Ask a Question forum→What's wrong with my peace lily?

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California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 3:35 PM CST
I've had this peace lily for about a week now. When it came, it looked healthy and upright. Now its leaves are drooping. I thought about watering it but the top of the soil and the soil through the drainage holes is always moist when I feel it. Should I water? I have it in moderate light and it has a tray filled with water around it to help with humidity. What am I doing wrong? Should I replant it in a bigger pot? Any help would be appreciated!

When it first came:
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Thumb of 2020-05-11/Idontknowatall/457ed4
Now:
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Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
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gardenfish
May 11, 2020 3:58 PM CST
I'm not seeing any cause for concern yet. The leaves positions in the third pic look like they are supposed to to me. The leaves were in an upright position because the plant was in a plastic sleeve. It would be a good idea to remove it out of the foil and place it on a regular plant saucer.
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Mother Teresa
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 4:09 PM CST
Okay, great! So should I water now or wait a bit? I've never watered it before which means the plant was probably moist when it shipped. It's in a regular 4 inch plastic pot right now with a lot of drainage holes. I cut the foil a week ago. I'm kind of worried because the soil doesn't seem to be drying. Thank you!
Thumb of 2020-05-11/Idontknowatall/efe319

Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
May 11, 2020 4:46 PM CST
This plant will let you know when it needs watering because it will wilt alarmingly, but I wouldn't wait that long. It needs to be pretty dry before you water again, so try this trick; lift the pot in your hand to get the feel of the weight of it now while it's wet, then lift it in about a week from now and see if it's considerably lighter. It's kind of hard to get used to their watering schedule; they don't want to be waterlogged, and they don't like it too dry.
If you are going to err, err on the side of a little dry. Keeping it too wet can rot the roots!
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 5:22 PM CST
Okay, cool trick! Thank You!
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 11, 2020 5:29 PM CST
Your Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) looks fine to me. I've never had one with an upward growth habit and I'm thinking the leaves on your plant were originally in that position because of the way nurseries wrap plants to pack them tightly and truck them to the garden centers. I've been at garden centers of big box stores many times and watched them unload hundreds of plants, packed tightly in brown craft paper with the leaves in the upward position. Once they are unwrapped and have time to acclimate to the surrounding light and temperature, the leaves drop to their normal habit.

You did good by cutting the foil away from the bottom of the pot, otherwise it would be holding water and likely rotting the roots. Peace Lilies like water but they also need good air circulation and oxygen around their roots. I have three that I've had for years, the one in my photo below has actually been sitting down in the water of a fountain for the past 3 years; the roots have grown out the bottom of the pot into the water but the plant is quite happy and healthy and there are no issues of root rot because the water is constantly moving.
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[Last edited by plantladylin - May 11, 2020 5:31 PM (+)]
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California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 6:11 PM CST
Your peace lilies look so happy! Smiling Yes, mine came from the nursery. Glad to hear that it's a normal growth habit! I never see a lake of water or even drops on its saucer though. It's like the soil is soft and moist but there's never water dripping on the saucer. ???
[Last edited by Idontknowatall - May 11, 2020 6:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 11, 2020 6:21 PM CST
Idontknowatall said: It has a tray filled with water around it to help with humidity.

Do you mean that the pot is sitting in the tray with water? If so, that is deterring proper root aeration and drainage. You can sit the pot on a tray of moist pebbles which helps raise humidity around the plant but actually having the bottom of the pot sitting in a tray of water is a hindrance to proper drainage.

idontknowitall said:Should I replant it in a bigger pot?

It doesn't need a larger pot and I wouldn't suggest repotting a plant that is happy and healthy.

~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 7:39 PM CST
I mean that I have a tray filled with water, and there's an orange lid from a plastic jar that's about half an inch high. I have it in the middle of the tray and the plant is sitting on the orange lid. So the plant is raised above water level and is not sitting in water.

Also, would you suggest changing the soil into a better draining type because I feel like the soil isn't drying. Like I've had it for a week, never watered it once, and it still feels moist. Will this hinder root aeration?
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
May 11, 2020 8:11 PM CST
You've only had your plant a week and it appears quite happy and healthy so I would not advise changing anything. There is no reason to repot which will just cause undue stress . Just allow it to dry another week or so. I have some indoor plants that go 3 weeks or more between watering, without any problems. You don't want the plant to get so dry that the roots shrivel but you don't have to water on a set schedule. I'd take a watch and wait approach but others may disagree.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 11, 2020 8:39 PM CST
Okay, sounds good. Thank You!
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 12, 2020 6:32 AM CST
Your Peace Lily is fine. The leaves tend to flatten out somewhat as they age. Yours are not drooping in the photo.

The soil of a Peace Lily should remain damp at all times. That soil is fine and should not be replaced. It is fine in that pot and should not be repotted in the foreseeable future.

Ideally, a Peace Lily should be watered just as or before the leaves start to wilt noticeably. At that time, water it thoroughly enough that some water trickles through the drain holes. With some careful observation, you will soon see how long after a thorough watering it takes before it starts to wilt. After that, water it one day sooner to avoid letting it wilt.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 12, 2020 11:36 AM CST
Okay, thank you for all the advice! Smiling
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
May 12, 2020 12:05 PM CST
It's not so much the wrapping that keeps them upright, it's that in the greenhouse they are very crowded And can only grow straight up because they are shoulder to shoulder with their neighbor. That works fine at a commercial grower because the light intensity and humidity is ideal.

When adjusting to a new environment, especially one with limited light you may end up loosing some of the larger leaves and new growth can be small and anemic, so give it the best light you can to avoid that

If the soil feels damp Or even slightly cool at the surface, definitely don't water it. Feeling the weight of the pot is a great way to get good at it over the next couple months. In the mean time, If you push on the soil and it's springy at all, don't water. It will be hard and inflexible when it's time to water..
The plural of anecdote is not data.
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 12, 2020 12:13 PM CST
Got it! Should I give it bright, indirect light and no direct sunlight?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 12, 2020 3:33 PM CST
Yes bright indirect but protect it all times from direct sunlight.

If the leaves start to wilt noticeably, you have waited a bit too long regardless of how damp the soil feels.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
California (Zone 10a)
Lilies
Idontknowatall
May 12, 2020 4:06 PM CST
Great! Thanks all!

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