How To Know When Peace Lilies Need Water?

Peace lilies are famed for their beautiful, white flower bloom, offset against the verdancy of the leaves, but also for being hardy plants with no need for lots of TLC. However, if you constantly allow the soil to become bone dry – or if you consistently flood it – you will end up with a sad-looking, miscolored plant.

Water your peace lily when the topsoil dries out, but not before. There is no hard-set rule on how often this will happen, as it depends on the environment where you place your plant. In general – however – you can expect to water your peace lilies about once a week.

Luscious green peace lily. Photo credit: adlanta

How To Find Out If Your Peace Lily Needs Water

When a peace lily is desperate for water, there is a telltale droop that lets you know it’s time. But it is much better to be more proactive than just waiting for this inevitable wilt. To stay ahead, you should regularly check the potting soil.

To do this, try this trusted method. Push your fingers into the potting soil under your plant – if you cannot find moisture beneath your first knuckle, your peace lily may need some hydration. This “knuckle” approach reflects that ideally, your plant should have the top third of its soil surface dry, but there should be moisture below that level.

You can also be more scientific and use a water meter – this will tell you with great precision how your plants are doing in terms of moisture. But it is primarily for gadget lovers, as using your finger will do just fine.

It is essential to realize that your plant should not be sitting in waterlogged soil. So, if you check and find water or moisture at the surface level, you definitely should not water it.

Telltale Signs Of Underwatering Or Overwatering

As with other house plants, there are telltale signs that will inform you if your peace lily is either overwatered or underwatered.


When underwatered, your peace lily leaves will curl up and droop. Right before the plant seems to shrivel onto itself, there will be distinct signs of sag.

Look at the drooping leaves! This peace lily needs water. Photo credit: soymilknhoney


When systematically overwatered, the peace lily leaves turn pale and then yellow over time. Continuous overwatering will cause root rot, which shows up as edema. The leaf tips grow brown and develop water blisters. The plant stops growing, the leaves shrivel, and the roots turn mushy as they rot.

Overwatered peace lily. Notice the yellow leaves with brown tips. Photo credit: ahnwesa

How Often Should You Water Your Peace Lily?

As mentioned, there is no strict rule on how often you should water your plant. Check the soil and be attentive to your plants. Is it thriving, or does it look like it’s struggling?

As a rule of thumb, when the plant is sprouting and growing – usually in the summertime – you should plan to water it more often. About once per week. To mimic peace lilies’ natural, humid habitat of the rainforest, you can use a spritzing bottle to spray the leaves in between waterings. They will love you for that.

If the growth is slow – usually in the winter months – it needs less water lest it gets waterlogged.

How To Water Your Peace Lily

Watering peace lilies is a slightly tricky proposition. They need to be soaked thoroughly. However, they also need to fully drain since sitting in water is bad for them.

Thus, the best way to water your peace lily is by placing it in a low area – like a sink – with the water flowing down from upstream. Make sure that the water either drips or sloshes gently into the soil without flooding it.

Soak the plant and soil, but then let the plant sit so that you drain the water off thoroughly before taking it back to its usual spot.

Letting your peace lily, which otherwise thrives in spotty light, remain waterlogged is a surefire recipe for disaster. It can cause root rot, mold, and other water-related diseases. Unfortunately, these are often the cause for these plants going bad.

The Final Word

Peace lilies are striking, non-fuzzy houseplants. Just make it a habit to check on their moisture level from time to time. This will make it possible to water them in a cycle where they get hydrated right before they start to sag.