up all the factors at any one particular time. Then ask yourself how often should you be watering them.
Remember that you are not alone in terms of risking improper watering. But by adjusting your watering habits if you need to, your peace lily has a good chance of recovering from under or over-watering and regaining its health.