How often do peace lilies need to be watered?
Madison Moulton, a gardening expert, discusses the importance of watering peace lilies, which can enhance any indoor garden, and the recommended frequency for watering them, highlighting the need for proper moisture levels.
A Peace Lily, a fuss-free and favored plant known for its beautiful white blooms, is one of the most beginner-friendly houseplants, making it a great choice for those who first bought or were gifted them.
Watering is a crucial aspect of maintaining the health of these plants, as they require a balance between moisture and soil, ensuring they remain happy year-round, despite their simple care tasks.
This comprehensive guide provides information on watering Peace Lilies, including timings and factors affecting the schedule, ensuring quick and efficient watering.
The Short Answer
|Peace lilies should be watered once a week, with one inch of water, to maintain a moist top layer of soil. Finger tests can be used to assess this. Avoid prolonged soil drying to prevent underwatering and avoid overwatering to prevent root rot diseases. Overwatering can also cause root rot.|
The Long Answer
Peace Lily is a genus of plants in the Arum family, known for their spadix blooms. These plants, along with Alocasias and Philodendrons, are characterized by their spiked structure and white modified leaf, which many mistake for the actual flower.
Spathiphyllum wallisii, commonly known as Peace Lily, is the most common plant found in stores, but there are approximately 50 other species with similar growing requirements.
Houseplants, despite their outdoor potential in tropical climates, are commonly grown indoors, making them ideal gifts for beginners and easy to care for once their needs are understood.
Peace Lilies, as part of the NASA Clean Air study, have demonstrated the ability to remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from homes. This benefit is only achievable with large plants, but they are easy to divide, allowing for easy home filling.
Understanding native habitats can simplify watering, a crucial aspect of their care that many mistakenly overlook.
The genus is native to Central and South America, growing on tropical rainforest floors, thriving in the moisture, humidity, and heat. The shade from trees makes them suitable for low-light homes, although they may not flower as prolifically.
Rainforests are naturally moist, with humidity levels of 90% or higher during the rainy season. The soil on the forest floor is rich and moist, but not waterlogged. Short rain bursts saturate the soil, leaving roots moist but oxygen-rich.
Peace Lilies require frequent watering due to their unique conditions, but drainage is also crucial as they don’t tolerate prolonged standing water in their native habitats.
How Often Do Peace Lilies Need Water?
Indoor gardeners, particularly beginners with limited houseplants, prefer a set watering schedule, such as once a week for Peace Lilies, increasing frequency in summer due to higher temperatures.
Indoor gardeners, particularly those with few houses, often don’t adhere to a strict schedule due to environmental changes. Peace Lilies, for example, prefer a watering schedule of once per week, increasing frequency in summer when temperatures are higher. This practice can be influenced by changes in their environment.
A schedule can be helpful for forgetting to water plants, but it overlooks soil moisture levels. Factors like soil drying speed and day-to-day changes can affect it. A schedule can lead to underwatering or overwatering, causing growth issues.
Keep the soil moist and dry every few days, watering when the top layer drys out. Avoid waiting too long to prevent wilting and yellowing, and water when the soil is still moist to prevent root rot.
The right levels of drainage in soil and pots are crucial for maintaining airflow around roots, providing oxygen, and preventing disease. Excess water should flow freely between soil particles and out of drainage holes, ensuring optimal root health.
To prevent damage to plants, use an airy houseplant potting mix with perlite and coconut coir, and choose a container with drainage holes at the bottom, or drill your own for optimal drainage.
How Much Water Do They Need?
Watering plants is a complex process that requires careful consideration of factors such as plant size, growth speed, and soil moisture levels. Measuring water using jugs is not an exact science, and therefore, the question of “how much water” is not the correct one.
To ensure complete soil saturation, add water until it runs from drainage holes, as it’s difficult to determine the soil’s condition at the bottom of the pot, as it indicates all parts of the soil are watered.
Watering a pot evenly is crucial, as it prevents water from concentrating in one area, causing the drainage holes to remain dry on one side and potentially causing the roots on the other side to remain dry.
Soil compacted or too dry can cause water from drainage holes to be less effective in indicating soil saturation, as compacted soil becomes hydrophobic, resisting moisture, and water will flow down the sides and out the bottom.
Bottom watering is a superior method for compacted soil. Place the pot in a container or sink, allowing the soil to draw moisture from the drainage holes at the bottom. The dry soil absorbs moisture until it covers all areas. After 30 minutes, remove the pot, drain excess, and replace the plant.
Factors That Impact Watering Schedules
Watering times for plants are constantly changing due to environmental factors. Monitor moisture levels in the soil and monitor any changes that can affect them daily, as they are not completely set.
Peace Lilies are highly recommended plants for low-light areas, adapting to most lighting levels except direct sun, and thrive best in bright indirect indoor light.
The amount of sunlight a plant receives significantly influences its watering frequency. Low light conditions cause soil moisture to evaporate slower and the plant to grow slower, requiring less water for photosynthesis. Therefore, watering frequency should be reduced to maintain consistent soil moisture levels without overwatering.
Higher-light areas can cause moisture to evaporate faster, requiring your Peace Lily to be watered more than once per week. The intensity of the light source and its impact on soil moisture levels determine the need for watering.
After placing your plant in its ideal spot, it’s important to assess the impact of light levels on soil moisture content for a better understanding of when to water it weekly.
Test the soil before watering, even with a general estimate, and wait a couple of days if the top layer feels moist before watering again.
Temperature and season significantly impact watering frequency for Peace Lilies, which require warm temperatures of around 75F for successful growth. However, indoor temperatures can vary, and periods of higher temperatures, particularly in summer, can cause soil drying out faster. To avoid overwatering, watering should be increased, potentially twice a week or more. Sudden temperature drops can slow evaporation and slow growth, absorbing less water than normal. Seasonal changes occur, with lower temperatures in fall and winter requiring water once every two weeks, increasing in spring and summer. Monitor the temperaturemeter to understand its impact on soil.
Water is crucial for photosynthesis, and Peace Lilies growing quickly require more frequent watering. Factors like light and fertilization can affect plant growth, so it’s essential to use judgment and frequent soil checks to determine the rate of moisture absorption from the soil.
do you know: 17 incredible peace lily benefits
Signs of Overwatering
Overwatering, particularly in Peace Lilies, can lead to root rot, suffocating roots and preventing moisture absorption. Signs include yellowing leaves, wilting, and soft stems. Roots below the soil line become soft, rotting and preventing nutrient absorption. Soil stays moist or soggy for longer periods, exacerbating the problem. To prevent overwatering, allow soil to dry out before watering again, repot wilting plants into fresh, well-draining soil, trim rotten roots, and ensure the new container has enough drainage holes to prevent future issues.
Signs of Underwatering
Watering is a serious issue that can cause plants to wilt and fall over due to a lack of water in their cells. If left unchecked, the leaves’ edges will turn brown, and existing flowers may also dry up. Low humidity can also cause brown tips. Compressed, dry soil is another sign of underwatering. To address this, water the plant from the bottom to completely saturate the soil. If the damage hasn’t killed off any roots, the leaves should start growing upright within a few hours.
The summary is:
Watering is crucial for Peace Lily growth, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Monitor soil moisture levels, improve drainage, and monitor signs of over and underwatering to ensure proper watering.