Peace Lilies: Why they are the perfect house plant
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Peace lilies from the genus Spathiphyllum are immensely popular houseplants. Not surprising, given their lovely white flowers and low light needs. A peace lily can be grown by a beginning houseplant enthusiast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run into issues. For starters, they’re considered drama queens when it comes to water, ‘fainting’ by drooping their leaves as soon as moisture levels get too low.
Samantha Jones, gardening and plant expert at MyJobQuote explained: “Peace lily care is somewhat particular. When it comes to humidity and temperature, the peace lily should be kept away from cold drafts, and will thrive in a humid room, such as a bathroom.
“However, you can place your peace lily on display elsewhere in your home and mist the plant every few days to mimic this environment.”
So what causes houseplants to droop? Claire Bishop, Senior Houseplant Buyer at Debbie’s Garden Centres said: “Your peace lily could be drooping because it’s had a chill, has been overwatered or underwatered.
“Peace lilies like well-drained soil, so too much water will quickly lead to an unhappy plant. Your peace lily should be watered weekly, but make sure to check that the soil is dry before you water.
Samantha explained that if your peace lilies are wilting, gardeners most likely need to water the plant as this is a sign of dehydration. However, if the plant is drooping and its leaves are yellow, hold back on the watering as the plant has been overwatered and needs a break.”
James Williams, gardening expert at Rezigo noted: “Under or over-watering your peace lily is a common culprit when it comes to drooping.
“You should only water once the top 50 percent of your potting mix has become completely dry – and then only sparingly as this is an extremely resilient plant that doesn’t need a huge amount of water to thrive and survive.”
Peace lilies are also particular on the amount of light they need. Experts at Houseplant Central said: “Although houseplants can generally take about as much light as you can give them indoors, peace lilies are among the more fussy ones. They do love plenty of light, but direct sun can be too much for them, especially without acclimation.”
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James agreed and suggested the optimal place to keep them. He said: “Peace lilies prefer bright but indirect light and, too much or too little can cause the drooping that you’re seeing. The best location for your lily is in an east-facing window for the perfect amount of light.”
If the room temperature is not to their liking, this can also lead the “fussy” houseplant to droop.
James explained: “The peace lily is a tropical plant which enjoys a climate that is somewhat warmer than our own. To prevent drooping, try to keep your home’s temperature between 60-70℉ (15 to 21 degrees), while keeping it away from drafts.”
To perk up drooping peace lilies as a result of overwatering, Claire suggested: “If you have overwatered your peace lily, let it partially dry out before watering again.
“You will be able to tell if you have overwatered your plant because the compost will be wet to the touch and the plant will be heavy.
“On the reverse side of this, if you have underwatered your peace lily, the plant is likely to be light in weight and the top layer of compost will feel dry.
“If this is the case, give it a good water but allow the excess to drain before putting your plant back in the pot cover. I put mine in the shower so they get a good thorough soak, and I can make sure the soil retains the water.”
Plant owners can also try repositioning their peace lily in a brighter spot which should encourage it to flower.
Gardeners may even find that their peace lily starts to droop even after sufficient watering, but Claire noted that this can be common at certain times.
She explained: “Plants naturally go dormant from September through to March so even if you are taking good care of your peace lily, it may not flower during this time.
“If this is the case, reduce watering and do not feed it. Then, once March arrives, move the plant to a brighter spot and feed it to encourage new growth.”
A houseplant drooping could also have nothing to do with watering, according to Samantha. She said: “Any dry flowers or scorched leaves indicates that your plant is suffering from having too much sunlight and needs to be moved to a shadier spot in the house.”
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