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Is Your Beautiful Peace Lily Drooping? Causes And Treatments

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The Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is a popular, easy-to-care-for houseplant. They’re popular as low-light plants, but they do occasionally droop.

A drooping Peace Lily is typically due to dry soil and low humidity. As tropical plants, peace lilies thrive in damp environments. If you keep a Peace lily inside, the dry air will cause the tips of the leaves to turn brown, and the plant will look limp.

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Why Do Roses Droop?
Why Do Roses Droop?

The Cause of Drooping Peace Lilies In A Nutshell

There could be one of seven reasons for your Peace Lily drooping, or several combined to cause your peace lily plants distress:

  • Above-average indoor temperatures
  • Too much direct sunlight
  • Temperature fluctuations
  • Low humidity
  • Compromised root health
  • Soil moisture levels
  • Nutritional Deficiency

High Indoor Temperatures

High indoor temperatures (above 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius)) can potentially cause your peace lily to droop.

Elevated temperatures dehydrate leaves, causing loss of turgidity, causing the leaves to become flaccid; the cause for your peace lily drooping.

 In layman’s terms, that means that the water pressure in the leaves has dropped, and the peace lily’s leaves cannot remain erect.

The speed at which the water evaporates from the leaves is faster than what the soil can supply.

Too Much Sunlight

Remember that your peace lily plant prefers lower light. It is one of the reasons why it’s so popular, your ability to keep this plant in a low-light room without developing droopy leaves.

Unlike most indoor plants, drooping leaves are usually caused by too much direct sun.

The leaves will become distressed if placed in direct sunlight, and your peace lily will start drooping.

If temperatures are not excessively high and your peace lily is drooping, bright direct sunlight could be a potential cause. 

Peace lilies do poorly in too much direct sunlight. I advise you to keep them away from the direct sun, even if it’s filtered.

A drooping peace lily is a sure sign of excessive light. It is one of the few plants that will blossom in low light.

Temperature Fluctuations

Another reason for your peace lily drooping is if you place it in a draft. It’s like me in that respect; we don’t like constant change.

Consider your peace lily when you open the window for a draft to move through on hot days. It’s great for us, but it could cause your peace lily some stress.

Try to keep your peace lilies in an environment that remains constant.

Temperatures above 85 °F (30 °C) and cold below 55 degrees  (13 °C) can be distressing.

Furthermore, keeping your pot plants in a single location is advisable. Constant moving can cause shock, as evident in your drooping peace lily.

Low Humidity

Your Spathiphyllum is used to living near water under considerable shade (deep shade).

Native to Mexico, Western Pacific, tropical America, and Malaysia, the peace lily loves tropical environments with high humidity, ideally above 60% relative humidity. 

While an air conditioner can provide some relief for people, it generally causes relative humidity levels to drop to as low as ten percent.

This is much lower than the peace lily can cope with. The lower humidity level accelerates the rate at which the leaf loses moisture.

As we have seen above, loss of leaf moisture causes loss of turgidity, which causes wilting peace lilies.

Low humidity accelerates leaf moisture loss, causing them to droop and the leaf tips turning brown (dying of thirst).

Although a spray bottle can shield the leaves with a mist, it does little to change the relative humidity.

If you have several aroids that typically need higher humidity levels, consider investing in a humidifier. 

Compromised Root Health

After being repotted, a peace lily’s leaves may droop and turn yellow if the plant is moved into a much larger pot or if the soil is too compacted.

Larger pots contain more soil and therefore hold more moisture, which causes the soil to dry out too slowly for the peace lily’s roots to tolerate, which results in drooping leaves. 

Compacted soil holds less water and thus needs watering more often, a situation difficult to manage. There are as many as nine potential causes for yellowing leaves or root rot, including:

  1. Root health is the primary cause of a droopy peace lily.
  2. Nutritional imbalance
  3. Environmental stressors
  4. Over-fertilization
  5. Insect infestation
  6. Bacterial or Fungal Infections
  7. Iron Availability due to incorrect soil pH
  8. Drought or high temperatures  
  9. Natural aging

Peace lily leaves, especially the lower ones, can turn yellow if the plant’s roots use up all the soil’s nutrients. Alternatively, if the soil lacks nutrients, the plant may develop yellow leaves preceded by drooping leaves.

If your peace lily soil doesn’t get the opportunity to dry out occasionally or isn’t well-draining soil, then moisture builds up until it becomes soggy soil.

We will review an ideal soil mix below.  For now, suffice it to say that most peace lily deaths are because of poor soil conditions and watering before your soil dries.

Soil Moisture Levels

On the other end of the spectrum is soil that is too dry.

Water is a critical component of photosynthesis; water, carbon dioxide, and light are needed for the plant in its autotrophic production of glucose.

Insufficient water is as bad as excess water. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know by merely looking for wilting leaves on your peace lily. 

If there’s too little water, the pressure in the leaves drops, becoming limp.

On the other hand, if the roots are drowning, the xylem’s functionality is compromised and cannot supply the leaves with water, causing your peace lily to seem underwatered.

The only way you can be sure of your peace lily’s root health is if you get your hands dirty, stick your finger in the soil, and check that it’s dry before watering.

You need to do this regularly to prevent your peace lily from having to survive in a dust bowl.

After being watered, peace lily leaves may still droop.

Excess water or poor drainage causes the soil around the roots to become saturated. Peace lily leaves may droop despite watering if the potting soil is too wet and not well-drained enough for the plants. It’s important to note that an overwatered peace lily can appear underwatered.

Nutritional Deficiency

The most common nutrient problem of chlorosis and wilting leaves in peace lilies is a lack of iron, but yellowing may also be caused by manganese, zinc, or nitrogen deficiencies.

Iron becomes more insoluble and less available to plants as soil pH goes above 6.5 to 6.0. Peace lilies need a pH of between 6.0 and 8.0.

High amounts of other elements such as calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, or copper in the soil can make iron unavailable to the plant. A shortage of potassium in the plant will also reduce iron availability. 

Insufficient iron in the soil may also be the cause. Based on a soil test, the pH can be lowered by adding sulfur or applying the appropriate nutrients.

Foliar applications of water-soluble or chelated nutrients can temporarily resolve the issue. However, it only helps the leaves present during application.

Several treatments per growing season may be necessary to keep the foliage green.

Peace lilies (called so because of their white spathe flowers that look like the white flag of peace) are not expected to cause drooping eaves, but I mention it so that you know it might be the cause. if you’ve done everything else and your peace lilies are still drooping, check their nutrition, but don’t overdo nitrogen applications—it’s counterproductive.

Peace lilies are one of the few plants that have no variegation.

They’re designed to survive in humid, low-light conditions, needing all the green available to extract the needed light energy for photosynthesis.

For peace lilies, too much fertilizer is a more like scenario under fertilization. 

The Importance of Good Potting Soil

Peace Lily Potting Soil

Is your peace lily drooping? Start with the soil. Peace lilies need well-draining soil or a potting mix (organic and inorganic mix) in containers with more than one drainage hole.

Treat yourself to a new pot, preferably terracotta, that drains well.

The optimal potting mix is achieved by balancing the organic and inorganic content. 

Store-bought potting soil is often a good starting point but may require some adjustment to support the plant’s root system.

Never use new soil from the garden unless you bake it for 30 minutes are a temperature of about 150 °F (65 °C) to eliminate any pathogenic risks.

A great mixture is about 50% organic material (that helps retain some water and boosts soil biology) and 50% inorganic matter (that helps water drain faster and trap some air even when the soil is saturated).

While sphagnum moss is often suggested as a starting point, I find coconut coir a better option. Peat moss is hard to wet once dry and often needs double-soaking—increasing the risk of root rot.

Adding coarser organic materials is clever; stuff like fine bark or hardwood compost works well.

They’re slow at decaying and don’t collapse the mix, helping the soil breathe and drain faster, preventing root rot.

Another possible reason for peace lily drooping is root-bound pots when the root ball has maxed out its growth potential, putting the entire plant at risk.

Unattended, the pot’s drainage holes will get blocked, and you risk the dreaded root rot taking hold. 

If you’re planting a cutting or growing plants you bought from a store, always start with a fresh soil mix if you’re repotting drooping peace lily plants, whether because of root rot or whatever reason, check for insect infestations and deal with those first.

Use your homemade, well-draining soil in a pot that is just a little larger than the previous pot. After planting, water the plant generously and drain the pot through the drainage holes.

Place the peace lily in a medium-light area free of drafts to help it cope with some transplant shock.

FAQs

In Summary

Preventing root rot is more accessible than curing it and is the most probable cause for your peace lily drooping.

This beautiful indoor plant can bloom in low light conditions but need healthy soil to prevent cylindrocladium root rot from developing. Too little water, and they suffer.

Any water is too much for soil that doesn’t drain well, making root rot inevitable. That’s why always start with the soil for droopy leaves in any plant—where the roots rot.

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