The peace lily is a water-thirsty houseplant to add beauty and improve your indoor air quality. It also improves our mood as well.
It needs regular watering to flourish but the consequence of an overwatered peace lily is wilting and yellow leaves. It will kill it if no immediate actions are taken.
If you have never faced this problem, it can be tricky! I used to think—hey! is my peace lily overwatered or underwatered?
That’s okay to be confused when you see wilting peace lily for the first time. In this article, I will talk about it including how to fix it quickly.
What Does An Overwatered Peace Lily Look Like?
Before you can take any action like repotting or making holes in the pot, you should first identify whether it’s truly overwatered or not.
You can easily understand whether it’s over or underwatered just by looking at it. This is what you should do…
If you notice the early signs of drooping peace lily leaves which will pale over time and turn yellowish, it’s a surefire sign.
Without showing any sign of growth, the tips of the leaves will develop a brown color including water blisters.
The roots of the peace lily will turn mushy and rot and its leaves will shrivel up. If you continuously keep it overwatered for a long time, leaf edema will occur.
In short, the below-mentioned symptoms indicate that your peace lily is suffering from overwatering:
- Drooping & wilting leaves.
- Brown-edged and yellowing leaves.
- Skimpy appearances of the roots.
- Brown leaf tips.
- Weak and black roots.
- Stunted growth.
Just because you have a wilting peace lily does not necessarily mean it’s overwatered. Lots of other factors like direct sun exposure and low humidity may contribute to this.
However, you can save your peace lilies most of the time if you take the right systematic approach involving repotting, proper plant care, optimal watering, and so on.
What Contributes To Symptoms of Peace Lily Overwatering?
They feed and flourish on regular watering. So, why they react negatively when it comes to overwatering, or what constitutes overwatering?
If there is a proper drainage system in the pot, a little extra watering should not cause such big trouble.
Let’s check some of these factors that lead to the symptoms of overwatering.
- Pot Size
Soggy and wet soil is the reason why your peace lily is damaged. And this has a lot to do with the size of the pot it’s planted.
If you choose a large-sized pot for a small peace lily, it will take a longer time for the soil to dry. So, the soil keeps wet and soggy for a long time which is bad for the plant.
- Material of Pot
Damp soil in the pot for a longer time will lead to root rot of the peace lily. And certain materials of the pot won’t allow the water to drain out properly.
You can solve the waterlogged problem if you use terracotta pots. They are porous and drain out water quickly.
If you must use the old pot after sanitization, make sure to make some holes in the pot to ensure proper drainage.
- Temperature & Humidity Level
It may sound a little bit technical, so let me explain it easily. Your peace lily requires less water during the cold season and higher during the summer.
Now, let’s get technical…
How much water the roots of your peace lily can absorb depends on the rate of transpiration.
This fancy term simply indicates the moisture evaporation from the aerial parts of the peace lily leaves.
So, your peace lily can evaporate a higher amount of moisture during the summer and a lower amount of it during the winter. Hence, it requires watering accordingly!
Why Overwatering Is Bad For Peace Lily?
Overwatering leads to soggy conditions and soggy conditions lead to oxygen supply cut off. Your peace lily can’t survive and grow without an adequate oxygen supply.
Apart from the above reasons, why overwatering is too bad for your peace lily:
- Overwatering Chokes Roots
Not every plant can’t survive the swampy condition when there is too much water at the root level for a long time.
The soaked soil conditions resulting from the overwatering will make the breathing for the roots very hard. Nothing can function properly when they can’t breathe normally.
As the roots are choked, they can’t take necessary nutrients and water for the growth of the peace lily.
- It leads To Many Fungal Diseases
Overwatering leads to roots rot and due to the poor root system, the overall health of your peace lily will deteriorate. Many types of fungi will attack your peace lily quickly when the health is poor.
Poor health condition attracts many diseases like the following:
Fixing An Overwatered Peace Lily
It’s not a gone case! And you should try to restore this amazing air cleaning indoor plant. If you can detect the signs earlier, you can bring them back to life.
Once you are confident that the reasons for yellow leaves, stunted growth, and wilting peace lily is overwatering, it’s time to revive them back!
Follow all the steps mentioned-below to bring your peace lily back from the ultimate demise:
- Plant Repotting
You are risking infections and root rots if you do nothing about the waterlogged plant hoping the evaporation will do the magic.
In reality, it’s not.
You need to act FAST! The recovery will get harder the longer you wait and keep the overwatered plant in the wet soil.
Immediately retrieve the plant from the waterlogged pot and repot it. And you need to re-pot it in a well-drained soil mix.
Usually, such a new soil mix is moist already. So, avoid watering it immediately after repotting.
Do not use the same pot again unless you sterilize it well. You should not use the same pot if your peace lily suffers from root rot already to avoid re-infection.
If you plan to get new pots, make sure to get the right size. Don’t make the same mistake twice where using a large pot for a small plant will lead to water accumulate.
- Water It When Necessary
To ensure the healthy growth of your peace lily, you must be careful while watering it. That’s a very crucial requirement.
Optimal watering is the most delicate part when it comes to the healthy growth of houseplants like peace lily. You can’t keep it parched or overwater it. The balance is very delicate.
You can’t afford to rely on any guesswork and take actions based on misleading signs. You should use your hand to feel the soil mix before you can understand whether you should water it or not.
You can judge whether it needs water or not by digging your finger in the soil. If the soil feels moisture-free, your peace lily needs water.
If you have a lot of peace lily, I strongly recommend getting a water sensor. That’s a foolproof way to know exactly when it needs watering.
The water sensor works as a thermometer for the soil where it measures the water level. You simply stick its end into the soil and read the water level.
The ideal reading is 7. If the reading goes around 4, you need to water your peace lily. No need to water it if the reading exceeds 7.
If you plan to travel, you can get watering globes that last up to 14 days to keep your peace lilies hydrated when you are not home.
I usually water my peace lily only when the leaves are slightly wilted and avoid watering it at night by all means. Watering at night leads to the disease for most houseplants.
- Treat The Diseases
Any signs beyond the symptoms of overwatering indicate disease infection. To determine exactly what disease, you should have some samples tested. The lab will then recommend specific treatment for the disease.
- Cut off Affected Leaves & Roots
Cut the affected leaves off at the base of the stem if you are 100% sure they are suffering from diseases.
Trim off the affected roots as well and use charcoal to disinfect the rest of the root system.
- Beware of Using Fertilizer
Do not apply fertilizer for the next 3 months after repotting your peace lilies.
Applying fertilizer to your waterlogged peace lily will faster its death only. The extra mineral salts from the fertilizer will do irrecoverable damage.
After the 3-months period, if your peace lily fully revives, the roots start to re-appear and leaves seem healthy, you can decide to apply fertilizer only if it makes sense.
You should use fertilizer during the growing season of your peace lily and it has to be only once a month.
- Ensure Adequate Sunlight
I am not talking about direct exposure to the sun but make sure it gets some light! Without the presence of adequate light, it can’t carry out photosynthesis.
Extreme heat from the direct sunlight will not only deter the recovery but also lead to scorched and dead leaves.
To avoid the direct sun, you can place the pots in a shaded where it still gets subtle light (indirect sunlight).
- Keep in Ideal Temperature
If you keep it below the temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, your peace lily can’t tolerate it. Remember, these are tropical plants.
For the quick revival, your peace lily needs an ideal temperature range between 18-27 degrees Celsius.
Among all the above steps, transplantation is the most vital step to bring your overwatered houseplants back to life. So, watch the video with your full concentration to understand it fully.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I know if I’m overwatering my plants?
Answer: Observe the following signs closely:
- If the leaves start to turn brown and tilt, most possibly you are overwatering it.
- Root rot.
- The peace lily looks wilted but the soil is wet.
- Edema. It’s a condition when water pressure keeps building in the internal cells of leaves and causes them to burst!
- Yellowing and falling leaves.
Are yellow leaves a sign of overwatering?
Answer: Yes, and it’s also the sign of underwatering as well.
How do you tell if underwatering vs overwatering?
Answer: Dig your index finger into the soil. If it’s wet or moist, it’s overwatered. But if it’s dry, it’s underwatered.
Is overwatering worse than underwatering?
Answer: Both of them are equally bad for the houseplants like peace lily.
Can an overwatered plant be saved?
Answer: Yes but only if you can detect the early signs of overwatering and take immediate actions like repotting.
How do you revive an overwatered peace lily?
Answer: Repotting is the immediate action you can take with a brand new soil mix. Then ensure indirect sunlight exposure keeping it in a shadowy area.
How long does it take for an overwatered plant to heal?
Answer: Depending on the level of damage, it takes more or less 10 days to see a sign of recovery after repotting.
As you have seen, fixing an overwatered peace lily involves a lot of work. It’s worth the hassle for its captivating appearance. But you can prevent such a situation if you do this right from the beginning.
Before you become excited about any tropical houseplants, learn about their basics first. This will save you tons of time in the future.