Why Are My Peace Lily Leaves Curling? (And How to Fix It)


Indoor potted peace lily leaves curling.

Peace Lilies are a stunning addition to any home! They have beautiful evergreen leaves and delicate white flowers.

They need little to survive, so it can be extra frustrating when this hardy plant’s leaves start to curl. But don’t lose hope! With a few simple adjustments, you can have your plant flourishing again in no time. 

Peace Lily leaves curling is a sign that there is too much direct sunlight, or that your plant is under temperature distress. It can happen if you don’t use the right balance or quality of water, or if you under or over-fertilize. Less common reasons include root rot, humidity levels, and insects.  

Whatever the reason, with a few easy adjustments your peace lily will flourish in your home in no time!

Keep reading to learn more about why leaves curl and what you can do to stop it.

Causes of Peace Lily leaves Curling

It can be so frustrating when your houseplant’s leaves lose some life. Especially when you buy the plant because the nursery you got it from told you that it can live in any condition.

This is true of the Peace Lily if you keep a few things in mind. Curling leaves are not the end of the world (or your Peace Lily’s life)!

Even a beginner gardener can keep a vibrant Peace Lily in their home. All it takes is a bit of light problem solving and you will be on your way!

Too Much Sun

Peace Lilies are often found in tropical climates in Central and South America.

So you would think that they thrive in the sun, but that is not actually the case. Too much sunlight is one of the biggest reasons that a Peace Lily begins to curl. It is can also make your peace lily leaves to turn brown.

If your leaves are curling, start by examining if it is getting too much direct sunlight. This can cause the plant to sunburn, which can result in curly leaves. (Source: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences)

The good news is that the solution is as simple as moving your plant to a shadier area!

Temperature Stress

Temperature stress can also cause curling leaves on a Peace Lily. If the temperature of your room exceeds 90°F (32°C) this can put unnecessary stress on your plant.

Again, this is a common problem with an easy solution. If your room is too hot move the plant to a cooler room to see if the leaves perk up.

If they do, you know that’s why your plant was unhappy. If your leaves are still curling and you have checked the direct light and temperature, never fear! Keep reading to learn about other reasons your leaves could be curling!

Balance and Quality of Water

Finding the balance in a watering can be tricky, but once you’ve done it should be smooth sailing for your plant!

One of the most common missteps in Peace Lily’s care is under-watering. This causes the plant to “crash” and become droopy, with curled leaves. 

Peace Lilies need moist soil. Frequent watering will help keep your plant fresh and vibrant!

The best way to keep your soil moist is to water it (from top or bottom, depending on your pot) until you have soaked the soil.

Check out this article about Best Peace Lily Soil (And How to Make Your Own) to learn more.

While they need to stay moist, DO NOT keep your lily in standing water. That is like signing its death warrant. The plant needs the opportunity to dry a bit between waterings, which standing water prevents. (Source: University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service)

How often you water is important, but also the quality of water can cause your leaves to curl. Using tap water can cause issues for any houseplant, because of the mineral content of most tap water.

An easy fix to make sure your plants are getting the best water is to use filtered water for your plants. Like humans, plants thrive when they’re getting quality care.

Root Rot

Root Rot happens when things are out of balance for your plant. Most commonly, that means poor drainage or waterlogging. It can also come from excessive direct light.

Don’t give this one too much thought, because root rot is often caused by the same things as curled leaves. It is more likely to be an issue you face too, rather than being the primary cause.

The good news: if you fix the other things first and you do have root rot it will all sort itself out at once. Look at you, problem-solving two things at once! You’re a rock star gardener.

This article goes into more detail about fixing peace lily root rot and explains some of the best ways to revive your peace lily.

Improper Fertilizer Application

Peace Lilies thrive with minimal care, so you don’t need to over-fertilize. They do well with a typical houseplant fertilizer every 6 weeks or so. Even every two months is fine.

If you are fertilizing more than that (or using too much) this will cause curly leaves. Take a step back and watch your plant thrive!

Humidity

Peace Lilies love a good misting! Since their native climate is tropical, taking time to mist your plant can be great!

While not a super common reason for curling leaves, your plant could be telling you that it needs more moisture.

Taking a spray bottle (with filtered water) and giving your plant a light mist can help it perk up. This will model their natural environment, which will help it thrive.

Keep in mind that this step may be more necessary for some plant owners than others. If you already live in a humid climate, then feel free to disregard this step.

But if you are a desert dweller (like myself), or your house is dry this could be a great tip to help your plant out.

Regular misting is great for your Peace Lily, but not crucial to its survival. If you are the type of gardener who wants a house plant that you water and leave it alone you can do that too.

Misting won’t make or break your plant’s survival. But it will allow it to be extra vibrant for your home.

Insects

Less likely, your Peace Lily leaves are curling because your plant is home to mealybugs. This is the case if you find white fuzzy-looking creatures crawling around your plant. 

Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids suck the juices from your plant, which can cause your peace lily leaves to curl and brown spots on it.

If you have more than one type of houseplant start with separating the plants from one another. Then, it’s as easy as putting some yellow sticky traps at the base of your plant!

The bugs will flock to the sticky paper (instead of draining your lilies) and your leaves should perk up in no time!

Rubbing alcohol, insecticidal soap, and neem oil are three other ways to get rid of pests on your plant.

They suffocate pests to end the infestation. Spray your plants regularly (about once a week) so that the pests come in contact with the alcohol, soap, or oil. 

As we all know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So if you don’t have mealybugs yet, and want to keep it that way, never fear!

Dusting your plants (with a damp paper towel) will discourage pests. Adding that to your weekly cleaning is an easy way to keep your plants pest-free.

Overcrowded in The Pot

If you have tried all the problem solving above and your leaves are still curling it may be time to try a bigger pot.

Peace Lilies do best when somewhat pot bound (having roots which fill the flower pot with no room to expand). So chances are that the pot you purchased your lily in is a good size.

But, if your curly leaves persist you can try repotting your plant into a larger pot. It is best to do this in late winter/early spring (February or March). This will help your plant transition with the least amount of stress possible.

I Know the Causes, What Now?

So now that you understand the potential causes of your Peace Lily’s curled leaves, it’s time to fix it! But, how? First, start with taking a deep breath.

The hardest part is over. We’ve done the research for you, so it’s as easy as following step by step instructions from here. You’ve got this!

Steps to healthier Peace Lily leaves:

  1. Scan the room your plant is in to see if the light is too direct.
  2. Track the temperature of the room. Peace Lilies thrive between 70°F (21°C) and 90°F (32°C). 
  3. Check your soil. Are you over or under watering? Are you using tap water? Remember, like humans, filtered water is best!
  4. Make sure you are fertilizing your lily once every two months. More than that and it can cause issues for your plant.
  5. If those steps haven’t helped check for root rot, pest infestation, or improper pot size.
  6. Give it some time! The conditions your plant was living in didn’t cause curly leaves straight away. So in the same way, it will take a bit of time for your plant to perk back up.
  7. Don’t give up! Keeping indoor plants can be an amazing experience. They are a beautiful addition to your home, good for your mental health, and even help purify your air! With a little troubleshooting, your Peace Lily will be back to itself in no time!

You May Also Enjoy: Cactus Soil for Peace Lily (And How to Make Your Own)

Frequently Asked Questions:

What happens when you overwater a Peace Lily?

Overwatering can cause lots of issues for your lily, including root rot, and disease. The key is to keep the soil damp without saturating it. The soil should be damp, not soaked.

Check out this article to fix your overwatered peace lily.

Do Peace Lilies need sunlight?

They need sunlight, but not direct sunlight or too much to avoid sunburn and getting overheated. They do well in the shade or in a room that gets a good amount of indirect light. 

Should I mist my Peace Lily?

Misting your Peace Lily will help model the tropical climate that it comes from nature and will allow the plant to thrive. This is an easy way to encourage your plant to grow vibrantly. 

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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