How To Fix Overwatered Peace Lily (Step by Step Guide)


An over watered peace lily in pot

You may be overwhelmed with lots of care practice rules for your peace lily. Indoor gardeners take a little bit more care of their green pets.  And, here begins the problem of excessive care. 

The main problem for houseplants is usually too much care not too little care. Excess care like watering more frequently will lead to overwatering. Overwatering is the main enemy for a peace lily.

Your peace lily can suffer a lot due to excess watering.  In the worst case, your favorite peace lily can die in consequence of this care mistake. 

Stop watering and relocate your peace lily pot for sun exposure and dry out the soil.  Take out the plant from the pot and insect the roots, if affected cut off the diseased part. Then transplant to a new pot with the soil of good drainage capacity. 

Now, let’s dive into the details.

What Happens If You Overwater Your Peacelily?

Your peace lily needs regular watering to get going the normal physiological processes. But the problem occurs when you overwater this delicate plant. 

So, what happens if you overwatered peace lily? Excess water creates a suffocating environment for the plant. The plant roots can not access the necessary oxygen. Therefore the cells of the root begin to rot and die. 

Now, this type of waterlogging and wet conditions are favorable for fungal diseases. This fatal disease for your peace lily develops rapidly. 

You can identify root rot by the specific odor coming from the root zone. Also, the leaves will turn yellow and wither at the later stage of the disease. 

Here is an important thing that can confuse you. When the root cells of the peace lily die, it can not provide enough moisture for other parts of the plant. So, in this situation, peace lily shows symptoms as if it is suffering from a lack of moisture. 

And many gardeners fall for the trap. They start to water the peace lily which is already drowned in water.

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Symptoms of Overwatered Peace Lily

As you already know, how excess water causes root rot diseases of a peace lily. Now, how do you determine if your peace lily is really suffering from overwatering?

Because the plant won’t tell you what is going through. It will only show symptoms. So, you have to understand the symptoms and then take the necessary steps to fix it. 

Here are the symptoms that you will find if your peace lily is overwatered:

  1. Roots will start to rot. So, there will be a foul odor coming from the root zone.
  2. The roots can not perform moisture and nutrient intake properly and if it affects other functions of the plant. Your peace lily will neither grow or bloom. 
  3. Peace lily leaf tips will turn black and dry. You will find dried tips with a yellow border. 
  4. If you are flooding your peace lily pot for quite a long time then the leaves become covered with dark spots along the edges. Maybe the root has already been affected by rot disease. 
  5. Your peace lily will gradually fade and wither, leaves will turn yellow, and mold will appear on the soil surface. 
  6. If you have overwatered the peace lily and the water caused frostbite then it leads to the appearance of brown and yellow spots on the leaf plate.

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Why Does Peace Lily Die If You Water It Too Much?

There are several factors behind the above-mentioned symptoms of a peace lily. These symptoms tell you that the situation is getting worse. If you do not take measures your peace lily will eventually die.

One of the main reasons for dying peace lily is lack of oxygen. Every living thing needs oxygen, the peace lily is not an exception. 

It can not breathe when there is too much water. They literally drown without being able to breathe and absorb nutrients from the soil.

Another problem is that through excess flooding you are washing away the micronutrients, potassium, nitrogen, and other nutrients.  Also, the roots can no longer absorb them.

So, you may be wondering how you can check when you should water your peace lily. Let’s find out.

How To Check If  Your Peace Lily Needs Water?

Each plant has different requirements. Also, the surrounding environment affects the requirement of your peace lily.  There are a few methods you can use to avoid overwatering your peace lily. 

It’s very easy to determine whether you should water your peace lily or not. Just check out the topsoil of the pot, if you find it dry enough to water then go for it.

In addition, you should be careful that there may be excess moisture below the top layer soil. This can occur if the drainage system of the pot is not good enough to drain out excess water.

The simplest way is to check the soil with your finger sticking into it. But of course, there are other ways in which you can check the water requirement of your peace lily.  Don’t worry I’ll walk you through the process. 

  • You can use a pencil or any kind of thing like that to determine the water requirement. Dig it into the potting soil, check if it is coming out with wet soil on it then the soil has enough moisture.  And if it comes out dry and clean you need to water your peace lily now. 
  • If your peace lily pot is made of clay or terracotta then give a few knocks to the wall of the container. If you hear a hollow sound, it’s time to water it. On the other hand, if the sound is solid, it means that the substrate still has enough moisture.
  • If lifting the pot is too light, then your peace lily pot has no water. The weight of a container changes a lot when the substrate is wet.
  • You can also buy a moisture meter from any garden store. Check out the latest price of moisture meter on amazon. 
  • If you have doubts, you should wait a couple of days more before watering. Thus you can avoid overwatering.

Now, let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how you can fix overwatered Peace Lily.

How to save Overwatered Peace Lily Plant

Knowing how to revive a potted plant can come in handy when hope seems to have been lost. However, you should remember that the earlier you take action to restore your peace lily, the more likely it will return to normal. 

Here is the step by step process that will help you fix your peace lily: 

  1. Take out your peace lily from the pot.
  2. If the roots are loose and brown rather than light and hard,  also in a super damp smelly substrate, cut off all the dead parts with a clean knife. And leave only healthy roots and snip off all the yellow and sick leaves.
  3. Then gently rinse the remaining roots under running water and transplant the peace lily into a new pot with pure fresh soil mix. You can reuse the old container after disinfecting it with hot water and detergent.
  4. Apply activated carbon or cinnamon on the cut parts of the root.
  5. Treat the roots with a weak solution of fungicide or potassium permanganate. 
  6. Leave the plant for 2-3 hours to dry.
  7. Then place the piece lily in a container with water, with the addition of a root formation stimulator.
  8. Make sure to change the water regularly.
  9. As soon as the peace lily starts to grow the root system, you can transplant it to pot soil. Make sure the pot has functioning drainage holes.
  10. Fill the container with soil mix and peace lily and place it in a bright place without direct sunlight. After that, only water it when the soil mixture starts to dry.
  11. After 2-3 days, when the new soil dries out, irrigate the transplanted peace lily with settled (ideally boiled) water.

You should consider using activated charcoal with the soil mix. This will save your peace lily root from further infection. Also, this will prevent the rotting of cut parts of the root. 

Using a proper soil mix for peace lily is the best way to avoid overwatering problems. Read my article on the best peace lily soil.

So, if you can follow the above-mentioned steps properly, then you will be able to save your overwatered peace lily. But it is better to prevent overwatering and related diseases of peace lily than trying hard to save it.

Source: University of Vermont

Now, Let’s see how you can prevent the problems with your peace lily.

How to Prevent Peace Lily Problems

  • To begin with, it is important to determine the permanent location of the plant
  • Peace lily needs good lighting without direct sunlight. Ideally, for maintenance, the eastern or western sides of your home are suitable.
  • Maintain a warm, comfortable temperature in the room with the peace lily. The temperature should be at least 22 °C/71.6°F
  • You should regularly water the plant with room temperature, settled, or boiled water.
  • Make sure there is no stagnation of water. After watering the soil should be capable of draining out all the water within 15 minutes.
  • Inspect the soil regularly. To avoid soil compaction and depletion, perform a plant transplant once in 2-3 years.

If you take proper care of peace lily, it will fill your house with beauty. Now, you should know how to water your peace lily without harming it. This will solve the overwatering problem. 

How to water a Peace lily?

Since peace lily is a tropical plant you need to ensure the requirements of your peace lily. Keep in mind that watering frequency will be different in winter and summer.

As always, the best way to know if our plant needs water is to touch the soil, if it is dry, we have to water it.

Peace lily will give you a signal so that you know it is thirsty. If the leaves remain droopy, it is because the plant needs urgent watering. But be careful, watering rules in winter are not the same.

Tip

Peace lily will remain in a dormant condition in winter. You do not have to water until the leaves fall.

Some Extra Tips on Watering

  1. Keep in mind that a plastic container holds water longer so you should water less frequently. On the other hand clay or terracotta, containers are porous and lose moisture quickly.
  2. Watering needs vary from plant to plant. The more leaves the plant has, the more it needs watering.
  3. During vegetative growth and flowering period, peace lily requires more water than the winter season.
  4. In summer your peace lily demands more water than normal because the water evaporates much faster. 
  5. You should let the water settle down overnight; this will also help evaporate the chlorine(gas at room temperature). Also, the water gets to room temperature which makes the plant happy.

Source: University of Missouri

Check out this video on how to fix an overwatered plant:

Conclusion

In conclusion, you see that overwatering is much more dangerous and fatal for your peace lily. You have to put a lot of work on it to fix it. So it is better to follow the care and prevention tips to enjoy the beauty of peace lily right inside your lovely home.

If you have liked the article and find it useful, don’t forget to share it on your favorite social platform. 

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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