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Overwatered Peace Lily: Symptoms and Solutions

Peace lilies are among the finest indoor plants because of their low maintenance requirements. However, they are extremely sensitive to alterations such as overwatering, excessive fertilizer, and insufficient sunshine.

Peace lilies can only be found in tropical forests, not swampy areas. As a result, overwatering will have a damaging effect on it as it is accustomed to getting just enough water.

Drooping, yellowing leaves, brown tips, and root rot from suffocation are all symptoms of an overwatered peace lily.

To recover the peace lily, take it to a shaded place, repair root rot, and then re-pot it with a new potting mix. Make sure the pot has a draining hole to avoid waterlogging.

Read on for more about the symptoms and solutions for an overwatered peace lily.

Initial Symptom 

The first symptom is a change in the color of the leaf, which becomes lighter and more yellow in general. The lower leaves are usually affected more than the top leaves.

You may notice little water blisters on the leaves and hints of leaf edema if you continue to overwater. The roots will begin to struggle, and other signs will develop shortly.

The earliest signs of overwatering occur when the plant takes up too much water from the soil. The leaves inflate as they fill up with water.

Other Symptoms

Brown or black tips, brown edges, and bacterial or fungal illness can all affect the leaves, resulting in brown, black, or yellow patches. A prolonged sloppy state will eventually lead to root rot and discharge a rotting odor from the soil.

These symptoms appear when the roots fail to function and stop absorbing water. The issue is not excess water, but the lack of oxygen in the soil as a result of the soggy conditions.

Treat Overwatered Peace Lily In Five Steps

Regular care is essential to restore the condition of an overwatered peace lily. Here we have outlined the measures you can take to restore normalcy to your peace lily.

Allow The Plant To Dry Out

The first and most important step is to drain the surplus water from the plant. Stop watering the plant and place it in direct sunlight.

Remove Damaged Parts

Remove the peace lily from its container. The roots may seem brown and encased in a moist and odorous substrate. Cutaway the brown, dead section of the roots. Trim any leaves that are shriveling and withering.

The next step is to wash the remaining roots under running water. You can reuse the old container after sanitizing it with detergent, or you can plant them in a new pot.

Fix The Roots

Clean and disinfect the root system. Apply activated charcoal to the cut portion of the roots to do so.

Fungicides or potassium permanganate are used in the other treatment procedures. To help eliminate root rot and fungal illnesses, use a dilute solution of the chemicals. Allow 3 hours for the plant to dry.

Re-pot The Plant

After that, put the peace lily in a water and root formation stimulator solution and replace the water on a regular basis. Wait until the plant begins to sprout new roots.

Fill a new pot with fresh potting soil and transplant the peace lily. Make sure the pot has openings for drainage.

Maintain And Take Care

Place them in a location that receives both direct and indirect sunlight. Only water it when the soils begin to dry out. Maintain an 18-27 degree Celsius temperature range.

Companion plants will provide a warm and humid atmosphere for your peace lily. When the new soil dries out, irrigate your peace lily with settled or boiled water after 2-3 days.

Do not feed the potted plant right away. Feeding fertilizer to a plant that is recovering from water stress causes the plant to become even more stressed.

Instead, begin a feeding schedule with a houseplant fertilizer after about a month. Now is the time to concentrate on recovery, followed by regrowth.

You can save your overwatered lily and keep fungal diseases at bay if you follow these steps.

Causes Of Overwatering

Overwatering is identified as any situation in which your peace lily sits in waterlogged soil for an extended period of time. Let’s take a look at the main causes of overwatering.

Using Too Much Water

We recommend not to water your peace lily on a routine basis. Wait until the top half of the soil feels dry before watering.

Pot Size And Material

Overwatering a little plant in a large pot is very likely. After watering, the soil will remain wet for a long period.

Non-porous pots include those made of plastic, metal, and glazed ceramic. As a result, less water is lost through the soil. The soil will lose moisture through the walls of the pot because terracotta and wood are permeable.

Leaving The Drip Tray Unattended

Root rot will quickly occur if the pot’s base is left soaked in water. Empty the drip tray or cache pot immediately after watering to ensure that any excess water has drained from the pot.


In the winter, peace lilies grow much more slowly and the soil takes much longer to dry up after watering. This increases the risk of overwatering.

Temperature And Airflow

Evaporation and transpiration get reduced due to the cold temperatures and lack of ventilation. Which leads the soil to dry up more slowly after watering.

Prevent Overwatering

To avoid having to fix your overwatered lily again, we recommend taking good care of it from the start by meeting the appropriate water requirements.

Water your peace lily only when it’s necessary. Watering on a daily basis without assessing the soil for dryness should be avoided.

To do this correctly, insert your index finger up to the first knuckle into the topsoil and pick up some soil. If the dirt cannot form a ball, it is obviously dry.

However, if it can form a ball when squeezed without discharging water then it does not require watering. When a ball of soil leaks water after being crushed, this indicates that there is too much water.

A water sensor is a reliable technique to detect when to water your lily. Stick it to the potting mix like a thermometer and take measures.

A reading of 7 means that your lily is getting enough water. A score of 4 suggests that your plant is under-watered. A rating of 7 or higher indicates that your peace lily is overwatered.

Watering peace lily during the day is preferable to watering it at night. Any excess water will most likely evaporate during the daytime. Watering at night puts the plant at risk of getting diseases.

Avoid Overwatering

Overwatering is not recommended for peace lily maintenance because wet circumstances cut off the oxygen flow. Your plant will not be able to grow healthy and thrive if it does not receive enough oxygen.

Fungal infections in potted plants are mainly caused by too much water. Brown to black root tips, changed texture, and seeping fluid are all signs of root rot.

A faulty root system disrupts the movement of water and essential nutrients from the roots to the rest of the plant.

What follows is a stressed-out plant that is prone to disease. The most common houseplant illnesses are fungal in nature and develop as root rot.

Here are some fungal conditions that may affect your peace lily.

Phytophthora: Phytophthora causes yellow leaves in houseplants that finally shrivel. The root tips usually change from white to black, but they can also be brown or gray.

Rhizoctonia: Rhizoctonia is a soil-borne fungus that attacks the affected plant’s stems, leaves, and roots. It grows in damp soils. It develops fine webbing and reddish-brown blemishes on the stems.

Cylindrocladium: Cylindrocladium-infected houseplants show typical disease symptoms such as yellowing and drooping of the leaves.

Pythium: Pythium is a root rotting disease that causes wilting in affected plants, ranging from minor to severe.

Each plant has its own set of needs. The requirements of your peace lily are also influenced by the surroundings. There are a few ways to check if your peace lily needs water.

How to Check

It’s simple to figure out whether or not you need to water your peace lily. Simply analyze the topsoil of the pot and if it appears to be dry enough to water, go ahead.

If your peace lily pot is made of clay or terracotta, make a few knocks on the container’s wall. If you hear a dull thud then it’s time to water it. If the sound is solid, it means that the substrate still has sufficient moisture.

If lifting the pot is too easy, your peace lily pot is not overwatered. The weight of a container varies when the substrate is moist. A moisture meter is also available at any garden store.

If you have any doubts, we recommend waiting a few more days before watering. This way you can prevent overwatering.

Final Verdict 

Knowing how to restore a potted plant might come in helpful when all hope appears to be lost. However, keep in mind that the sooner you take action to restore your peace lily, the more likely it will start to improve.

It’s easy to overwater your peace lily even if you wish well for it. It may take a lot of effort on your side to fully revive an overwatered plant, but it is still doable.

You can avoid the risk entirely by doing the pre-watering tests suggested here. Don’t be too concerned if your plant is beyond repair. Raising houseplants is a constant learning process.


Q. Why is my peace lily drooping even after I have watered it?

A: Drooping leaves imply that your peace lily plant has been overwatered.

Q. Is it possible to recover a peace lily plant from overwatering?

A: If the symptoms of overwatering are discovered early on then the plant can recover with proper treatment.

Q. How long does it take for a peace lily to recover from overwatering?

A: Depending on a variety of factors, this can take anywhere from a few days to more than two weeks.

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