Tips to prevent and care for an overwatered peace lily

overwatered peace lily

Do you have an overwatered peace lily plant? Want to know how to help it recover from overwatering? In this post, we cover ways to prevent overwatering your peace lily and how to help it recover and thrive. We also share advice on general care of your peace lily plant.

Peace lily plants have become very popular indoor plants in recent years, mainly because they’re easy to look after and require minimal care. They’re also great at dehumidifying a room naturally. However as with all plants, you still need to water them, expose them to the right amount of sunlight and fertilize.

Tips to prevent and care for an overwatered peace lily

How to tell if you have overwatered your peace lily?

You have an overwatered peace lily if you notice the following:

Leaves with a brown tip

Leaves that are yellowing, starting from the leaf tip

Black tipped roots

Drooping leaves

Stunted growth


You’ve overwatered your peace lily if it has leaves that are yellowing, usually starting from the tip and then spreading to the entire leaf. The leaves may also droop, which could confuse you and make you think it needs more water because the same thing happens when your peace lily is underwatered.

The best way to check if its an overwatered peace lily is to check the soil. If the soil is very wet and the leaves are drooping, the plant is most likely suffering from overwatering.

Check the soil deeper inside the pot by using a skewer or stick. Pull the stick out and look at the soil- is it very wet and sticking to the skewer? Was it easy to push the skewer into the soil or did you require some effort? Wet soil will be easy to skewer.

overwatered peace lily plant root and soil

Why is my peace lily drooping even after watering?

Drooping plant leaves is a sign that the plant is suffering. It’s a good way to know that something isn’t right. It’s just a matter of figuring out what the problem is and then fixing it.

Overwatered peace lily plants have less oxygen because of too much water. Overwatering also causes root rot, which also makes the leaves droop.

How often should a peace lily be watered?

There’s no set schedule you need to follow when watering your peace lily. How often you water depends on a few factors: how dry the soil is, where the plant is placed in your home, how warm or cold the room is.

Peace lilys are quite hardy plants- I’ve gone almost 2 weeks during winter without watering. But by then the leaves droop, which lets me know that the plant is thirsty. Within a few hours of watering, the leaves are upright and healthy again.

If you run a humidifier in your home which adds more moisture to the air, then you may not need to water your peace lily as often. The plant will absorb some of the moisture that the humidifier adds to the room.

Do not water your plant daily. Once a week should be sufficient, just check the soil every few days to see if it is dry and needs a light watering.

How to help your overwatered peace lily recover

Follow these 5 steps for helping your overwatered peace lily recover:

  1. Stop watering your peace lily

Immediately stop watering your peace lily. Now that you know its overwatered, you need to stop.

  1. Place your peace lily in a warm environment

Place your peace lily in a warm environment but out of direct sunlight. This will help dry up the wet soil.

  1. Repot the peace lily

If you’re growing your peace lily in a pot, you could repot it into another pot and with new soil. This gives your peace lily a better chance to recover and it allows you to inspect the roots to check for root rot.

This is the only way to entirely eliminate the overwatering problem rather than waiting for the overwatered soil to dry.

Choose a pot that has a suitably sized drainage hole. This will ensure that the water drains away from the roots, preventing root rot.

  1. Treatments for diseases

If you’re sure that your overwatered peace lily is suffering from root rot, visit your local nursery and ask for the best treatment product for root rot. Apply the treatment to your repotted peace lily, following directions on the treatment packaging.

  1. Remove dead leaves

Cut off any leaves that have yellowed or look unhealthy. It’s a good idea to prune your peace lily once a year to help it grow better. Don’t worry about cutting off droopy leaves- once your place recovers, so will the leaves. So long as they are otherwise healthy, leave them.

If you follow the above 5 steps, your overwatered peace lily should recover within the month. If you’ve repotted your peace lily, only give it a light water once a week.

How to prevent an overwatered peace lily

Change your watering routine

The best way to prevent having an overwatered peace lily is by changing your watering routine. If you watered your peace lily every day or every second day, change this to a weekly watering. To help you get into your new routine, pick a day of the week when you are usually home and put a reminder in your phone calendar.

If you’re going away and have someone who is watering your plants for you, make sure you let them know that your peace lily only needs a weekly watering.

Experiment with your watering schedule

You can also experiment with your watering schedule. See how long you can go without watering your peace lily until the leaves start to droop. This helps you know how often you can go without watering the plant. You don’t need to wait until the leaves droop each time before watering, but a couple of days earlier will be ideal.

Check your plant’s drainage

Another way to prevent an overwatered peace lily is by making sure the plant has good drainage. If you repotted your peace lily, make sure that there is a drainage hole at the bottom of the plant. When adding soil to the pot, don’t compact the soil too much otherwise it will be difficult for the water to drain well.

After you water your peace lily, check that the saucer under your pot has water in it, which indicates that the plant is draining well. If you’ve checked the saucer 10 minutes after watering and it is still dry, the drainage could be blocked or insufficient.

Place your plant in a different part of your home

Experiment with putting your peace lily in another part of your home to see if the plant responds better. The peace lily does well in bathrooms that are humid. This means you won’t need to water as much because the plant absorb the moisture from the humidity in your bathroom.

Frequently asked questions about overwatered peace lily plants

Do peace lilies need direct sunlight?

Peace Lillies thrive in little sunlight to places with lots of indirect sunlight. It doesn’t like direct sunlight as this can burn its leaves. It does well in tropical humid conditions or places without a lot of light, like in a bathroom without windows.

Do peace lilies like to be misted?

During summer when it’s hot, it’s a great idea to mist your peace lily in between watering. A light spray of room temperature water is best. Peace lilies enjoy moist, humid conditions so misting provides a lovely environment. But make sure never to mist an overwatered peace lily as this just adds to the problem!

Will yellow peace lily leaves turn green again?

No. Once peace lily leaves turn yellow either because of overwatering or underwatering, they will never turn green again. Cut off any yellow leaves with pruning shears and clean your shears after you finish so that you don’t spread disease to other plants.

Should I cut the brown tips off of my peace lily?

Old brown stalks at the base of your peace lily can be cut off. These stems won’t regrow, so there’s no point leaving them. But cutting the brown tips, you’re allowing new healthy stems to grow.

One final word

When it comes to watering your peace lily, less is more. Your plant will quickly let you know when it’s dehydrated and in need of water by drooping its leaves. Don’t be afraid to cut down on your watering, and to leave your plant in a humid environment.

By taking quick care of an overwatered peace lily through repotting and changing your watering schedule, you will save your plant and know how to look after it in future.

By Christine Carlisle

Christine is a freelance senior writer for Home Health Living and has been writing for us for 4 years. She's a health copywriter with over 10 years experience as a writer. Christine lives alone in a cabin in Maine and was once a hand model while living in New York City. She's a dog person.