Peace lilies are usually easy to grow since they tell you early when they are having problems. One example is if your plant’s leaves are curling. You might be wondering what’s wrong and how you can solve the problem?
There are a few possible reasons for curling leaves, such as too much direct sunlight, too much water, or temperature stress. The wrong amount of fertilizer or infestation of pests are also common causes of leaf curl.
Common Reasons For Leaf Curl
So, what are the top reasons for leaf curl in peace lilies, and how can you fix these problems, so your plant is healthy again?
Too Much Sunlight
Peace lilies are naturally rainforest plants living on the forest floor, and as such, they did not evolve to handle large amounts of direct sunlight. Instead, they adapted to grow beneath a dense canopy of leaves. Therefore, if your peace lily is too close to a window and gets too much direct light, the leaves will start to curl.
This is because the sunlight will damage the leaf cells, and as they die, they will shrink, pulling the leaf in on itself. You are also likely to notice browning at the tips of the leaves where they are burning.
One possible solution is to put up a sheer curtain between your plant and the sun; another is to move it further away from the window.
Wrong Amount Of Water
Overwatering a peace lily can quickly result in leaf curl. Again, the leaves are likely to turn brown as cells die off. Peace lilies like to be kept damp, but they do not handle soggy soil well, so it’s important not to water them until the top two inches of soil have dried out.
Equally, not watering your peace lily enough could cause its leaves to curl up because they won’t have enough water to support their structure and keep them healthy. To test whether your plant is drying out, push the tip of your finger into the topsoil, and check whether it is dry a couple of inches down.
Always check whether your plant is thirsty before watering it to avoid issues like root rot.
As rainforest plants, peace lilies do not like the cold. Therefore, they won’t tolerate temperatures below around 45 degrees F. Even a couple of days of such low temperatures will lead to leaf curl and might eventually result in the death of the plant.
Peace lilies prefer temperatures between 68 and 85 degrees F. If your peace lily is indoors, this shouldn’t usually be a problem unless there is an open window nearby or you keep your plant near a vent.
Equally, plants should not be made too warm, so don’t put one near a heater. It will dry out too much and die.
Put your plant somewhere with minimal temperature fluctuations, and don’t keep peace lilies outdoors unless you live somewhere warm.
The Wrong Amount Of Fertilizer
At most, you should fertilize your peace lily every six weeks during its growing season. Too much fertilizer could lead to curling leaves because the plant’s roots will burn. Always dilute the fertilizer and record fertilization dates, so you don’t damage your plant.
Under-fertilizing your plant is unlikely to cause leaf curl, but it could in extreme cases. If you haven’t fertilized or re-potted your plant for a long time, consider giving it a dose of a 20-20-20 fertilizer; this may help restore its leaves to normal.
If your plant is under attack, its leaves will often curl because they are damaged. Pest species like aphids and spider mites can infest the plant and will suck sap from its leaves. This robs the plant of nutrients that it needs and generally harms it.
It’s a good idea to check your plant for pests regularly. Gently turn leaves over and inspect the undersides for aphids or little cobwebs that could indicate a spider mite infestation. Curly leaves, in particular, should be checked.
If you do this regularly, you should catch pests before they have the chance to do much damage to your plant. You can deal with most pests by washing your plant’s leaves with soap and water, or you can treat the plant with neem oil. However, some pest species (like scale insects) may require more intense treatments.
Quite a few things can cause a peace lily’s leaves to curl, so it can be challenging to diagnose the cause straight away. Instead, you should check through the potential causes one by one to find the issue and then work on fixing it. If you find one problem, it’s still worth checking for the others, just in case there is something else wrong too.