Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are known for their deep green foliage and fragrant, creamy-white flowers. They're a low-maintenance plant that's easy to grow and able to thrive in shady conditions where other houseplants would wither. But that doesn't mean they're problem-proof.
In fact, peace lilies can be downright dramatic when something's amiss. One day they're lush and perky; the next they're sad and droopy. Once you diagnose the problem, you can revive your peace lily easily.
Here's why your peace lily is drooping and what you can do about it.
Why Is My Peace Lily Drooping?
There are several reasons your peace lily could have droopy, wilted leaves, including too much light, overwatering, underwatering, changes in temperature, too little fertilizer, and pests.
Too Much Light
Unlike many houseplants, peace lilies can survive and even flower in relatively low-light conditions. They'll grow more vigorously with bright, indirect light, such as from a north-facing or east-facing window. But too much light—especially direct sunlight—can dry out the plant, scorch its leaves, and cause drooping.
Watering too often can cause your peace lily to wilt. After all, it's known for its ability to survive a little neglect. But overly soggy soil prevents the roots from absorbing oxygen and nutrients, which can cause leaves to droop, turn yellow, and die.
Letting your peace lily get too dry or going too long between waterings can cause leaves to wilt, get brown at the tips, and eventually drop.
Sudden Change in Temperature
Peace lilies don't do well with sudden shifts in temperature. That means cold, dry drafts from a door opening in winter as well as hot or cold air from vents in your home. Extended temperatures between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit outdoors can still slow plant growth indoors.
Not Enough Fertilizer
A lack of nutrients can cause older leaves to turn yellow, wilt, and eventually drop off. Potbound plants can cause this indirectly, because compacted roots can't take up nutrients the plant needs from the soil.
Peace lilies are relatively resistant to many common houseplant pests, but they can fall prey to unwanted insects like mealybugs and scale. These pests feed on sap in the leaves, slowing growth and causing leaves to droop and eventually drop off.
How to Treat a Drooping Peace Lily
Now that you know why your peace lily could be drooping, you can figure out the cause and revive your plant. Before taking action, inspect the plant carefully and prune away any yellow, brown, or damaged leaves. This directs energy into healthy growth and lets you see the effects of any ongoing issues more easily.
Change the Location
If your plant is close to a window or light source and none of the other conditions apply, move it a few feet further from the light source, out of direct sunlight.
Create a Temperate Climate
If your drooping peace lily is in a cold or drafty spot, or if you recently moved it outside in cold weather, do what you can to create an even, temperate climate around the plant. Move it away from drafty windows, doors, and vents or into a warmer room with a more consistent temperature. Your peace lily will grow best at temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Repot Your Plant
If you haven't repotted your peace lily in a few years and its leaves are yellowing as well as drooping, it may be time to repot with fresh soil, which will replenish nutrients. You can also fertilize once per month with an organic houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength during spring and summer.
Check for Pests
Be sure to examine your plant for signs of pests. Mealybugs leave their cottony white egg masses on the leaves or in the crown of the plant. Scale will appear as flat brown spots on plant stems and leaves and leave sticky, shiny honeydew where they feed. Remove insects and their eggs by dabbing them away with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, taking care not to rub the leaves themselves to avoid damage. Treat the plant with horticultural soap or neem oil to help prevent pests from recurring.
It's frustrating to see your beautiful peace lily with drooping leaves, but you can prevent this from happening with proper care.
- Be sure to give your peace lily the proper light and temperature conditions.
- Monitor soil moisture and watering accordingly. If the soil is soggy, cut back on watering immediately and allow it to dry out fully before watering again. If the soil is very dry, give the plant a good watering. Check soil moisture frequently and water only when the top half of the soil has dried out.
- Check your plant regularly for pests.
- Repot every three years or as needed.
- Fertilize your plant during the growing season.
With a little proactive care and quick action, your peace lily will look elegant and healthy as ever.
Peace Lily. Clemson Cooperative Center Home and Garden Information Center.
Care of Peace Lillies. South Dakota State University Extension.
Spathiphyllum (Mauna loa peace lily, peace lily, spathe flower, white sails). North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.
Spathiphyllum (Group). Missouri Botanical Garden.
Florida Foliage House Plant Care: Spathiphyllum. University of Florida IFAS Extension.